Sunday, October 25, 2009

Last Harvest

This weekend we pulled the rest of the stuff out of the community garden, since it's closing on the second. We may go back and do a little gleaning on the third, of course, but all of our official stuff is out of the ground and all over the house. Three boxes of potatoes are out in the garage where it's nice and cool and dim. There's a bloody huge bucket of carrots in the kitchen sink. They're soaking their dirt off. There's a big bag of beets on the counter awaiting roasting and freezing. They await because the Better Half discovered there's a reason you score chestnuts before roasting them. And finally, there's a remarkable lot of horseradish root in the fridge in the garage. Way more horseradish root than any family deserves. Even when it's been peeled and minced, it's going to be a lot. A large lot. Fresh horseradish anyone?

We definitely learned a few things this year. The previously mentioned need to thin carrots was one thing. Broccoli does really well for us and we shall be repeating that without a doubt. I'm even going to try fermenting some of the leaves as one does for sauerkraut. We like Erste Ernte (I may be misremembering the name here) spinach, but we do not like so-called New Zealand spinach. It's not really spinach at all and the texture does not make my tongue happy. The Spawn doesn't like it either. Next year we're going to do sauce tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. Slicing tomatoes are wasted on us, for the most part. We will try and grow more lettuce, space permitting. We like our salads in mixing bowls and that uses up a lot of lettuce and spinach. We will NOT plant a row and a half of string beans. Half a row of beans sans strings will do just fine. If all goes as planned, we will devote one entire plot at the community garden to potatoes. We are definite potato snobs now. German Butterballs, yellow fingerlings, and Yukon Gold, in that order of preference. We'll see which store the best.

Now if only the winter garden does its thing. Stuff got planted a bit late for that, but it's slowly taking off to some extent. This too will be a learning experience. One thing we'll have to learn is how to get into the blasted garden when the ground is wet, as it will be for the next six months or so. The soil is heavy on the clay and the worry is that it will get compacted and be worthless. Of course, plants that can't be harvested are worthless too, so a compromise will have to be reached. The current thought is straw plus planks to keep the soil a bit more dry between the rows and to distribute the weight along the whole row. We shall see. Soon. There's thinning that needs to be done!

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