Planting Garlic

It's been raining for past 4 days and for a change it's a very good thing - ground has been overly dry and many lakes in the area much lower than I ever seen them in the past. But once it stopped, we went to work - got about 60 cubic feet (2.5 yards) of manure delivered on Saturday. So we spread them out in our large garden, my hubby tilled it all with old soil and then we raked it all smooth. Very tiring job spreading it all as it's very dense. But the mix came out pretty good. Hopefully it will improve production for next year once we start planting in spring. For now I redirected one of my long beds - 22 feet long, that I usually use for tomatoes and onions, to another use. I planted over 120 cloves of garlic planted, including:

  • Inchelium Red, 
  • Chesnock Red, 
  • German Porcelain, 
  • Ozark, 
  • Spanish Rojas, 
  • Vietnamese Red
  • New York White. 

I still have few heads of Music and Spanish Roja to put somewhere but not sure if I want it in  my garden. I might put some into the Community Garden for next spring. And yes, it's a lot of garlic, but my bed really needs a break from nightshade varieties. Maybe I'll add some squash later in June once I pull some of the earlier varieties out.

On not such a happy side, while we were preparing out garden for spring, our neighbor decided she didn't want to see our home from her window so she brought a landscaper with an excavator and planted two huge pine trees - they are expected to grow 40-60 feet tall easily. Right smack in front of our garden on the property line.  Effectively blocking all afternoon sun from my garden. I knew she hated to see my garden from the moment we build it (she never hid that opinion) but never would have thought her to be this hateful. Her ideas of "pretty" is combination of rocks, metal constructions and pines.  Really wish she'd move somewhere to the city where there is plenty of each to satisfy her taste, because clearly anything fresh like fruit trees and pretty flowers are not tolerated by her at all. Pity.

Harvesting Pumpkins

Yesterday afternoon I realized that we're about to get hard frost so I dashed to the farm where I help out and picked my pumpkins. I planted couple of varieties in July - a bit late but still hoped they'd produced. They didn't get enough time or sunshine to fully ripen but were very nice size. The first one was Musquee De Provence pumpkin. it was very heavy for it size! I had one hell of a time bringing it out of the field. I just wish it had enough time to turn orange. 
Then the blue one is Jarrahdale pumpkin - it's origin is from New Zealand and I'm looking forward to seeing how it compares in taste and texture.  It was a medium sized but also pretty dense in weight.
And lastly, 4 Buttercup squash that were bidding their time also got picked and are now curing for the winter. Another baby Musquee De Provence definitely not ripe was found at the end and will be used first as it's not going to last long - skin is very soft and it won't store well.
So now all of these have to cure and will be used in pies and soups for winter. Can't wait to see how they all taste.

Harvest Oct 12

This weekend we cleaned up large garden and started to prepare beds for winter. All left over plants were removed, leaving only 1 bed with some salads, radishes and peas remaining.  Few struggling tomatoes were saved for salad together with one lonely cucumber. In small garden I picked remaining beans from trellis. On the patio, hot peppers still producing so I picked what was somewhat ready and moved couple of the plants inside the house to overwinter - I hope they'll survive so I can plant them in spring and have a head-start.
I still need to see if my sweet potato plant produced anything this year in one bed (it was an experiment). Now we'll have to add more manure and compost to all beds and till it all over. Next weekend will be planting garlic for spring. Visit Daphne's page to see how others are doing with their harvest this week.

Colorful bounty

Fall brings crisp weather, colorful leaves and anticipation of apple picking before Thanksgiving. But it also brings wide variety of fruit and veggies that most people are not aware of.. Sure, you might be adventurous and have tried (and possibly loved) Indian and Mexican foods, but do you know what some of the ingredients that are used in those foods? Do you know what Tamarind looks like? Or a Lemon Cucumber? Have you seen a purple cauliflower? Have you ever tried a Persimmon or Hawaiian Papaya (don't confuse it with Mexican papaya that's not sweet and used in salads) for your desert. Do you know that you favorite Welch's grape juice or a jam is made out of? If you've been to Caribbean area and tried spicy and very aromatic foods, do you know what they use for seasoning? If you hear "Trinidad Perfume" would you think that it's referred to something you spray or eat? What about Lemon Pepper? Pineapple sage? Do you know what fresh Lyche fruit looks and taste like?
Today I introduced all of these beauties to my coworkers. You can never have too much variety in your life.

Harvest October 6 and Apple Pie

It's been a quiet few weeks in the garden, with the lack of rain most of the veggies died off. I finally was able to clean up my carrot bed and found few remaining - they will be used for dinner meal tonight.  The scraggy pepper and few remaining cherry tomatoes were eaten as a snack :)

In the community I picked few tiny melons and several small butternuts squashes - they're curing now so will post picture of them later.
But since it is a officially a fall season, I'm starting my bake and prep for winter by drying apples, making apple butter and sauce and of course spoiling my hubby and his coworkers with my pie. They are happy and that makes me happy. it's all good.
Visit Daphne's page to see how others doing with their harvests this week.