Tired. And I know all of you who are serious gardeners are probably feeling the same way.
Once the harvest starts (yes, this is the wonderful harvest we've all hoped and worked for all season long), it seems there may never (such dramatics) be an end to it. When one crop is picked, processed and tucked away for the next many months of feeding the family, another one is not-so-patiently waiting for you to get busy with it.
My garden seems to look more unkempt each day as I can't find the time (or oompf) to pull he spent plants and clean up the bed or area in the field garden or berry patch that is done for the season.
Our unusually high temperatures of this summer have dropped a bit and nights are already cooling off the way they do as we creep closer to our glorious fall weather. But, strangely, the humidity has stayed in the triple digits (okay, that's an exaggeration) which makes one feel unpleasantly . . . well, cool and clammy most of the time.
My garlic is pulled and hanging to cure. (Go away humidity, bring on the dry air, please.) Onions, for some reason, aren't sizing up this year. Usually, I have no problem growing a year's supply (and more) but this year, not so much.
Papa Pea came out to the garden with me with spading fork in hand a few days ago to dig a sampling of potatoes as I'd run out of the ones purchased at our local food co-op. (The 5 pound bag was $9.99. Can you see why I decided to start digging ours?) We dug under just one plant and found about three pounds of medium to small-sized red taters. They were delicious.
My Red Kuri winter squash is turning from pale yellow-green to a deep yellow. They need to make it to a deep red-orange before they are mature.
Pumpkins, both jack-o'-lantern and pie, are plentiful but still showing no color other than their unripe green.
Our domestic blueberries that started ripening early this year are winding down now. We picked three and a half quarts yesterday, and we have only three or four large bushes of one variety that still have a good quantity of berries yet to ripen on them. The end is near.
I'm not sure where this post was/is going, perhaps only a record for me as to what's happening in the garden at this date in the month of August. Plus, I promised myself I was going to spend only 30 minutes here at the computer this morning before getting on with my list. (You know, getting on to those 23 items that are at the top of The Priority List.) And guess what? I've already gone one hour and 12 minutes over my intended 30 minutes. Whoa down, day, I'll never catch up at this rate!
I got to thinking about your concerns with a greenhouse blowing away. It is true that my greenhouse is in a sheltered spot,but I have an idea for you. If I were you, I would build the 8 by 16 foot greenhouse with rafters that make a steep roof to shed snow, as I described before. On the long sides, just use diagonal 2x4 braces that you can actually chisel in the framing to make it very, very strong. It is all pretty easy to do. Then when it is all framed up, use an auger or a tractor-mounted post pounder (preferable), the kind used for installing high-tensile fencing. Around my area, you can rent these quite easily. Anyway, pound in some preferably black locust or hefty cedar posts in the corners of the greenhouse. Attach these posts to the greenhouse, and it will be anchored and sturdy forever. Especially if you are in a windy area, don't skimp on the plastic. Get that good greenhouse plastic from Farmtek or a similar company. I start my tomatoes in early March, and you might even start one or two earlier. Then keep transplanting them into larger containers, and I am usually able to put mine out in the greenhouse in early May. Even though we still get some very, very cold nights and snow in May, I am able to protect these few plants in the greenhouse with a combination of boxes, plastic barrels and blankets or even rigid insulation. All of this bother is worth it when you taste those huge heirloom tomatoes. This year, my favorite is Oxheart!
farm buddy - We were discussing your previous comments this morning at breakfast. And these further ideas you've shared are all good ones and I'll put them in our greenhouse-to-be file. Thanks so much for taking the time to share. So much better to get suggestions and info from folks who have actually constructed and used something than from all the books one can gather and read. And to our minds, the old heirloom varieties of tomatoes are the only ones that have flavor. Thanks again! :o)
It's going to be wonderful when all the work is done and you can go and find what you need in your freezer or root cellar. You and Papa Pea will work til it's done!! your a great team!! Take care and stay safe! ox
linnellnickerson - I just a few minutes ago finished taking inventory of what is where in the freezers and pantry. Good to have everything in good shape this time of year. Hope all is well with you and yours and you're looking forward to fall and a little slow down of things to do. I know I am! ;o)
Yes..tired. Why oh why then, am I expanding my growing space, by another 4'X16' bed and digging an extension on the field garden? So many plants I want to grow!!! At least the squash, pumpkins, spuds and turnips don't need to be processed other than cleaning and storing, and waxing.(in the case of the turnips)The parsnips stay in til spring. But...the apple harvest will soon be upon us. We took today off and went for a road trip to an auction. Back at it tomorrow!
