Thursday, September 27, 2007

Harvest Moon

Tonights full moon is the harvest moon, so called because supposedly farmers can use the light of the moon to finish bringing in the crops. It would be nice to have a little more time, but the moon isn't quite bright enough to tell whether a tomato is ripe enough. So, what are we harvesting by daylight? Canning and table grade tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, bok choy, pumpkins, winter squash, gourds, basil (parsley, dill, and cilantro, too), cornstalks, and corn.
Last week dad started picking from the "late" tomatoes. They will be producing up through October, if there is no frost. It's a gamble on the weather, or rather, more of a gamble than usual. We also planted a late patch of some cucumbers and zucchini, and they may be ready soon also.
Ashes and Charlie are fighting over who gets to pose with the pumpkins!
Besides different sizes of the standard jack-o-lanterns, we have pale ones that look like a cheese wheel, bright red warty ones, white pumpkins, white with orange lacey markings, and blue Jaradales. In fact, all of the special colors are actually types of squash, not true pumpkins, but they all look very pretty together. There are also many different types of squash. This weekend we'll bring in more, and I'll try to create a list of all the different kinds that we have. Till then, happy harvest, and enjoy watching the leaves turn.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fall is coming

The weather cooled down over the past weekend, and that slows a lot of the crops down. Peppers aren't setting as much fruit, the tomatoes don't ripen very quickly, and the basil really slows down growing. Somehow, though, the crops slowing down doesn't mean that we slow down any. Fall is the busiest and best time of the year.Saturday we brought in the first load of pumpkins and squash. They were planted late, so some of them are still a little green, but the vines are dying back and so it's time to harvest. If squash gets too much sun on it's skin it can get sun burn and then does not keep as long. In the picture below we have the sample squash that we brought in to test. Roughly clockwise they are: patty pan, red kuri, blue hubbard, festival (colored acorn), spagetti, hi-beta spaghetti, neck pumpkin, buttercup, Caspar (the white "pumpkin"), pie pumpkin, acorn, and butternut. And there are still more varieties out in the field!
Dad has cut some corn stalks and bundled them. Now all we need for it to look like fall are some red and yellow leaves on the trees!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Never a dull moment--even when you want one

At about three this morning I awoke to the sound of squealing brakes and then a lot of loud but uncreative profanity. Two foolish kids had run off the road, sideswiped a tree, and then drove into our flower garden. They did not appear to be seriously hurt. The purported driver passed a field sobriety test, though she only had her learner's permit. The other girl did not pass. Nothing important was damaged this time, but they narrowly missed hitting another tree head on. This is why they tell you to obey the speed limit and not to drink and drive. While I'm giving out free advice that people who read farm blogs probably don't need, I'll also suggest that we may have problems keeping the garden under control, but even so the weeds do not make an effective hiding place when the police come to investigate an accident scene.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Ginormous vegetables

With good ground and plenty of rain, some plants have produced huge vegetables!Some peppers weigh almost a pound, and are nearly too big to hold in one hand.This onion weighed 1.75 pounds (but it had some soft spots so we had to eat it ourselves).Dad put in a couple plants of heirloom tomatoes, and they aren't pretty, but they do get big. This one weighs one pound, 13 ounces. The melon beside the cut tomato below is not a cantaloupe (we don't have any tomatoes that big), it's a small, softball-sized melon. It still makes the ice cream scoop look like a teaspoon. The cabbage has gotten particularly big this year! This monster head weighs 14 1/2 pounds. (Mom made cabbage and noodles yesterday, so I know that they're not only big, but also sweet.)