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So Long Peas…Hello Beets

July 20th, 2013

The winter garden seeding is in full swing.  I’ve been tearing out peas, broccoli and other spring crops and replacing them with turnips, beets, carrots and spinach.
pea vines 2
Of course the pigs are getting the exhausted pea vines, they have a great time searching for any pods remaining. The string from the trellis was saved and I’m using it to tie up my tomatoes.
pea vines 1
Hopefully the fall crops will do well, I’m hoping for a good harvest of root vegetables not only for us, but for all of our feathers, hooved and pawed creatures.

Are you replacing any spring crops with fall crops?

A Day in the Garden

October 18th, 2008

Yesterday I spent the day working outside in the gardens. It’s just the kind of day I like for working outside. Cool but sunny, perfect for working hard, you don’t get too hot. My fingers even got a bit frosty while picking all the green tomatoes.

I picked 36 pounds of green tomatoes. So what am I going to be doing with these? Some of them will be put on a shelf in the basement on some newspaper for ripening, the other green ones will be made into a batch of green tomato chutney. For now they’re covering our dining room table. All of the tomato vines went into one of my compost piles.

I also cleaned out the bed that had the potatoes in it to make room for garlic. I didn’t get quite as many potatoes as I had hoped, but I planted them a little late and I don’t think the soil is all that great. So next year they’ll be given a ton more compost. Next year I’m planning on planting some different kinds of potatoes, I’ll buy my big bag of winter potatoes from a local farm (this year I planted Kennebec potatoes)

Early this summer I ordered a garlic sampler from Gourmet Garlic Gardens. I would highly recommend ordering from them (just make sure you order early to get what you want). I ordered a spicy garlic lovers sampler for my zone. They sent the garlic out in mid-september with detailed instructions about planting. Bob even wrote thank you on my invoice, how’s that for customer service.

So how do you plant garlic? Well, first you separate the cloves and soak them overnight in a solution of 1 heaping Tablespoon of baking soda to one gallon of water. I soaked my 4 different kinds in different bowls to keep them separate.

After about 12-16 hours when the cloves are loose in their skins you immerse them in alcohol for 3-5 minutes, then you plant 6 inches apart (and 3 inches deep here in Ohio, 2 inches deep in the south, and 4 inches deep farther north).

I mulched mine with straw to keep them warmer this winter and hopefully next spring/summer I’ll have a bounty of delicious fresh garlic.

So what kinds of garlic did I plant?
German White: A Porcelain Garlic – very rich garlic flavor, rather hot pungency when raw, harvests mid-late season, stores 8-10 months
Killarney Red: A Rocambole Garlic – very rich garlic flavor, very hot pungency when raw, harvests early-mid season, stores 5-6 months
Chesnok Red: A Purple Strip Garlic – very rich garlic flavor, medium warm pungency when raw, harvests mid-season, stores 6-8 months
Georgia Fire: A Porcelain Garlic – very rich garlic flavor, very hot pungency when raw, harvests mid-late season, stores 8-10 months

It looks like I’ll have a great selection for storing & eating. I’m hoping they’ll last me all year. Any of you planting garlic this fall and what’s your favorite kind?

Reading & Watching

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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 moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.