Sunday, October 11, 2015

Harvest 2015

Shortly after the last post, we headed into a drought that continued, more or less, until the end of September. As a result, the harvest was severely reduced, especially the butternut squashes.

Still, I think we got our $100 worth out of it (with comparisons to last year):

Onions: they got hit the worst by the drought (and my lack of attention), only about a dozen small ones and another hundred or so tiny ones. Compared to last year: 300 or so small ones.

I didn't bother planting cucumbers, and last year we only got 4 or 5, so it wasn't a big loss. I did get a good number of zukes (12) compared to only 8 last year. I made several jars of Bread & Butter pickles with the zukes, one batch with hot pepper flakes and one batch without. Also made several batches of zucchini bread and froze the shreds for three more batches. The yellow crookneck squash produced more than we could eat, about 18 large fruits. I didn't bother to freeze the excess, because I really only like them fresh.

Green beans: about the same, freezing about two gallons and eating or giving away another gallon. Total, about 7 pounds, I think.

Tomatoes lasted later without the rain that spreads blight, but then the drought killed them, so the total harvest was about the same as before. About 65 Jetstars and more Sugary cherries than we could eat.

The kabocha only produced two tiny fruits, and there were only 11 small-to-medium butternuts. Last year, there were 7 kabocha and 38 large to HUGE butternuts. Part of the difference is that they were planted in the less sunny section of the garden this year.

Good crop of sugar snap peas, and last year's crop was pitiful.

The pepper crop wasn't great, and I blame it more on the variety (Ace wasn't available) than the drought, but I could be wrong. We did get about 65 bell peppers in the end, plus 2 tiny purple peppers and about 54 banana peppers. That's more than last year, but last year was a bad year for peppers (40 Ace and 42 bananas).

The swiss chard was planted too close together and also was affected by the drought. It's starting to come into its own now (mid-October), with brilliant colors. Last year wasn't much better.

The new rhubarb plant in the asparagus bed is doing GREAT. Hoping it will produce significantly next year. Strawberries are taking over the world with runners, but I'm not really wild about the flavor.

Garlic was good, as usual, and this year we had our first substantial crop of the Russian variety. Over a hundred German and 16 Russian (most of which were saved for seed stock). Also, more than 60 rounds from the Russian bulbils planted last fall, to plant again this year.

The shallots suffered from the drought, so I'm hoping I can plant the 18 little bulbs produced by the seeds next spring.

We also got about a pound (not including those eaten while picking) of black raspberries, far more than usual, thanks to some netting and perhaps the feral cats' protection.