The Hawk-Mo Hotwire

Micro Entrepreneurism, Simple Living & Art

Fall Garden Report

Just finished harvesting peppers last week. Didn’t get as many to ripen to sweet as I was hoping to, but have more then enough greenies so I’m guessing that I didn’t start letting them ripen soon enough – which I think was basically when we left for Burning Man. All in all, probably have about 8 gallon size ziplocs of sliced peppers in the freezer.

Harvested our sweet potatoes 3 weeks ago, luckily right before our first frost. Hank and I had fun digging them up, its always exciting to see what’s under all those vines and dirt. Filled the wheelbarrow to overflowing, I figure we probably have about 75 lbs of sweet taters left after donating the half eaten rotten ones to the chickens.

Basil was a freaking machine this year. I had a crop, not just a plant or two. I have basil away, the way some people try and give away zucchini. Which means, if you came to visit you had to take some home. And not just a little. We filled half our full size freezer do with pesto, mom dried at least a half gallon mason jar worth, and I gave away at least 20 lbs. No joke.

Butternut squash was an epic failure. Lost early on to a serious squash bug invasion despite the heavy and frequent application of cedar mulch and closely planted nasturtiums. We ended up buying 100 lbs from our favorite local farmer, along with 50 lbs of storage potatoes.

The tomato, pepper, basil bed. Lovingly sheet mulched with aged chicken poop, rotten hay, brown leaves, unfinished and finished compost, and topped with mulch.

Tomatoes were so-so. They tasted the way I’ve always dreamed homegrown tomatoes should taste. Which was aHmazing. Which was a first. But I didn’t have a bumper crop. And I lost quite a few to blossom end rot in the beginning when it was raining all the time. A little application of bone meal around the roots did seem to help though, which allowed me to get maybe 40-50 lbs of maters in all. Our favorite canned tomato recipe of the year – brushetta in a jar. Almost too good to be true. We pretty much gave up on marinara in favor of this goodness.

Onions were a raving success, especially following last years huge dissappointment. I grew about half from seed, and the other half from starts. A mixture of those two halves were grown under black plastic as a weed experiment, and the others were grown under cardboard. Sadly the plastic worked way better on the weeds, and seemed to grow bigger onions, I’m guessing moisture content helped a little bit here as well. Total onion crop for the year, 80-100 lbs. Not enough to get us through till next year, but enough for how long we can store these guys without throwing away lots of rotten ones. Its on my list to try overwintering some for Spring onions.

As you are well aware – beets went well. Really well. We’ve got almost a whole  6 ft x 18 in shelf full in the pantry of canned beets in half gallon and quart jars. Plus a couple, maybe 3 gallon ziplocs in the freezer.

Speaking of freezers. Our is totally full. I mean full like to the point of you better be eating something from it if you think you’re going to be putting anything else in it. We’ve got in there almost a whole shelf of frozen fruit – peaches, pumpkin, blueberries, strawberries. Beet greens, beets, broccoli, snap peas, peppers, corn, eggplant. Some prepared things like soup, veggie burgers, and pesto. All of our nuts, bread, our frozen chickens, and a cow share.

Last year we successfully didn’t buy any produce from the grocery store to get us through till growing season started up again. Even with adding Hank to our household, we had stocked our freezer and our pantry well enough to get buy until our own early spring crops came up and the farmer’s market started back up. And I feel even more confident about our food hoarding/stores this year.

What was it I called myself in that last post? Homegrown-food-loving-hairy-legged-permaculture-chick? Yea. That’s definitely me. I think this is so freaking cool.



About mudly

Mud is main blog writer extraordinaire, picture guru, and the garden and adventure instigator. She loves to cook, but doesn’t much like following a recipe. She also loves typewriters, the color turquoise, and wearing tie dye with stripes. And she dorks out on while dreaming up and planning her next garden.

4 comments on “Fall Garden Report

  1. Nicholemoranda
    October 18, 2012

    That is simply awesome!!!! Very inspiring!maybe ill start canning once my tomatoes grow. Fir now my greens are taking off 🙂

    Nichole moranda

    • mudly
      October 20, 2012

      Thanks!!! When we lived in Florida we came up with every excuse we could muster not to start a garden, so you’re one up on us! Rumor has it tomatoes grow well there, and I highly recommend sweet taters as they are reeediculously easy and so much fun to dig up – your boys would love it!

  2. Barb T
    October 21, 2012

    Our garden was a little sick this year in NC. Too much rain.. But our winter crop of broccoli and cabbage look great. May be ready for some eats at Thanksgiving . Enjoy your veggies, etc while the rest of the world depends on the rest of the world.

    • mudly
      October 23, 2012

      Nice to hear from you Mrs. T!!!! How I would love to have a fall/winter crop of broccoli! I had a nice one growing last year and the chickens got in a demolished it in less then an hour. I was furious.

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This entry was posted on October 17, 2012 by in Garden.

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