I’ve never had much space in the garden for growing winter squash. Their vines sprawl far and wide, much farther than I ever had the space to give them in my tiny space. Now that I have a large garden, squash finally made the cut.
Frost was predicted for the night before last, so I decided it was time to harvest all the winter squash. This year I grew ‘Sweet Meat’ and ‘Waltham Butternut” from Baker Creek, along with ‘Burgess Buttercup Squash’ and ‘Delicata’ from High Mowing Seeds.
There were loads of beautiful delicata squash in the garden as well, but the voles and porcupines have been going crazy eating them. I managed to harvest four for us to eat. You can see here they were starting in on the pumpkins as well. At least they almost always came back to this pumpkin instead of gnawing on every single one.
Now all the squash are sitting in an upstairs window where they’ll stay warm. Squash don’t like cool storage like other vegetables, it’s best to keep them in the same conditions you like to live in. I’ll probably pile them in a corner of the living room after a few weeks.
In mid summer I planted a second crop of zucchini, mostly for feeding the chickens, ducks and pigs. They’re still going very strong. In fact I harvested about twice this many zucchini. They’ll be slowly eaten by the animals and us over the nest few weeks. The smaller ones are dried into zucchini noodles for us to eat on this winter.
Next year I’m planting about half of my big main garden in squash. I plan on growing a good amount for animal feed in a well mulched area of the garden since I won’t have time to grow crops that need more attention. I’m thinking however that an electric fence around the garden is going to be a good idea.
Do you grow winter squash in your garden?Filed under Around the Garden, Edible, harvest, Squash | Comments (32)
Very early this spring, I direct sowed some onion seed in the low tunnel. I added a label that said “bunching onions”. Since I had seed for red bunching onions, I wasn’t surprised when they came up with red stems. Then, they started to bulb a little, not exactly what I thought was going to happen.
Evidently, these were bulbing onions and not bunching onions. I don’t know if I planted the wrong packet of seed, or if the seed packet was mislabeled. It doesn’t really matter, I can use these onions as pearl onions or I could save them and use them as sets for next year. I don’t usually grow onions from sets because they have a tendency to flower and I don’t find that they store as well.
Of course pearl onions would be nice as well, I was thinking I might pickle them if I chose to use them in that way. Peeling all those onions will be a chore though, not something I’m looking forward to.
Would you save these and plant them or enjoy them as pearl onions?Filed under Around the Garden, Edible, harvest, Onions | Comments (15)
I’m a lover of onions and can never seem to grow enough of them. Over the past couple years, I’ve been augmenting my bulb onions with other alliums (read my post about alternative alliums here). Even so, I always run out of onions and other alliums and end up buying a few at the farmers market. This year might be the first year I don’t have to.
The main crop of storage onions was harvested last week, here’s a look at what I have to squirrel away in the larder. They’re drying in the upstairs of our garage where it’s nice & warm. It’s quite impressive I must say, I’ve never had enough space to grow this many onions. If you can believe it, this is only 3/4 of my crop, there are some still growing in the garden to be harvested in a few weeks.
The main varieties I grew were: Copra, Australian Brown, Sedona, Cortland, and Redwing. I had seeds for Ailsa Craig, but somehow they didn’t get started, I guess the seed packet got lost in the shuffle. I also started seed for a red torpedo onion, which never germinated.
I already have a long row of leeks in the garden for next spring and three different kinds of bunching onions as well. The perennial leek bulbs will be planted soon, along with the potato onions and shallots as well. Little by little, I’m achieving allium independence – which is a beautiful thing if you consume as many alliums as we do. This large crop of onions will save me a good deal on groceries, looks like I can buy more of my favorite chocolate (which happens to be Taza).
Do you grow alliums in your garden? How many different kinds do you grow?Filed under Around the Garden, Edible, harvest, Onions | Comments (29)
Yesterday, Mr Chiots and I picked sour cherries at my mom’s house. She planted new trees a few years ago after her old one in the back blew over in a storm.
We picked most of them, totaling about a pound. I whipped up a batch of my grandma’s famous pie crust and made a slab pie.
Mr Chiots happily enjoyed a slice with ice cream last night for a snack. Sour cherries are one of my most favorite fruit, hopefully next year we’ll be adding a few trees to our garden.
What’s your favorite fruit?Filed under harvest | Comments (13)
When I was harvesting my garlic earlier this week I got a bonus harvest: potatoes.
Last year the area where the garlic was planted was used to grow a crop of potatoes. Invariably a few of the tiny potatoes hide in the soil, overwinter, and grow into small potato plants. They never produce heavy yield of potatoes, but you’ll find one or two small potatoes when you pull up the plant.
I ended up with a small potato harvest along with my garlic harvest. Since I happened to making a big pot of beef stew that day, I scrubbed them up and threw them in the pot. I’m always happy for an unexpected harvest of things I didn’t plant!
Do you ever have volunteer potatoes?Filed under harvest | Comments (18)