Looking back on the last couple of weeks, I’ve  come to see this part of the season as a major pivot point in my gardening year.  Two major crop groups have experienced season ending harvests.  In the legume family, we harvested and pulled the last of the peas.  In their place, we planted beans, one row of French Green Beans (Haricot Vert) to enjoy fresh and four rows of beans for drying.

The other major plant group to experience this transition were the root crops, specifically, Allium crops such as garlic, shallots and onions.  This process is still taking place, one variety at a time.  First, it was the garlic harvest.  Then, the Walla Walla onions.  This week I harvested the shallots.   The Red Onions are starting to exhibit their readiness for harvest.  In another week or two, the yellow storage onions will need to be harvested.  I’m feeling lucky that these harvests are about a week apart.

Harvesting the Shallots

This week I pulled out all of the shallots and left them out to cure.  We grow them because our daughter-in-law is allergic to onions.  Shallots don’t seem to bother her at all, so we try to have some on hand.  We are planning to visit Lauren, Justin and Vivienne soon, so I will bring them a nice bag of organically grown shallots.

SHALLOTS CURING IN THE SUN

SHALLOTS CURING IN THE SUN

 

Starting Leaf Crop Seeds for Fall Harvest

When  I first started gardening, I would start seeds at the beginning of the season and that was it.  Now, it seems that I’m always starting something, either in the ground or in soil blocks.  The technical word for what I do now is “succession planting”.  Every year my goal has been to extend the season as long as possible.  This week, I started lettuce, cabbage, kale, frisee and bulb fennel seeds in soil blocks.  I moved the tray indoors where I have more control over the environment, especially heat.

A TRAY OF SOIL BLOCKS FEATURING  LEAF CROPS FOR FALL HARVEST

A TRAY OF SOIL BLOCKS FEATURING LEAF CROPS FOR FALL HARVEST

Starting The Fall Carrots in the old Garlic Patch

Now that the garlic has been harvested, there is a large void in the garden.  We can’t have that, right?  I planted carrots and golden beets in that space.  Standard operating procedure these days is to use pelleted seeds.  They are so much easier to handle, so planting goes much faster; my ancient legs appreciate that.  Seeds are planted 1″ apart in rows 12″ apart.

PELLETED CARROT SEEDS VERSUS REGULAR CARROT SEEDS

PELLETED CARROT SEEDS VERSUS REGULAR CARROT SEEDS

HERE IS MY CARROT PLANTING RIG:  A TAPE MEASURE EXTENDED THE LENGTH OF THE BED, MY TRUSTY SHEETROCK SQUARE, MY PLANTING BOARD USED TO MAKE THE PLANTING FURROW, A CONTAINER TO HOLD THE SEEDS AND A PAIR OF TWEEZERS TO  HANDLE THE SEEDS

HERE IS MY CARROT PLANTING RIG: A TAPE MEASURE EXTENDED THE LENGTH OF THE BED, MY TRUSTY SHEETROCK SQUARE, MY PLANTING BOARD USED TO MAKE THE PLANTING FURROW, A CONTAINER TO HOLD THE SEEDS AND A PAIR OF TWEEZERS TO HANDLE THE SEEDS

Harvesting – What It’s All About

When it comes to food, fresh is best.  That’s why I garden.  I love to eat good food, simply prepared, enjoyed fresh.  Here, in pictures, is what we are currently eating:

A COMBINATION OF ALL STAR MIX AND SUMMER MIX MESCLUN

A COMBINATION OF ALL STAR MIX AND SUMMER MIX MESCLUN

I’VE BEEN STARTING MY DAY WITH A WALK OUT TO THE RASPBERRY PATCH TO GATHER ENOUGH BERRIES TO ADD TO MY YOGURT

A TYPICAL DAILY HARVEST FEATURING BROWN RUSSIAN CUKES, BUSH MASTER CUKES, YELLOW ZUCCHINI AND ITALIAN EGGPLANT,

A TYPICAL DAILY HARVEST FEATURING BROWN RUSSIAN CUKES, BUSH MASTER CUKES, YELLOW ZUCCHINI AND ITALIAN EGGPLANT,

HARICOT VERT

ONE OF OUR FAVORITE VEGETABLES IS FRENCH GREEN BEANS, ALSO KNOWN AS “HARICOT VERT”

WALLA WALLA ONIONS CLEANED UP AND READY FOR THE PANTRY.  WE LOVE THIS SWEET WHITE ONION IN SALADS, ON BURGERS, AND WITH CUKES FOR A SIMPLE SALAD

WALLA WALLA ONIONS CLEANED UP AND READY FOR THE PANTRY. WE LOVE THIS SWEET WHITE ONION IN SALADS, AND ESPECIALLY ON BURGERS

A MIX OF FRUIT CROPS HARVESTED IN THE 4TH WEEK OF JULY

PLUM TOMATOES, EGGPLANT, ZUCCHINI, CUKES, GREEN ZEBRA TOMATO, SWEET RED PEPPER, JALAPENO PEPPERS AND FELICITY MILD PEPPERS

AMISH GOLD TOMATO

THE HEIRLOOM TOMATOES ARE JUST STARTING TO RIPEN. THIS IS OUR FIRST “AMISH GOLD”

BLACKBERRIES

GROWING ON THE EDGE OF OUR PROPERTY, WILD BLACKBERRIES ARE AT THEIR PEAK

OH MY!  THE SECOND PLANTING OF BROCCOLI IS READY TO PICK

OH MY! THE SECOND PLANTING BROCCOLI IS READY TO HARVEST.

This post is making me hungry.  Here’s hoping that your garden is doing well.  I would love to hear from you.  How’s your garden doing?

All the best,
Greg Garnache