Sunday, October 30, 2011

Harvesting knowledge

Originally written on the 18th of October...finally downloaded the photos to add and publish!
 Today I went to the garden to harvest any remaining vegetables.  The day time temp has dropped to about 50* and soon there will be frost.  I knew there were going to be plenty of pie pumpkins so I needed a sturdy method of transporting them, not just a weak plastic bag.  So I got smart and brought a laundry basket!  Anyway - I spent a good 2 hours puttering around in the garden and I think I have learned some lessons for myself that I need to record as a reminder for next year.

1) Don't bother planting peas.  Or if you do, you really need to find a stellar rabbit-proof technique.
2) Plant more kale.  It rocks.
3) The cukes and melons don't stand much of a chance next to the pie pumpkins.
4) Harvest the cilantro much much much sooner.  Never got to eat any this year =(
5) Don't plant carrots under the brussels sprouts.  (Why does spell check put an s at the end of brussel?)  They are nearly impossible to dig out!!!

6) You would never survive as a carrot farmer.  They break off way too easy in the dirt and you really need to find another method of digging them up.
7) Put some old carpet, cardboard or something down between the garden boxes.  The prickers were not kind to you while harvesting.
8) Don't load all the pumpkins in one laundry basket.  Unless that is of course you want to find yourself dragging, pushing and pulling it down your friends' driveway while hunched over.  And don't even think about trying to lift that basket, your back will not forgive you!!!
9) If you have chickens again, plant more herbs for them.  Even ones you don't eat.
10) Don't lose your best, sharpest, most expensive garden shears somewhere in the tall grass next to a garden box.  You will not find them again, even when said grass gets dry and blows away.
So - there you go, self.  Lessons to be learned!


js said...

I can relate to this one. Last weekend we pulled everything and turned over the soil and worked in the compost. We didn't plant any squash so we were done minus a few tomatoes.

1) never had issues w/ peas as we have raised beds
2) Kale is like Cleveland - it does not rock
3) We've never grown squash, we always got to much from farm - now we are a bigger family that will change next year.
4)I've learned that herbs need constant attention, plant them near where you are daily.
5)Carrots like sandy soil, I'm guessing you would too when harvesting
6)see 5
7)Raised beds rock
9)We'll take your eggs
10)Nice one...

DramaMama said...

In response =)...
1) We have raised beds too, just at a nearby neighbor's house. Sadly they live by an open area, mowed, but there's apple and pear trees and lots of garden boxes calling the bunnies' names. Plus, it seems this crazy climate just isn't kind to peas.
2) I head about your distaste for kale - have you tried it many ways? We make kale chips, smoothies, throw it in soup, feed it to the chickens and use it in spinach pies. I will make sure to tell your wife to feed it to you 57 times or whatever it takes to make a kid like a new food! =)
3) Yeah, we didn't get a box this year. Too much stuff no one wanted to eat and a lot I didn't want to take the time to learn to cook either. So now we grow what we know and like and use. Other adventures are taken at the farm market or we take risks when we go to the farm and they have their stand out. Trying not to waste food.
4) I know, I have a tiny box by my garage but it got covered up by the chicken tractor stand. I really need to just add a few more small boxes out back. You're right, putting them where I would see them would be a good idea.
5) I used my homemade version of Mel's Mix (the other one!) when we constructed our boxes/raised beds. I thought it was pretty good for carrots, but I may need to add sand. Good idea!
6) It was really a flip thing when I added the sprout starts...I completely forgot how big they get! They've never done well for me! I have been pretty lax when it comes to the planning part of my garden...
7) B/c there are so many beds/boxes in this one yard, there's only about a foot between them. They don't mow in between. Usually my cabana boy (read: husband) helps dig out the prickers, but I did a lot of it myself this year. I gave up at the end, deciding to hack them down instead. Every year I say the carpet thing and every year I fail to do it! If we are still allowed to have beds there again next year, I swear I will get on that!
8) We all know I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, right?
9) We eat a ton of eggs! Each egg meal uses at least 10 eggs. But if you lived closer I would be happy to work out a trade of eggs for something...
10) See #8...