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Beating the Rain

September 30th, 2015

We have rain in the forecast, lots of rain. Today we’re supposed to get 3-4 inches and then it’s supposed to rain every day for the next 10 days at least. That’s good, we really need the rain because it’s a super dry summer/fall so far. That means however that I spent yesterday madly harvesting everything from the garden. Ten days of rain is not good for crops right before harvest, especially things like popcorn!
harvesting early popcorn
The popcorn wasn’t really ready, technically you should wait until the husks have dried. With all the rain coming, I knew the risk of mold was high. As a result, it’s all laid out on shelves in the top of the garage with a fan on it. Along with the popcorn, I have loads of sunflowers drying in the top of the garage as well. These are grown for the flock.
sunflower harvest
I also grow loads of pumpkins and squash for both us and the birds. Not only do we eat lots of pumpkin and butternut squash, the birds love them. It’s nice to be able to give the birds healthy treats in the middle of winter. This year I grew ‘Connecticut Field Pumpkin’ for the flock. They produced very well, I’m very pleased with this variety. They are a carving and decorative pumpkin, pretty much your typical pumpkin.
heirloom pumpkin harvest 1
This is about 2/3 of the pumpkin harvest. It looks like I have 30 pumpkins for the birds and 8 large ‘Rouge Vif D’ Etampes’ pumpkins for us. This variety is my all-time favorite pumpkin because it makes the most wonderful pumpkin puree for pies and other goodies.
heirloom pumpkin harvest 2
The tomatoes also came in, anything that was ripe or slightly blushed was put in my basket. The photo below is about a fourth of what I harvested, I’m guessing I got about 2 bushels of tomatoes. I have plans to make another batch of soup and probably a batch or two of canned crushed tomatoes. The harvest was very good this year and that makes me very thankful. Last year I got the late blight and didn’t have much of a harvest to speak of. I like tucking as much as I can into the pantry during the good years. That way we can still enjoy tomato soup during the years of blight.
tomato harvest
This has probably been my most productive garden ever. I still have loads of things coming on, more on those tomorrow.

Do you grow pumpkins in your garden? What’s your favorite variety?

5 Comments to “Beating the Rain”
  1. misti on September 30, 2015 at 9:30 am

    I’m hoping next year we can get growing on winter squashes again. You had a great harvest!

    Reply to misti's comment

  2. Wendy on September 30, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    I keep trying pumpkins and winter squash, but they never make it to harvest before the rain/cold sets in. The best I’ve done is a couple of spaghetti squash. There’s always next year, I guess.

    Glad you got things harvested before the rain. Two years ago about this time of year I was madly harvesting l o n g rows of corn and beans ahead of a predicted wind and rain storm. I was thankful I had done it the next day when the weather rolled in and I saw the aftermath in neighboring farmers’ fields!

    Reply to Wendy's comment

  3. Nebraska Dave on September 30, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Susy, I did grow pumpkins but didn’t harvest a single one. The pesky deer this year were terrible for gardens. They ate every single pumpkin bud off the plants and ate the male flowers as well. I have terrific vines but no pumpkins. I have completed the deer fence so that won’t happen again. Next year should be the first good year from wild life destruction. I’ll be trying to save a couple pumpkin and some squash next year for winter baking. I’m seriously getting the itch to get back into baking again. I haven’t done for over 30 years. I’m praying that hurricane Joaquin won’t be flooding your area over the next week.

    Have a great harvesting before the rain day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  4. Lexa on September 30, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    Susy, this year I grew my favorite pumpkin once again, Howden. I have never tried using it in the kitchen. Mine have always been grown for ornamental/Halloween purposes :) A great pumpkin.

    Reply to Lexa's comment

  5. Julia at Home on 129 Acres on October 1, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Squash and pumpkins went crazy this year. They took over fully a quarter of the garden. I’m investigated trellis options for next year. I did my first pick over the weekend: 10 pumpkins and 12 acorn squash (about half of what’s on the vines). I’ll pick the rest shortly along with the butternuts… and then we’ll be eating squash all winter! Glad you’ve enjoyed a productive season. This is our first year gardening, and we’ve been blown away by our bounty.

    Reply to Julia at Home on 129 Acres's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.

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