Wrapping Up the Garden

While Lisa is off being a rockstar chef, I am wrapping up the garden.

The pinto beans have been dried in their shells, so I can finish them whenver I get around to it. I will do a germination test to see if they will sprout after being dried. Living in a rainforest as we do, I think I should just expect to dry them every year. Thus it’s worth knowing if we can save seed.

The Black Turtle beans simply went in too late, in an inadequately sunny spot. I’m freezing and canning them as snap beans because we could lose them any night and only a small fraction are mature enough to dry. They’re noticeably tangier than “official” snap beans, but certainly acceptable for soups and stock. The bunnies think bean plants are great. The goats will eat them, but regard them as a distant second to brambles and roses. I’ll see what the geese think when I bring in the rest.

There are two gallons of pickles in the canner, as I make what could be the last half gallon. (I’m hoping for another.) These are spiffy lacto-fermented pickles, made with the Herbangardener recipe. The site appears to be down. If it doesn’t come back, I have the recipe saved and I’ll post it here. However, since I like to make food that I will actually eat, I am canning them when they reach the flavor I prefer. No healthy bugs, but yummy food. I’ve got a pint of sauerkraut ready for the same treatment.

We’ve lost about half our tomato vines to frost, but all of the fruit to blight. Next year’s tomato crop must be planned for late blight. The hot peppers are hanging in, the bell peppers never set any fruit.

Along the same line, the okra kept having buds that never opened. ‘Twas a cold year and nothing has enough sun.

Frost got the potatoes last week, but I can dig them anytime before Halloween.

We didn’t plant the horseradish till August, so no harvest this year. I’m leaving the rest of the herbs out as long as I dare before bringing them under lights. (I’m also repeating my strong recommendation to grow fresh herbs under lights through the winter. Dried is a poor, poor substitute.)

Finally, the carrots and cabbage are still growing, and we’ll have lettuce and chives as long as we have lettuce and chives.

I’ll do the postmortem for the year in a future post.

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