Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall on the Veggie Farm

Well, it is still pretty busy here on my little farm.

I'm not exactly laying on the chesterfield watching the soaps and eating bon-bons. Yet.

But much like the bumblebee on the dahlia, I'm slowing down. Not quite as slow as the bumblebees, who in this chillier weather sit on the dahlias and don't move for hours. But the pace isn't quite as hectic.

The hoop houses are all planted for the winter.  I was a bit late doing this. and should have done it in September, but somehow it crept into October when I finished up.

But things look good. The "Ching Chang Choy" (I love saying it!...did I say "Ching Chang Choy?) is, after a 30 day growing period, harvestable.

The kales, many varieties of mustards, mizunas, arugulas, onions, chards, chois, carrots, radishes and lettuces are looking just fine. There will be lots of greens all winter.  I'm just wrestling with the fact that I need to buy new ag fabric and that I can get the same product at one fifth the price in the US. Love to buy Canadian and all that, and if I had all that spare cash just laying around, I might do it. But really. I probably wouldn't because that is just dumb.

It's been a bit tough getting all the dried beans in. I use them for seed of course for next year, and also to eat them too as a wonderful protein source for the winter.

There are lots. Probably around 30 varieties, including some really very special ones from the Heritage Seed Library in England. 5 rare little bean seeds planted in the spring are now hundreds and hundreds.

Because I planted late in the spring, due to the wet conditions, they are late drying on the vine to harvest.  I got some picked today, but -egad - rain, and lots of it in the forecast tomorrow.

We're fortunate. There hasn't been a hard frost yet. So I'm still finding some tomatoes in the garden, although they are fading. But peppers? Oh my. So many. And BIG tomatillos.

These tomatillos are ones from the seed of some that I purchased at a farmers market in Salinas California several years back. I'd never seen such big tomatillos!

And this pepper? Well, help me out....I'm not sure what it is. Lots of times when I plant things out, I assume I'll know what the plant is when it bears fruit. Not so with this one.
As I do with a few other hot peppers, I'll dig them up and bring them in to overwinter. Maybe i'll identify them eventually.  A little internet research may turn up something.

I've taken cuttings for my African Blue basil and have them growing indoors under the lights. I'll have to take more cuttings from them before the spring rolls around. This is a fabulous basil..but not one that grows from seed. I got my original plant 5 or so years ago. It has had hundreds of offspring since that time.

My rosemary plants will overwinter in the hoop house, and for insurance, one will come right inside the house. Rosemary is a tender perennial that won't winter outside...with the exception of the hardier "Arp" variety. I'll take cuttings from them late winter.

My chards, kales, carrots, beets and radishes will still last a good while outside. But before the ground freezes, I'll get the roots up. I like to make sure they get a bit of frost. They are so much sweeter then.

And there are still seeds to collect. Most veggies that produce seed annually need to get a little over ripe before the seed is viable and at it's best. I've got lots of seed now for this fabulous mini-eggplant, Slim Jim.

Ah yes, the couch beckons. But there's still lots to do.

But rest will come.

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