Friday, September 30, 2011

Harvest end; apples to come

Getting in what's left of the dry beans completes the harvest for the year, with the exception of some lettuce and greens seedlings that will grow till the first freeze and then with any luck overwinter under agribon cloth. The deer that began getting into the garden by the old store in August ate most but not all of the dry beans, leaving (for reasons unknown) about three quarters of the Light Red Kidney and one quarter of the Jacob's Cattle Gasless. The others, including those planted just to grow out and produce new seed, were almost total losses. Next week I will comb through the remaining plants to see if I can salvage any of them for seed next year. Of the other crops, the summer squash (Gentry) were the best I'd ever had, prolific and delicious; the cucumbers (General Lee) as good as ever; the tomatoes a success (both the Bellstar paste and the four varieties of eating tomatoes--Sungold, Jetstar, Red Short Vine (Defiant), and Cosmonaut Volkov, all prolific and excellent tasting (the Jetstar a little less so), and all resisting the late blight. Defiant had a fine old-fashioned, acidic tomato taste; its only defect is thick skin. Potatoes had an average year, cut back by the two weeks without rain at the end of July. Cabbages and broccoli fared well; deer damaged the brussels sprouts; beets, lettuce, mustard, parsley, spinach, snap beans, and all other crops except swiss chard did well. Next year I will plant the beans in the garden down toward the Scotts' house, which was growing out to cover crops (buckwheat) this year, finished off with oats to hold the soil. It is a good apple year, and many of the trees are bearing better than ever--the Baldwin and Golden Russet planted 20 years ago especially. Looking forward to getting together with friends this month for picking apples and pressing the cider.

The skunk cabbage beside the road in the woods behind the house has all but vanished. On September 3, I took this photograph of the dying cabbages there.

Going back this week, few traces remained. Yet although they look frostbitten here, there has not been a frost. The first frost may come any time in October, and may even hold off until November.

No comments:

Post a Comment