In the meanwhile we've been enjoying some of the canned stuff that we did in summer - tomato sauces like marinara and salsa for snacking. Definitely had a bit too much of salsa so we've given some away. But winter is going to be long this year so it helps to have things around the house.
Closer to the evening I had to take a break from the kitchen and went playing in the garden instead. Boy is it overgrown! Definitely need a good day to clean it all up. But I did pick out all potato experiments from both enclosed garden and open area. As you can see I have more fingerling's on the right side, Red Bliss in the middle - that was only 2 bushes that came out, and Yukon Gold on the left. There are some small red onions on the bottom of the picture.
Fingerling's were in the enclosed area and even though it was only about 2 square feet area it produced allot of results. Too bad I don't like the taste of them. I won't be planting them again next year. I do like Yukon but unfortunately that's the ones that got the most damage from groundhog and deer. I found many "leftovers" but not whole lot was left for me to pick. I will definitely plant more of them next year and this time in the enclosed garden. They are delicious! Well at least that's enough for two of us to eat for next few weeks. I wish my onions were bigger but they got trampled by deer who were trying to reach potatoes so didn't get to grow well. I will be planting more of them next year as well as some white sweet type.
And I know what you might think - these don't look that very big. You'd need whole lot more to do something useful other than eating in salads. Well I admit that the picture is a bit deceiving. You see, it's been taken as an overhead so I could fit all items in one shot. I took one of these tomatoes (the one top right under the cucumbers) and placed it on my hand and took a snapshot. This will give you better idea of the real size of what I picked.
Here I took closer snapshot of them and you can see different types - Brandywines with green on edges and couple of them turned upside down so you can see how bright pink they get on the other side. Top left corner next to orange bell pepper (which is really regular size pepper but looks small comparing to Brandywines) is German Striped Cavern - with yellow stripes inside. It's somewhat hallow with a cluster of seeds inside but very tasty. Then you have two Black Prince in the middle of the picture - they're somewhat tapered at the end and have darker skin. Haven't tried them yet and will do that tonight with the salad. And of course then we have regular salad tomatoes (big boy and Martin), few plum tomatoes and cherry tomatoes.
Afterwards came ichiban eggplants and carrots. Actually I've been snacking on carrots for a while now but eggplants were first ones in the bunch. I had to leave so didn't get to eat them myself - my honey took them to work for his secretary who said that they were delicious and with less seeds that your regular eggplants. It also helped that they were very young and not overripe. And then I had to leave for work-related trip so didn't really get to do anything in the garden. However my honey did and he surprised me with few things. He's been picking up cucumbers every couple of days while I was gone and then decided to can them so they won't go bad. So by the time I got home he had 5 jars of pickles ready and waiting.
I also spilled some salad seeds where my basket was when I was planting and it happened to be in the asparagus area. Asparagus will take at least two year to spread before giving any results so even though I wasn't planing on putting anything there it turned out to be for the good. This way I will harvest salad and asparagus will keep growing. It's a good combination.
And of course there are beans and peas which are good companions for most plants because they are natural fertilizers. They produce their own nitrogen - something that all plants need to grow properly. But do be careful with how much nitrogen you get in soil or some of your plants will be big and tall and leafy but not with much of fruits. For tomatoes it's better to be on a moderate side or you won't see whole lot of tomatoes later on.
And there are some combinations that really bad for each other - peas for example won't tolerate any of the onion family. There are many websites that have comprehensive lists of what's compatible with what plant so you can always google them. I know you can plant beans and corn and pumpkin - trinity of the farming world and they will grow wonderfully together. So keep experimenting. You never know what you might get :o)
One plant will give me enough seeds for all my needs. I have other plants that I use for cooking so it's not a big loss. The same goes for my arugula and salad plants. For now I can still pick them but probably come weekend I will take them all out and plant seeds for fresh set of crops. But for now they'll be blooming and I'll leave at least few of them to go ripe so I can gather seeds. It's not a good idea to use the same crops in one place so where I used to have salads I'll probably put something else. I already spread some salad seeds where I had spinach and radishes. That way I can rotate them better.
And I'm going to do the same with peas, beans, onions and squashes if they'll grow too many at one time.
That's one of the reason I wanted to use organic and heirloom varieties so I can gather up seeds and dry them for later use.