Ian (remontoire) wrote in manitoba_garden,

2007 - now the harvest

Those of you that know me a bit will know that I can get excited about garlic. I broke the necks on all my garlic earlier this week and pulled it all and stowed it in the barn before the rain last night. I've never had as nice a garlic crop as I have this year. So much of it has big full bulbs. I must say that I managed to have it well tended to when the time was right. The ground had a good dose of nutrition in recent years and the drainage issues did not arise to threaten the spring start. The winter snow cover was all civil. The flower spikes got cut off in good time and hopefully the bulbs were pulled early enough to keep a healthy sheath of paper cover and cure up well enough to look pretty as well as taste sweet.

I don't have any images yet, but I will certainly be sure to post some later, especially if it cleans up to be more photogenic than it's leggings over the last few years. Split skins and ragged dirty covering isn't quite what I'm after. Pride is a sin right? :P

I'm not the main gardener here by any stretch, but I sure do take pleasure in the produce of the efforts there. It's the time of year when the maintenance of the plots takes a back seat to the harvest. The beans have come on strong this week. I've been spending mornings, every second day topping and tailing green and yellow beans. For some reason the yellow beans are having a banner year and the freezer will be filled well for the winter with string beans of both kinds.

The Saskatoon's, blue berries and strawberries are all passed into other forms, including dietary fibre. :D What a feast it was this year. Again I fall short on the picking, but I do so love my strawberry jam. It's not quite to raspberry standards, but I have to admit that the last couple of years of strawberry quality has surpassed that of even my beloved raspberries although not quite enough to supplant the number one jam position in my heart.

We got 1.4cm or rain last night, which is just about perfect. I got all the grass cut before it rained and the garlic safely put away dry. What a year for gardens! I hope others are enjoying the excellent growing year. Even the chickens are doing well this year. We should have a couple dozen meat birds of excellent quality again.

We'll even have peas this year I think. Normally, or what passes for normal here, the deer ravage all the tasty bits. Bonnie and I made a feast last Saturday night that included many big broad perfectly delicate beet greens. I can't remember the last time when we've been able to sample them before the deer. Manon has become our resident expert in deer deterrent technology. This year it's been showcased in multiple levels of clear mono filament fishing line and large aluminium pizza pans tied with light line to their centre and attached to re bar stakes. This makes them move at the slightest night breath of a breeze and clang handsomely against the metal re bar stakes. I love kids.

We've had new potatoes that were as sweet and welcome as can be imagined and we've been the brunt of several jokes that we're consistently short of zucchini. We have two plants and one produces yellow fruit and one the standard green. We have learnt to pick it when it's quite small and dense and enjoy it often with onions, chili powder, garlic and a bit of cheddar browned under the broiler. OMG, give it to me now! It sells well.

The tomatoes are coming on strongly. The green ones on the plants farthest along are not so green anymore and it won't be long before we are up to our eyeballs in red fruit. How fast the summer goes by!

The cukes should be ready to pick soon. They have been slow, or it seems that way. There are a few pumpkins set and the corn is tall and proud. It's such a heavy feeder though! I was a little behind on that this year and I don't think the corn will produce like it might have if I would have gotten some of the chicken coup manure out and dressed the rows a month ago. The corn got some industrial nitrogen that saved it, but that's never quite the same in my mind, but it got the job done for the most part.

I'm looking forward to the northerly flow of air today and hoping it brings with it a lower relative humidity. It's been great for the plants, but I'm feeling like I might become a mushroom any day now.
Green thumbs to you all - Ian
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