Our 2022 garden: last seeds starts – for real this time!

Okay, I went ahead and did it. I got one more tray of seeds started.

Most of them are summer squash.

I also decided to start the only 4 King Tut Purple Peas I was able to save last year. They did not do well at all in the drought, but they bravely tried!

The seed tray holds 32 square pots, and I wanted to plant just one seed per pot. I decided to start only 4 each of the Magda (a mottled light and dark green squash), yellow zucchini (Goldy)…

… and green zucchini (Endeavor). With these summer squash, I want to also try direct sowing more, and see if that makes any difference.

That left room to plant 8 each of the patty pans; Sunburst and G Star.

It occurred to me after I uploaded the pictures that I should have just planted each flat of 4 x 2 pots with one type, instead of two long rows of the patty pans. 😀 Ah, well, The flats will come apart easily when it’s time to transplant.

The tray then went straight into the sunroom, covered to keep them moist until they germinate. As you can see by the one that got pushed to the back, it’s working rather well.

There we are. Done. No more seeds will be started indoors.

Honest.

😉

The Re-Farmer

Morning harvest, and another one down

Well, so much for trying to support the sunflower in the old kitchen garden.

We had high winds again this morning, and the last of the three flower stalks on the remaining sunflower in the old kitchen garden finally broke. It was actually still upright when I came out this morning, but by the time I came back to the house, it was lying on the ground.

Sadness.

While checking the garden beds, I did get a little bit of a harvest this morning.

It all could fit in my pocket! 😀

This is the largest I’ve ever let a pattypan squash get. Any bigger, and they start developing their seeds. One of these days, I should try letting some fully mature. At that point, when the seeds are removed, they leave a cavity that can be stuffed for roasting, which I do want to try. We just really like them at this stage, though. 🙂 For next year, I plan to try other varieties of pattypan squash, and hope to grow some to save seeds, too. Since I accidentally bought three summer squash collections for this year, instead of one, we don’t actually need to buy more squash seeds, but I like to try new varieties.

That is definitely one of the biggest benefits of having a garden. There are so many varieties that are just never in the stores!

The Re-Farmer

Our 2021 garden: evening harvest

When I did my morning rounds, I didn’t harvest anything, as there didn’t seem to be any need, yet. Then I did my evening rounds, and found that a lot can change by the end of the day!

As you can see, the tomato plants are dying back, and yet there are so many tomatoes! In the photo with the Spoon tomatoes, I had already picked the ripe ones, so all the red you see are ones that are still not quite ready.

One of my daughters joined me, and we ended up filling two red Solo cups, almost to the top – our biggest haul of these tiny tomatoes, yet!

I was really surprised when we checked the summer squash, and I saw the Madga squash. It was noticeably bigger than when I checked it this morning! Same with the zucchini. We won’t get much more zucchini this season, but there are so many little pattypan squash. It was starting to get dark fast, though, so I’ll see what we can pick tomorrow morning. I think there are even beans to pick, too!

I’m loving this long, mild end of the summer.

The Re-Farmer

Morning kitties and morning harvest

I got to give Nosencrantz full body pets this morning!

She hadn’t even started eating yet when she let me pet her – and she was purring!

Then she joined her Grandma Butterscotch for breakfast. 🙂

Do you see that orange over on the far right?

That’s Rolando Moon. She’s still around! It looks like she spent the night either in the tree in front of the kitchen, or on the roof. I love how she looks so happy to see me when she comes running across the lawn. Even if she does end up hissing at me, while she stands up on her hind legs, asking for pets! 😀

No sign of Rosencrantz this morning, but her babies took turns having breakfast with Grandma and … cousin? Little sister? Not sure how the genealogy works, at this point! 😀

Mornings are starting to be quite cold these days, and this morning was quite windy, but I wanted to make sure I picked what I could from the garden early. The girls and I had a “date” with my mother, and I wanted to give her some of our tiny tomatoes! She won’t eat the pattypan squash, because they are unfamiliar to her, but I did grab a couple of zucchini for her that we picked yesterday, instead.

My mother has been wanting to take the girls to a local marsh and wildlife centre for some time. The birds are starting to head south, and the place is now open until dusk until the end of the migration season. Due to restrictions being reinstated, the interpretive centre is closed and the restaurant is take-out only, so we picked up some of my mother’s favourite fried chicken and wedges, and had a picnic outside. The winds had picked up even more, but we managed to find a picnic table next to a bush that was more sheltered. I’m pretty sure it’s a type of bush we have on our list that we plan to get ourselves, to create a hedge where our furthest garden beds are right now.

My mother isn’t up to walking far, even with her walker, but she encouraged the girls to look around. They ended up doing a 2km hike! 😀 In the process, they found a picnic area with lots of tables, so the next time we do this, we will know to park in the overflow parking lot, where it is closer and easier for my mother to access. Their hiking paths are very solid, wide and well groomed, which will make it easy for her walker, too. Between the condition of the paths and the many benches along the way, my husband could even navigate it. The girls and I want to go back and, if he’s up to the drive, it would be fantastic if my husband could come a long, too. We shall see!

