It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. We’ve had drought conditions here for several weeks now, and last week the weather turned hotter than usual. Daytime highs were 90°F or higher, and it was over 100°F in the greenhouse every day. That kept me busy keeping things watered as best I could. It didn’t keep me from working outside in the garden, though I’ve been doing it early in the morning, starting around 6AM and then working for a few hours before having a late breakfast. More on the planting later, after I mention a few harvests I made last week.
I cut the last of the lettuce from the greenhouse, and we enjoyed it in salads a couple of times. I will plant again in late summer, when temps moderate. I choose not to grow it in summer, since I think it’s just not worth the effort to grow it and other cool season leafy greens in what is most definitely NOT the cool season here! I’m not trying to grow everything myself, and frankly I’d rather spend my limited time and energy on other things. We will have plenty to eat from the garden in the warmer months, and the first summer squashes are blooming already. The brassicas are coming along nicely too, and I cut some of the Starbor kale last week to use in meals. It’s a standard hybrid curly kale, with plants that get a little over a foot tall.
I’ve also been pulling spring onions as needed. I’m growing the Forum variety from sets, and they were recommended by grower friends Roger and Mary Winstead who own Beautiful Edibles Grow farm. We visited their place last month and I swapped some Korean avocado squash seeds with them for the onion sets, which they grow for both scallions and larger onions. I planted them where collards grew last fall, three to a hole in the weed barrier fabric. My plan is to pull two from each spot as scallions and leave one to get larger. I am impressed so far, and I have already ordered some more for fall planting.
My wife took our meager cherry harvest and made a cobbler for dessert last week. It’s one of my favorite ways to eat cherries, and our recipe uses white whole wheat flour for added nutrition.
In planting news, I got all the peppers planted last week, and finished planting the vining type squashes last week as well. The peppers are going in another no-dig no-till bed that is covered with weed barrier fabric. This has become my favorite way of planting most of the garden, and so far I have had nothing but good luck. When we visited Beautiful EdibleS Grow farm, I immediately noticed that Roger and Mary use the same material I do for all their plantings. They are located only a couple of miles away from us, and if it works for them in a commercial operation it should work here for us.
The lack of rain did meant it took a bit more effort to dig each planting hole, but my trusty Wilcox trowel does the job well. I set out right at 40 pepper plants, plus I had 6 larger plants that were overwintered indoors. I had to dig a hole with a shovel for those plants, and I added the material around the plants after they were in the ground. All of these will be supported by metal cages that have big opening to make harvesting easier. Most of the plants will end up growing taller than the cages, which are about two foot high when stuck into the ground. The cages give good support for the plants and I have been using them successfully for quite a few years now.
And in news from nature, a big hawk has been hanging out around our garden all week. I believe it is a Red-Shouldered Hawk, and we have also seen it sitting in our mulberry tree out back of the house. The mulberries are ripening, and the tree has a lot of smaller bird visitors, so I guess the hawk is looking for a meal at the small bird buffet!
Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to share, add your name and blog link to Mr Linky below. And please check out what everyone is harvesting!