I am so looking forward to a cooling off; I've even been wishing for winter!
Part of me is glad the garden was pitiful so I don't have the processing, but most of me is annoyed.
It just comes with the territory. sigh
Rosalea - I know! Are we demented?? We're working up a new patch of ground, too. I'm surprised that you can winter over parsnips in the ground in your location. The frost doesn't go deep enough that they freeze and turn to mush?
tpals - I like your term of being "annoyed." I can relate in several instances. Why, oh why, do certain things happen? Soooo annoying! ;o)
Leigh - And we're so blessed, aren't we? Of course, still very tired, but blessed! :o}
It's good to keep a record. I'm kind of surprised that my garden is not what I expected, but I won't dig the potatoes until the end of Sept. Squash looks good but all green, same with pumpkins. Tomatoes way too early and I'm not ready for them. Cucumbers so slow, the nights too cool I think. Can't be picky, I'll take what I get. I have at least got most of the pickles canned, so I have them for my sister and BIL to enjoy. For me, I like the refrig pickles from oversized cukes and red onions. Phil, Eagle Bend
Mama Pea: We are at about 45.5 degrees N latitude, in Hardiness zone 3. Late Oct. I gently bend over the parsnip leaves,(they seem to weather the first frosts well) and cover the bed with about 6 inches of dry leaves, then hardware cloth weighed down with rocks. The snow begins to accumulate, usually mid November, so the 'snips have a good insulating blanket over them. I dug last year's in late April this spring, and needed Hubby's help to dislodge a couple of almost baseball bat-sized roots that were half way to China!
I know how you feel! As I concentrate on carpentry projects the garden is getting more and more out of control. I need to spend a few days in there in the next few weeks - even if it's just to make a path to the crops!
Keeping up with a large garden makes you yearn for the first frost. LOL The most I harvested this year was strawberries, green beans, blackberries, peaches, cherries, figs, and up then up next is apples. It's almost too much for me without the veggie patch. I did mange to pull some garlic but a week's worth of rain and high humidity is also not letting them cure here too.
Got the garden preservation blues? Boboomdabo then here’s what you do . Boboomdabo. Get up early watch the sun go down dig in that ground to empty it out. Boboomdabo.
Ok so a blues singer I will never be. Nor a poet and I know it. I can’t wait until next year when I can be throughly entrenched in your company. Of course then I will be singing a different tune 😂
At least you've got stuff to harvest! Maybe take a nap if you can squeeze it in :)
Glad to hear you have some good harvesting, even though it's exhausting!
Phil - I'm surprised that your winter squash and pumpkins aren't showing color yet. You're so much farther south than we are. I only make pickles every other year as I usually get so carried away with them that they last us two years. I like both bread and butter pickles but Papa Pea enjoys only the dills. I've made refrigerator pickles with the big cukes and like them, too. I've found record keeping is vital because not only do I not remember from year to year what the garden produced, but often think I do remember and upon checking the records find I'm way off!
Rosalea - I wonder if parsnips are more adapted to wintering over than carrots are. (I've only grown parsnips once and harvested them in the fall because I didn't know they were so much better harvested in the spring!) I've used the method you described to try to winter over carrots but it was a big, orange, mushy failure.
Kev - Keeping as large a garden as you do along with your carpentry job plus caretaking for the kids . . . well, no wonder the garden has gotten a little out of control. I feel mine's that way right now, too, but I don't even have the "excuses" you do!
Cockeyed Jo - You never need feel bad or apologize for what you get done (garden-wise or otherwise) around your little homestead! I think you're Wonder Woman as it is!!
Goatldi - Have you been in an early batch of apple cider? Tipsy or not, you did a good impression of a garden-themed blues singer! (You have talents you've kept secret, haven't you!)
Nancy - That I do and I'm mighty appreciative of it!! This busyness won't last. Pretty soon I'll be looking out at the bare garden and thinking about what I want to plant that's new and different next year!
Rain - It's what we strive for with our gardens, isn't it? So, no, I have no real reason to complain. I'm just a little . . . ZZZZzzzzz. (Radio silence.)
Oh ty mama! Right now I'm feeling like Orphan Annie pre Daddy Warbucks.
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