All it all, it was a good trip. We were able to distract my mother away from her more… unfortunate… favorite discussions. 😉 Along with the chicken, my mother brought some of her quick pickles which, to be honest, I am very uncomfortable eating. Her safe practises are minimal, but she loves them and they haven’t made her sick, yet! LOL I brought out the container of tomatoes as well. Of course, her response was to talk about the wonderful tomatoes my sister gave her, but then she tried one. She still wouldn’t say anything positive, but she sure scarfed a bunch down! That’s good enough for me. 😀

Where we were sitting, we didn’t actually see a log of waterfowl, but the girls saw more as they hiked the trail. What they were really excited to see was all that water. With this year’s drought conditions, that would have been a concern, but the marsh still has water. Even with the rain we finally got, most of the usual places I see water are still completely dry.

We definitely want to go back again on our own and hike the trails.

The Re-Farmer

Unexpected harvest, and other things

We were having a lovely rain when I headed out to do my morning rounds. Though we have been getting the odd showers for the past while, things were still starting to dry out. With the high winds yesterday, I actually watered the old kitchen garden, when I noticed all the beet greens were wilted.

With the cooler temperatures and things in the garden winding down, we’re gathering things every few days or so, and the amount we harvest is getting smaller. Mostly, it’s just summer squash. My daughter had recently picked summer squash, so when I went through the garden beds this morning, I wasn’t expecting to actually pick anything.

I was rather surprised to find even a few larger summer squash! The Magda squash have been slow growing this year, so finding two of them large enough to pick is a treat. There are lots of little sunburst pattypans, and after my daughter had already picked the larger ones, I certainly didn’t expect to find more so soon. Yes, I know they can get much larger, but this is the stage we like them best. The only thing that wasn’t a surprise was the big zucchini. Usually, we pick the squash soon after the flowers fall off, but the flower on this one was solidly attached. Even though it was of a size we would normally pick it at, we left it. When I saw it this morning, I just had to pick it. Any bigger, and it’s going to start getting becoming a winter squash! 😀 Maybe some day we will let some zucchini reach that point, but not this year. 🙂

We are supposed to continue to get showers through the afternoon, but I’m hoping things will have a chance to dry up a bit. I really want to tackle that tree that came down in the wind. We really need to get started on any high raised beds for next year. If we can get even just one bed done, I will be happy. I also need to prepare three beds for the garlic we ordered. I were intending to order double what we got last year, but after talking about it with the girls – and looking at our budget – we got the same amount as before; a collection of racombole, purple stripe and porcelain music, 1 pound each. Though the beds they were planted in before are available, we want to rotate them into other beds that did not have alliums in it. Unfortunately, those beds are still being somewhat used right now! However, if I am able to get enough out of the tree to build a high raised bed, it will have fresh garden soil and amendments added to it, so it won’t matter if it’s in a location that had onions this year.

If it’s too wet to break down the tree today, I should still have tomorrow. The weekend is supposed to get quite hot, and we’ve got plans for Saturday. Next week, we’re supposed to get several days with rain, and then things start cooling down a fair bit. As long as I can get enough pieces cut, while it’s dry, we can get some progress on a bed.

Though our overnight temperatures have not been cold enough for frost, some of the more delicate plants were showing signs of what I would otherwise consider frost damage. Some of the cucamelon leaves are showing signs, and part of a Ozark Nest Egg plant had a vine that was growing the highest, suddenly start dropping this morning.

Everything is all winding down, which means things are getting busier. There’s a lot of work to prepare beds for next year, and getting it done often depends on the weather.

In other things, I’m happy to say that since we installed that shut off valve and, in the process, adjusted the pipe so it wasn’t touching another one, and padded it with vibration reducing material, that very disturbing noise we would sometimes hear seems to be gone. It’s hard to say for sure, since the noise didn’t happen every time the well pump turned on, but so far, it’s encouraging.

Something else seems to have gone away.

The woodchucks.

I haven’t seen any of them in almost a week, now. Usually, I’d at least see one peaking out of the entry to their den under the pile of wood, or eating the bird seeds near the living room window but, lately, nothing. I was wondering if they might have gone into hibernation, so I looked it up. They tend to hibernate from October to February, so it’s still too early for that. But then, the sites also said they mate after the come out of hibernation, and we so them going at it in the summer, so who knows.

Very strange.

Not that I’m complaining! 😀

How does the garden grow?

Check out this sunflower!!

It’s just towering above the others! I figure it’s getting close to 7 ft tall. 🙂

There are a couple of others that are getting really tall, too. Like this one.

You can really see the huge seed head developing on this one – and it should get much, much bigger!

But… something’s wrong with another tall one. It’s head is gone?

Nope.

Just fallen over.

It looks like some sort of grub got in there.

This is actually above my head, so I am seeing it better now, in the photo, than I could while looking at the sunflower. The head is still alive, so I’m hoping it’ll survive. It’s the only one that has this.

While going through the squash and harvesting some – the sunburst squash is very prolific! – I spotted an odd looking squash and took a closer look.

This green, bulb shaped squash is a sunburst squash! It looks completely different from all the others on the plant.

I left it, and look forward to seeing how big it gets, and if the shape changes. 🙂

The girls and I have been talking about what we want to plant next year, and sunburst squash is definitely staying on our list!

The Re-Farmer

What shall I do with you, today?

Zucchini and sunburst squash I gathered this morning.

Yesterday, I made a sort of hash, first browning potatoes, cubed small, in butter, then adding leek and frying until softened. I cubed sunburst squash, a green zucchini and a grey squash (the lighter coloured, kinda striped, kind of zucchini; our grocery stores label them as grey squash). Once those were cooked until soft, I added seasonings and maybe half a cup of whipping cream. It turned out awesome!

I’m out of cream, though, so I think I’ll just pan fry them in butter with leek.

The Re-Farmer