There are still crops in the garden and ‘shrooms in the woods. But we have a good handle on what there will be. The summer was cool and wet, and we had a decent frost on September 17th.
Danny ate the onions. For all practical purposes, all of them, though he left us a couple dozen leeks. He also smashed several perfectly good fences. Some of our fence is a little iffy, but the impeccably built ones didn’t stop him either. We are now eating (and selling) Danny, lovely vegetable and grass-fed beef. I’ll try again next year to actually grow enough onions. I also want to add scallions to the garden. Unlike bulb onions, they can be reseeded.
Cool wet summer is also code for “few tomatoes, no peppers.” Fortunately we have plenty of canned tomatoes left from last year, and we did get a batch each of salsa and pasta/pizza sauce.
This was the year of the bean in New England. Not only did we get a good crop, but the pigs got a bunch from the kitchen. Last year was the year of zucchini.
Third time was indeed the charm on the sweet potatoes. Two thirds the plants gave us twice the tubers. No voles, eh? What a difference that made. We put them in a space with nice deep soil and plenty of compost, but didn’t put them on a trellis this year, which was a mistake, but only really because it was so messy. Next year, I think I know how to get 50% more from the same number of plants. That will be enough for us, and if there is space to grow more, we can sell some.
We also seem to have celery under control. This is good, because no one around here grows it. The stuff hates to germinate, but once it’s up it grows quite well. This year we figured out to buy plugs from Jolly Farmer. More money, but less trouble. Also, they sell the grocery store kind. Most seed companies sell a smaller variety that germinates better. To sell, it works better to have the recognizable variety.
Something got into us and we bought an insane number of carrot seeds. We planted half of them. We have carrots for as long as they will keep. We had parsnip seeds from both Jung and Johnny’s. For some reason the Johnny’s ones had horrid germination. Instead of having to thin, we ended up with half the roots per square foot that we wanted. We’ve bought happily from Johnny’s many times, and this won’t stop me ordering next year, but it did happen.
Tomatoes and peppers reverted to the norm. We made pasta sauce and salsa, but had nothing left to can as just tomatoes. The summer was cold and wet, two things that tomatoes and peppers do not like. Raising Mexican crops in New Hampshire is as tricky as keeping Icelandic leadersheep in a fence. Fortunately, we have enough left from 2010 to see us through another year. I’m starting to get the Mormon “12 months at all times” thing.
The weather hit the cucumbers too. Last year, I failed to can the fermented pickles in time. This year, there just weren’t enough cukes. Danny did not help. I used this recipe, both fermented and as refrigerator pickles. Nothing wrong with the fermented version, but it rocks in the refrigerator. Clausen would be thrilled to be this good. Somehow it puts umami into a cucumber. I think I might be able to have them 10 months a year.
It was an ok year for black trumpet mushrooms. Better than 2010, worse than 2009. The last decent flush we got was about August 27 after Irene came through. We have one remaining handful of 2009 trumpets left over. That’s closer than I care to cut it. We’ve had a good bolete year, especially the bicolors. We’re stocked up for ourselves, but not really ready to sell. I’m hoping that we’ll still get another flush or two of black trumpets. We’ve certainly had enough rain for them.
This year’s Hen of the Woods crop is spectacular and still going. Last year was a disaster, so we of course covered ourselves first. We went out Sunday, and found another 40 odd pounds, but all too many were waterlogged and getting moldy. Not what you sell to a white tablecloth restaurant, so after drying the salvage, we have a buffer for next year. We could however have three more 40 pound Sundays …. so stay tuned if you are hoping to buy some this year.