Saturday, October 11, 2008

Harvest Home

Picture this (because I don't know where to find a camera with batteries charged up):
  • onions and beets spread to dry on newsprint
  • cardboard boxes brimming with carrots, potatoes, and squashes
  • bags of dry beans, with the sides rolled down to let the beans dry a little more
This week I'll be storing things away a little better: tucking the onions into old nylons and hanging them on nails on the floor joists in the basement; cleaning up some of the carrots and beets and finding some room for them in the fridge, freezing some others, and maybe drying some for soups, too; and clearing some room in a not-too-cool spot for the squashes to sit with some air spaces between them. The dry beans are experiments. I have been growing Windsor broad (or fava) beans for several years, but never understood what they should look like when mature. Finally I read somewhere that they can be picked when the pods start to turn black, and realized that this was not a sign of disease! I let them dry on the vines, and today we gathered them. Also, as a sort of accidental experiment, we gathered the dry wax beans that we didn't get eaten as fresh beans in the summer. We eat a lot of kidney beans and some chickpeas, lentils, and pinto beans, but all of these are tricky to grow in our short summers, so I want to experiment with some other dry legumes. We'll see!

I am very tired, and very happy. I let myself be led away from the garden path for most of the summer and early fall, and when I heard the word "snow" in the forecast I feared I had left it too long, but the rain and snow held off and we got it all in.

Happy thanksgiving!


Paul said...

From your description I have a picture in my mind. Tired and happy are good. Well done!

MojoMan said...

Yours sounds like a wonderful harvest. Something tells me many of us will soon be re-learning some old, nearly-forgotten skills, and that may not be an entirely bad thing.

Tim Hodgens said...

Good for you. Part of the message may be that if you plant the seeds and make sure it gets enough water, that even if you forget or avoid the weeding, etc., you'll still be able to come back and collect the bounty. And if not the full harvest, gleaning will still be possible.

I did better this summer, my second year. Potatoes, kale, basil, tomatoes, lots of beans. The bush beans and the pole beans just went wild with production.

I would have had a lot of zucchini and cukes but a 4 legged with a brown fur coat came in one day and had a gourging fit for a giant pig. The fence, as they say, came a day too late.


arcolaura said...

Thanks, Paul!

Mojoman - I'm sure we will, and it will be a good thing. Getting back to the garden felt like coming home, like finding peace at last. But it takes a while to get past the anxiety and expectations and so on, to really enjoy it that way.

Tim - ouch! but at least you have the fence for next year. Was it a jumping 4-legged? My parents have a very impressive fence - game fence for the first, oh, 5 or 6 feet, and then a floppy barbed-wire section above that to deter both high jumpers and smaller climbers - those with masks and those with quills.

The trouble with forgetting the weeding is that you have so much less leeway to forget it the next year! But I think we did okay, because we got a lot of mulching done, and timely potato hilling, and we planted things close together, so there wasn't much room for the weeds to get out of hand.