Comprehensive exams for my PhD, climbing trip to Tieton, work retreat on Whidbey Island, wedding on Orcas Island, intensive motorcycle endorsement class. Amid this backdrop of busy-ness, things were getting ripe in the garden. Pears picked and eaten (how to make them last longer?), melons picked and eaten (small, but so good!), raspberry vines heavy with their first crop, and tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes.

Some photos of the past month in gardenland:

First there was the last of the E.Wa peaches and tomatoes to can, blueberry-peach jam too from our trip to Linbo Blueberry Farm in Puyallup.

What to do with tomatillos?

Twist the husks off and (try to) wash the soapy tacky coating off the firm skins.

Halve them, then roast skin-side up. Combine with onion, cilantro, hot pepper, and lime juice…

…for the most beautiful PURPLE salsa, if you’ve special volunteers like mine. Like most purple vegetables, the colour is probably temperature-sensitive and would turn green or brown if cooked. I’m fascinated by vegetables (well, fruits usually) with photosensitive purple pigments. If anyone knows more about them, please school me.

Potato harvest! My first-ever. Plants did reasonably well all summer, then de repente in September the chickens decided they like potato leaves. Pecked the stalks clean over a couple of weeks (yes, nightshade foliage is supposed to be toxic – the birds generally take good care of themselves though, and they seem fine).

My boxes were 30×30 inches, with dirt ultimately piled a foot above the ground. Interestingly, only one variety set any potatoes above the original soil line. Red Sangre: 9 pounds!

Purple Viking fared poorly. Later I read that it is a compact early variety. It appeared to suffer from being mostly buried when I tried to train the plants to tower. 3 pounds.

Russett Norketah. Did very well for being in the shadiest spot. 7 pounds.

One afternoon’s tomato harvest from the back yard along the bottle wall. Mostly roasting these for dinner and making pico de gallo to freeze. And fresh tomato slices with basil, balsamic vinegar, and buffalo mozzarella. We are so blessed.

Buttercup squash from the front yard. Poor yield – 1/plant. Placed too close together, eventually succumbed to powdery mildew. Scott is not impressed. His position is that those three squash could have been 100 tomatoes!

This entry was posted in Canning, Food preservation, potato tower, tomatillos, vegetables. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Harvest

  1. Tobi says:

    Did you try to train your squash up or let it spread?

  2. FishGirl says:

    I always train my squash cause I don't have a lot of space, but squash don't really want to grow up – they want to cascade down. So I'll be thinking whether there is somewhere I can plant them next year to try this for yield comparison. Maybe on the roof??

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