Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Goodbye 2015 Garden

We spent yesterday afternoon getting the last vegetables out of the garden.


As usual, our carrots are beautiful.  (We may struggle getting some things to grow and mature because of our short growing season, but root crops generally do really well.)


Because I still have way too many quite a few jars of pickled beets canned and sliced beets ready to be eaten in the freezer from last year, I think I may have planted too many beets this year.  


I'm pretty confident the amount of carrots we have will be just about right for a year's supply.  Other than the beets we can foist off on other people eat fresh from storage, the remainder may prove to be overkill.  (Not a bad problem to have though.  Maybe I'll finally learn how to make a good Borsht.)


Something strange happened to our potato crop this year.  Each and every eye I planted germinated.  No bare spots in the rows.  I don't think I've ever seen healthier potato vines.  They had no insect damage, no blight, lots of blossoms.  I hilled them up twice and kept them weed free.  But as we dug the potatoes yesterday, plant after plant yielded not one single potato.  There simply was nothing under many of the plants.  Why?  What happened?  I don't know.  Bottom line, we got about 100 pounds from the 60 feet of potatoes I planted.  Only about half the yield we usually get.  (Oh, well.  When the potatoes are gone, we'll eat rice.  We like rice.  We have a good supply of brown and wild rice in the pantry.  Yup, rice is nice.)


The cabbage had outer leaves riddled to one extent or the other with insect damage, but once I peeled them off, the heads looked pretty good.  We'll eat it fresh from storage and make sauerkraut.

Today is a gray, drizzly day and the garden now looks very bare and forlorn.  I commented to Papa Pea how small the area of both the field garden and raised beds looks with nothing growing in them.

To everything there is a season.  And it's the season for the garden to be bare and rest.

18 comments:

Sparkless said...

I wish we could grow carrots or any root crop. Our soil is contaminated with heavy metals from the local smelter. We do have raised beds and fill them with clean soil but we still can't get carrots to grow. I'm not a beet fan although I don't mid pickled beets or borscht.

DFW said...

I am determined to find a carrot that will grow down here! I use a lot of carrots & have had success dehydrating & using them in soups & crock pot recipes so I need to grow my own. Don't care for beets but yours do look beautiful. I also can't wait to try my hand at a real row of potatoes, sorry yours didn't do so well this year. Yea, we like rice too.

Laurie said...

I'll say it again....you amaze me! I wish I had the time and space to do what you do....but wait, I might need the energy, too. Ha! I used to hate beets, but I've just recently discovered that I like them now. Just like you said, to everything there is a season.

Dawn McHugh said...

Lovely harvest, I grew too many beets this year ended up giving loads away, I wonder what happened to your potatoes, we had a good crop I have also grown some Oca which is a good potato subsitue and is harvested later at the start of winter also have some Jerusalem Artichokes to harvest in winter helps to eek the potatoes out :-)

Kristina said...

Wow! I think I live in the wrong state to get a good crop this year. That is one awesome harvest. Look at all those cabbages! Yum!

Sandy said...

Mama Pea,

Love the pictures of your harvests. This season, I planted carrots twice, and nothing popped out of the ground. I won't give up, and will try again next season. Cabbage OMG!!!!! Yours looks so healthy!!


Susan said...

Wah! I have extreme carrot envy!! I am going to try - yet again - to grow them next year. Maybe if I add sand to the bed it will help. I refuse to raise beets for the voles. They get to them before I do. Your taters look mighty good, no matter what the size of the crop. How did your Brussels sprouts turn out?

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - Ooof, now there is a gardening problem! Heavy metals in the soil would NOT be a good environment. Wonder why you can't get carrots to grow? A raised bed is especially good for them because of the loose, un-compacted soil.

Mama Pea said...

DFW - With your summer heat, I'm guessing you'd have to plant your carrots really early and harvest before the extreme heat hit. Wonder if there is a carrot variety that does well in a warmer climate like yours! I know lots of folks profess to dislike beets, but they're so good for you! Sliced and cooked, served with some butter and salt and pepper. Mmm-mmm good. But I might not feel the same if our beets weren't raised in our garden and very fresh. I must admit to having had "old", bitter tasting beets. Ugh.

Mama Pea said...

Laurie - I know if you decided to do it, you could grow a wonder vegetable garden, too. Heck, in your climate you could probably get two harvests of each variety! Thank you for your kind words. Gardening is a challenge up here in the very northern part of the country but because of nutrition it's very important to us. Plus, I love to do it!

Mama Pea said...

Dawn - I'm not familiar with oca . . . I'll have to check it out. I've not had good experiences with Jerusalem artichokes, but I think there are two varieties . . . one long and narrow and one more bulbous. The two times I've tried them, I planted the long and narrow variety, but think I'd prefer the rounder ones. Maybe I'll give them another try . . . sometime!

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - Your only problem this year was that your garden was under water for most of the year! No garden (or gardener!) can survive that.

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - I've heard of a lot of folks having trouble with getting carrots to germinate both last season and this one. Fortunately, I did okay both years. (And I used old seed. Could there have been something wrong with new seed? That doesn't make sense as I'm sure seeds were purchased from many different sources. Strange.) I was pleased with how good the cabbages looked after I took off the outer leaves that had holes in them.

Mama Pea said...

Susan - The Brussels sprouts gave us as many as we'll be able to eat this winter. They've been processed and in the freezer for a couple/few weeks. We had to take the naked stalks back to the pile to go through the chipper/shredder because they were like small trees and wouldn't decompose for about four years in the compost heap, I'm sure!

odiie said...

I still have the carrots in the ground, but most everything else is being processed. There's a chill in the air and shoes on my feet. Snow's not far behind.
Odiie

Mama Pea said...

odiie - Possible snow is in our forecast for the next couple of nights. I'm sure it won't be anything significant (it won't, will it?!), but you're right . . . it's not far from happening. And, yes, young lady, it is time for you to put on your shoes!

Mark said...

Ok, so now you're making me start to wish it was time to start the whole garden thing over again. I'm ready for a break! Those are some good looking beets and carrots, though. I still have brussel sprouts and horseradish to bring in, and we have some beans drying on the vines. I'll like be getting all that in early next week.

Mama Pea said...

Mark - I'm definitely NOT ready to start the whole garden thing over just yet, but have to admit seeing the empty raised beds and field garden, I have gotten the urge to plan out next year's garden on paper. In a way, it looks like a blank slate out there!