Well, we decided to start bringing things in. Tonight and tomorrow night, we are supposed to reach lows of 1C/34F
While our one eggplant that is producing is small enough to give protective cover, that’s pretty much it. The rest is just too much or too large to be able to cover adequately.
The shelling beans were simply ready to be harvested, so I worked on those first.
These are the blue grey speckled tepary beans, and the are so tiny! I haven’t tried to open any pods yet. It was almost but not quite raining as I picked these, so once I got them inside, they went onto a screen and are laid out to dry thoroughly indoors before I start shelling them.
Then it was time to pull the Tropeana Lunga onions.
They are SO much easier to harvest from the high raised bed, than the onions in the low raised beds. I had to dig most of those out, because the soil is so compacted. Not here! These came out easily.
Check out that chard. Not a single leaf to harvest!
I had this wire mesh door on the picnic table under the canopy tent, where I was able to cure onions before, but with the cold temperatures, I set it up in the sun room. It is supported by a couple of saw horses over the swing bench, giving the kittens plenty of space to go underneath and have their warm and cozy naps!
These onions are a very thick onion, in the stem and the greens. They are very much like the Red of Florence onions we already harvested, but with even sturdier stems.
Next, I worked on the red tomatoes. A few of the ripe ones had been partially eaten, while others had holes like this.
Some of the holes were even still occupied!
Slugs are remarkably voracious!
This is all the red tomatoes. In the bin are the Cup of Moldova, and on the side are the Sophie’s Choice. There were very few Sophie’s choice, overall.
While I was working on these, I got a surprise visitor.
Rolando Moon showed up! I haven’t seen her in weeks! She let me pet her a bit, but mostly hung around and hissed and growled at the kittens. Except for when she suddenly showed up with a big mouse in her mouth. One of the kittens became VERY interested in her at that point. Rolando Moon can be aggressive, so I did step in, which allowed the kitten to make a jump for the tiny bit of mouse that was left. He promptly inhaled it and was sniffing for more, but with Rolando being the way she is, I carried him off.
Do you know that it’s really hard to harvest tomatoes while there is a kitten perched on your shoulders, and it refuses to leave? 😄
Next, I worked on the Chocolate Cherry and the Yellow Pear tomatoes.
There were SO many yellow pear tomatoes!
I also harvested the dry King Tut Purple Pea pods, though they were green instead of purple. I’m not sure why I’m keeping the seeds, to be honest. The last Red Kuri squash was also harvested, and now sit with the onions to cure.
I have left it to the girls to work out what to do with all the tomatoes, except for the ones that I will be keeping to save seeds from. The Chocolate Cherry, for sure. I’m told those were the tastiest. Not the yellow pear, though. I’m glad we tried them, but they weren’t enjoyed enough to bother saving seeds from. Both the Cup of Moldova and Sophie’s Choice are rare varieties, so I will be keeping seeds just to help keep them going. We will decide later if we want to stick with them next year, of we want to try other varieties as well. My daughter described both of them as good, but very mild in flavour. I think she and my husband would prefer something more intensely flavoured. We’ll see.
This bed that had the paste tomatoes is now completely empty. That means I can prep it to plant the best of the hardneck garlic I’d saved from this year’s harvest. We will need to get more, though.
This bed had the yellow pear tomatoes. There are still the red onions from sets in there, but I don’t think we’ll get anything out of them. Once those are out, this bed, and the one to the right of it, can be prepped for next year.
The kulli corn in the bed to the left still has no cobs forming, at all.
This is where the chocolate cherry were. It’s the second year we grew tomatoes here, so we will do something else here next year. I’m thinking peas.
There are still carrots in this bed. I don’t know that there are any shallots or onions left. There are two shallots that went to seed, but the seed heads seems to have stalled in development. It seems the same with the lettuce I left to go to seed. I think it’s just been too chilly for them to progress properly.
That’s it for now. Later on, I’ll head out again and look over the pumpkins, and see about harvesting the biggest ones. Pumpkins can continue to ripen after picking, if we can keep them warm, dry and in sunlight. That is a difficult combination to achieve in our household, though!
I also want to put bottles with warm water in them around the eggplant that’s fruiting, and then cover it. I may as well harvest what summer squash there is, too. We won’t be able to protect them from the cold, so chances are, they will get killed off tonight. I might be able to cover the apple gourds. They are the only ones that are immature enough to make the effort. After these 2 expected cold nights, the overnight lows are expected to be much warmer, so if they can survive those two nights, they still have a chance.
Oh, the weather can be a harsh mistress!