So. Harvest season. Jeez, Louise! Our cold spring and summer put us basically six weeks behind on the harvest. The Gods of Agriculture were smiling, though, and we’ve had pretty nice weather since the middle of August. Penny’s been busting hump harder than I have on it, because she’s had more time to spend on the farm. We’ve got most of the stuff up now, but about half of the potatoes are still in the ground along with some other root crops (parsnips, for instance) that can benefit from a good freeze.
Off the top of my head, here are some varieties that did well in our microclimate:
Katy Stokes’ Sugar Meat Squash
Oregon Homestead Squash
Sugar Loaf Hessel Squash
Costata Romanesco Zucchini
Martha and Parade cucumbers
Cascade Cream Cap/Maple Gold/Red “sister” corn varieties
German Butterball potatoes
Wallhachin, Mystery Keeper, San Marzano Gigante tomatoes
Scarlet Runner beans
Black Mitla tepary beans
That’s some of it, anyway. We’re still trialling varieties, so we’re not worrying too much about genetic crosses. We’re not saving seeds on most of them because we’re growing a bunch of varieties. Once we’ve got that sorted we’ll start saving seeds.
I acquired a lovely tool this year. Last year I bought a broadfork to help me turn over the small garden, and it works well in prepared, soft ground. I’ve been reading about the “Magna Grecia hoe” here and decided to pick one up. I bought just the head, and crafted a handle out of some birch lumber I bought locally. I treated the handle with linseed oil before mounting the head. I have to say this really is the best tool for working tough, weedy ground.
The bad part is that I now have a lot of tough, weedy ground to reclaim. Things kind of got away from us this summer. Resolve to do better next year, move on, learn from the mistakes.
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