Monday, October 8, 2012

Frosts and Freezes

Over the weekend we had our first real major frost, followed by a couple of nights where it was below freezing. I know I keep promising to talk about that patch of dirt out front, but the frost gets first pick since it is a wake up call.

Friday night it only frosted, so we went out and put sheets and tarps on some of the plants. It worked quite well actually, which was good since Saturday was the BIG FINAL HARVEST. 

I was fortunate enough that this big harvest came when we were having our family over for the weekend. THANK YOU to the 6 of you who risked the garden. I know I couldn't have pulled this off with out you. For those of you who weren't here, it took 8 people plus a Pooka 45 minutes to do the last harvest. This is what was brought in. As it was, we lost one of Pooka's Uncles into the tomato plants. At one point, all we could see was his knees and below. 

We harvested everything that might be hurt by cold, so all the peppers (which you don't see much of here since they are under other things, A TON of cucumbers (that whole bowl in the back plus half one of the tomato ones) and lots and lots of tomatoes. Yes, at one point we ran out of bowls and started using pots. At least one person said we might of been better off with a Trash bag, it would hold more.

The food was sorted out to cucumbers, peppers and broccoli, and then tomatoes, which were then sorted out to big and little, which were further sorted out to shades of green and red. Another big thank you goes out to the Aunts and Uncle that sat down with Daddy and I and played sort and bag the tomatoes. That took a bit of time, although I don't think anyone timed it.

What did we do with the green ones you ask. Well dear Aunt Pooka said that if we put them in brown grocery bags with apples, they should ripen so they can be canned. We are currently trying this. The apples went in the bags today, bags were acquired on a shopping trip on Saturday night.

Saturday during our big family BBQ, we had fresh veggies from Pooka's garden of cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, peppers and broccoli. We still had some food left over, but most went quite well. 

We did end up having enough cucumbers left over from our BBQ to can 3 quarts of dill pickles, make a good sized bowl of cucumber salad (from the ends and small cucumbers, nothing goes to waste), and 2 pints of crushed tomatoes. 

After the big harvest, we kinda let the weather at the plants. Last night it got well below freezing outside, and the cucumbers look the worst hit. They are fairly sad looking.

Frost and freezing
Maybe next weekend Daddy and I will go out and start tearing it out. The hope is the new bed out front will be ready and I can lay some of the plants there so we can use them to keep the top soil down (when they are held down by scrap wood) over the winter then till them into the beds come spring. But as of right now, it is a HUGE weight off my shoulders knowing that almost all the food is off the plants. We are pretty sure some tomatoes may still be in there (cherry tomatoes) but they are an offering to the gods and goddesses of Farming, Pookas, and Family. May next year the harvest be as bountiful and may we learn from our mistakes (like spray the pepper booster earlier in the spring, and spread the tomatoes out a bit more). 

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