Monday, September 26, 2016

Reporting In

Good-golly-gosh!  Where have I been for the last nearly two weeks?  Right here, for the most part, but obviously unable to get a new blog post up.  I may need to have someone write an "excused absence" note for me.

Our weather has not been the typical fall weather.  We're still warmer than we would normally be right now along with getting copious quantities of rain.  No, not the deluges some of you have had to put up with in other parts of the country, but day after day of steady rain. 

All in all, things have slowed down and I'm feeling less pressure.  Sort of.  At least the big push to get the garden harvested and preserved is over.  That's not to say there is no longer good food still out in the garden.

Most of our root crops -- potatoes, carrots, and beets -- are patiently waiting for a drop in temperatures so we can pump cool air into the root cellar to make it ready for storage.  Our night time temps are still staying in the low 50s; we need temperatures down into the 40s to begin the cooling process.

Onions are in their second stage of curing.  I've cut the withered tops off and piled them loosely in three milk crates.  Next I'll rub off one or two layers of skin along with the remaining dirt, and they'll go in the basement where the temp stays a fairly steady 52 degrees all winter.

My fall planted shell peas have started to blossom.  This cool, wet weather should be good for their continued growing period.

The sugar snap peas, however, which were planted at the same time as the shell peas, have nary a blossom showing yet.   A few kohlrabi remain on either side of the pea trellis.

Kale also loves this kind of weather and is lush and prolific in the bed with alyssum on either side and chives on either end.

These orange cherry tomatoes have been abundant, but now are splitting because of too much moisture.  They sure are sweet and tasty little morsels though.  I have to stop myself from standing out in the garden popping one after another after another into my mouth.

The fall planted cauliflower (I lost my whole first crop to the heat) loves cool weather in which to grow so I'm still holding out hope of these plants forming heads I can put in the freezer.

This is the bed of fall planted salad greens which is growing wonderfully.  Swiss chard, mizuna mustard, spinach, arugula and assorted lettuces are giving us end-of-the-season super salads.

All the Brussels sprouts plants will be left in the garden right through a couple of good frosts which make them sweeter.

My little pie pumpkins grew right up and over the wooden archway trellis the way I had hoped they would.  I think I have more of them (although it's hard to say for sure what with the jungle in which they're growing) than I will use this winter, but that's not a bad thing.

My big jack o' lantern pumpkins look to be a huge success this year what with all the humidity and hot weather we had.  I've counted ten really nice sized ones in my small patch including one that we're going to have to borrow the neighbor's back hoe to move.  Okay, not really, but it is huge!

I just came in from helping clip the wings of three of our new pullets who insist on roosting high up in a couple of pine trees at night.  We've lost chickens to owls in the past when they refused to go into their lockdown night time quarters so the clipping of the wings was necessary.  Because of all our rain, the poultry yard is a yucky-mucky mess in some spots.  This doesn't seem to bother the ducks and geese who profess to love the constant moisture.  Even the chickens remain out all day, no doubt elated by all the worms coming to the surface of the soil. 

Predictions are for a colder, snowier than usual winter for our part of the country.  If it keeps raining and all the moisture starts becoming snow one of these days, we are gonna have some kind of winter!


Vera said...

Your raised beds are an inspiration to me! So pretty, but so productive!

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Your gardens are still so bountiful! I wish I had some sort of cold storage. Those Brussel sprouts look amazing. I've never grown them since I am the only one who likes them. -Jenn

Mama Pea said...

Aw, gee, thanks so much, Vera!

Mama Pea said...

Jenn - I have a theory that so many folks who say they don't like Brussels sprouts have never had fresh ones . . . a very different flavor than perhaps "old" ones purchased.

Thank you for the kind words!

gld said...

Everything is still looking very good.

I am beginning to hear the 'bad winter' thing down here too.

Fiona said...

Your Brussels are Beautiful!!!! Our are sigh....pathetic! We have Reisentraub tomatoes that rarely make it to the house as we snack on them with the Litchi. Fall greens are such a joy as we head into winter.

Susan said...

What?!? You couldn't squeeze in a post or two in the five nanoseconds you have free each day? Your garden continues to looks spectacular!

Mama Pea said...

Glenda - Thanks, but much of it looks pretty raggedy to me. Especially after the consistent, stiff winds we've had all day today. I told my husband I think it's getting close to time to yank everything out of the garden and be done with it!

Wonder if we really will have a "bad winter" this year? Only time will tell . . .

Mama Pea said...

Fiona - I always feel kinda guilty when I eat the produce in the garden without bringing it into the house. Kinda silly, huh?

Don't cha wish you could somehow save the fall greens until February? By then we're all ready for something fresh like that. :o}

Mama Pea said...

Susan - I think it's a matter of my body is holding out okay this season . . . but my mind has checked out and wants to go into winter hibernation. I'm on auto-pilot to get the rest of fall jobs done, but can't handle much thinking! (That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.)

Rain said...

I'm glad to read an update on your garden, everything looks beautiful. I've had to take in the lemon tree, strawberry plant and my herbs because we're getting close to freezing temps overnight now...frost warning every other day, so better safe than sorry. I still have three green tomatoes on the vine...but wonder if they'll reach maturity with the cold, I still water them when needed, I guess we'll see! I'm happy to read about your pumpkins!!

Kev Alviti said...

Much more in your garden than mine at the moment, things have really slipped since I've started on the house.

Mama Pea said...

Kev - Your responsibilities (three darling little ones) can take up all your time . . . let alone the garden and other household tasks everyday!

Mama Pea said...

Rain - Yes, it's that time of year when we're reluctant to say good-bye to our nurtured plants . . . but it's a pain to trundle them in and out every day! Hope to get a picture of my lovely pumpkins soon!

Lisa said...!!!! Your garden is so very lush and beautiful. Always inspiring. The amounts of cherry tomatoes on your vines is amazing!

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - The really sad thing is when an area, such as yours, is in a drought period, there's just nothing you can effectively do about it. Just make plans for next year . . . because the weather will probably be entirely different!