It’s always sad when the summer growing season starts to wind down and the bountiful harvests diminish.
It’s been one the best years in the garden for me; no doubt the mild summer and all the rain has helped, but I’d also like to think I’m finally getting into some sort of knowledgeable gear about food growing.
I’ve given a lot of produce away, but I’ve also got good stores for the winter. There are jars of pasta sauce, pickled beans, zucchinis and cucumbers in the cupboard and I’m enjoying home made pesto for the first time. The stock of dried cherry tomatoes—the only variety I bother to dry—is increasing daily and there are 3 large containers of whole tomatoes in the freezer (I couldn’t eat tomatoes, give them away or make pasta sauce fast enough).
This year, for the first time, I was successful in getting nets over both of the pears (they’re planted together which made it easier) and one of the apples, and the huge blobs of white netting seem to have completely put the parrots off (I let them have the apricots on the only tree that produced any—they were small and developed apricot freckle, so I wasn’t going to miss them).
I got a reasonable harvest of plums too, not by netting the entire trees—they were too large for that—but by wrapping netting around the long willowy branches which had plums all the way along them.
The only disappointment has been pumpkins; they just did not grow. However a neighbour has a plant that was threatening to take over the house last time I saw it and I’ve been promised a giant pumpkin. In return she will get a bag of freshly-picked apples.
So…..the winter season approaches…..
There are leek seedlings almost ready to plant. Garlic will go into the ground at the March equinox. Seedlings of kale, broccoli, cauliflower, rocket and chicory are ready and waiting in the polyhouse. Silver Beet is already in the ground and Bok Choy has been direct sown in wicking boxes, likewise radishes. A home will be found for the potatoes now sprouting under the sink. Baby oranges and mandarins are forming.
Meanwhile there is still the last crop of beans to pick and a lot more tomatoes to ripen, before the weather cools.
Last fortnight’s harvest:
- Butter Beans 211 gm
- Purple King beans 284 gm
- Black Russian tomatoes 3518 gm
- Red Pear cherry tomatoes 1220 gm
- Reisentraube cherry tomatoes 922 gm
- Burnley Bounty tomatoes 3490 gm
- Roma tomatoes 644 gm
- Green Grape tomatoes 120 gm
- Green Zebra tomatoes 650 gm
- Purple Russian tomatoes 980 gm
- Grosse Lisse tomatoes 704 gm
- Grub’s Mystery Green tomatoes 567 gm
- Gold zucchini 721 gm
- Lebanese zucchini 1634 gm
- Diva cucumbers 758 gm
- Double Yield cucumbers 329 gm
- Apple cucumbers 1057 gm
- Plums 778 gm
- Red Delicious Apples 2355 gm
- Capsicums 199 gm