Monday, September 27, 2010

Last Harvest...

... well, one of the last anyway. An early frost in the beginning of September forced us to pick nearly all of our tomatoes as the leaves had withered in the cold. Same with the cucumbers and cantaloupes...

BUT -- and forgive my inattention to writing about the garden during the summer -- we had an almost miraculous harvest during the entire aestival season! Cucumbers grew with zeal, sending out runners and producing buds and yellow flowers like wild! And under that canopy of shade leaves, fruits grew by the DOZENS to fill our eager pantry!

Snowpeas attended trellises, and we made two complete harvests before the plants had exhausted themselves. Green onions grew from the onion sets, and were so delicious that we relied on their steady production for our daily dishes! (It's amazing how much tastier they were, fresh from the garden, than from the grocery store...) Our persistent "deforestation" of the onion groves will probably prevent any large onions from appearing, but it was worth it!

Our chard continues to produce, and we have enough frozen now to last in making quiches through the winter! The parsley survived too -- even through the plague of grasshoppers that descended upon us mid-season, (which destroyed the dill entirely!). The turnips are still growing beautifully and the beets as well.

At last we come to the end of the growing season -- it is always short here in Wyoming. I'm amazed we grew anything at all -- the soil is poor and hard as concrete, and the wind blows persistently. However, with a few loads of manure and compost and daily watering, our garden thrived, giving us glorious produce that we could enjoy.

And while tending a garden didn't necessarily save us any money from a dollar-per-hour standpoint, (I really should have been making crochet hooks), we ate naturally-grown organic vegetables and fruits that were much tastier than store-bought, (no doubt because of the true ripeness and farm-to-store travel time). We also ate foods that we probably wouldn't have purchased at the store -- turnips, (which are new to us this year), chard, and more cucumbers and beets than we would have bought on a regular basis.

It was an interesting experience, though trying at times. I certainly learned quite a bit about organization in a growing field, and what I would alter in next year's garden plan. E.g.: Forty tomato plants is probably too many for two people to eat from... (though it works well for sharing with good friends!), and eating cucumbers three times a day due to overproduction can be a singular experience..., and green onions are so fresh and vibrant picked from the garden we should plant TONS more next year..., and Bright Lights (Swiss) chard is the most loyal, productive plant I've ever seen!

A work-intensive, but very productive summer journey!

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