Monday, August 23, 2010

Harvest Year In Review

Harvest time has come upon us and what a strange season it has been!  While peppers and tomatoes have suffered our el Nino year, I've received a big bag of green beans from one neighbor (ah, the taste of summer!), a big bag of apples from another (which I made into apple pie last night and have eaten two slices so far today!) and this incredible jar of homemade pickles from homegrown cucumbers from another.  So the season wasn't quite a crap-shoot after all!  I'm using this post to record my season, but please feel free to chime in about your experience in the veggie garden this year.

Tomatoes:  I finally gleaned a colander full of Sunsweet tomatoes yesterday, but most seasons I run out of people to give them to after I've been exhausted by making sauces, jams, and throwing them in the oven to sun-dry.  The Thessaloniki tomatoes were planted later in the season and are just turning now.  Hope they're tasty!

Cippolini Onions:  these did great!  I'll sow more for the winter to see what happens.

Scarlet Runner Beans:  Funny, I don't remember the beans being fluorescent pink in past years...  These really didn't thrive, perhaps were shaded by the sunflowers? 

Peppers:  Wow, these sucked.  I had glass cloches on these for most of May to keep them warm and between the sweet pepper and Habanero, no flowers, no peppers, no growth and sickly yellow leaves.  And this is after a top dressing of worm compost.  In my world this treatment is above and beyond 5-star hotel-spa vacation so I'm pretty disappointed these freeloaders didn't pay their bill.

Sunflowers:  the success story of the year!  These made the rest of the garden look at least a little more respectable.  Growing 12' high, the flowers gave us sun on foggy days and as the picture shows, some little birdie is eating very well.

Misc.:  Red-heart radishes and lettuces are reseeding in time for the Winter (hooray!) and the Patty-Pan Squash really outdid itself with giant yellow flying saucers making their way into soups, the frying pan and over the fence to grateful neighbors.

What happened in your garden this season?  Anything contrary to what I experienced?


  1. pie! I think you summed the summer up well so far. We were able to grow more lettuce and spinach than expected, later into summer as the weather was so cool. We still have strawberries too. We finally had a reasonable harvest of tomatoes over the weekend, but the peppers are still sitting there green as ever. The trouble this year, with any new varieties we're growing, is we don't really know to evaluate performance. If they did well, was it the cool weather that gave them an advantage? If they tanked, was it the lack of heat? Funny ol' year indeed.

  2. Wow, what are the sunflowers you got? I put a few smallish ones in this year, but would really like some big ones next year.

  3. I agree, Clare. This season is not an instructive one for first-time gardeners. Wonder what the next season will bring?
    Town Mouse- those are Titans, purchased from Seed Savers, but I'd be happy to save some for you! They're absolutely magnificent.

  4. I didn't invest much effort or space in veggies this year, and the way everything has been 3 weeks late I'm glad I didn't. But Parsley and rose geranium are the unstoppable monster plants of the moment. Cold summer? They weren't bothered.