Monday, October 24, 2011


There have been things going on,  but being busy with other things makes the fun time i spent writing take a backseat.

A quick grape gripe:

My Reliance grapes did fantastic this year. i allowed about 3 bunches to grow and they were looking great as they ripened.  Around Aug 28, when hurricane Irene was coming into my area,  they were just a hair away from perfect ripeness.  Around Aug 30th,  when i ventured out to pick them,  they were gone.  Completely gone.
I suspected squirrels. Or birds....  Anyway,  so all i got out of  Reliance was the few taster grapes that were yummy.

I suppose i should have expected to be raided, but i didn't expect 3 bunches to attract any attention...  now i know!

Marechal Foch also had 3 bunches that ripened. Nothing stole those. They were also delicious and i was able to pick a few at a time as i puttered around the yard. Now the rest of what is left are overripe and the wasps have found them.

Now i know i have 2 varieties of grapes that are delicious and i'll expect to defend them from raids next year.

First frost:

Our first frost was Oct 5 this year. Then a mild day and then another heavy one on the 7th.  Its really too bad,  we have had such mild weather since then,  the tomatoes would probably still be growing.  I would have tried covering them but the temps were expected to be so severe, covering would have only added a few degrees of protection- and would have come short.

I picked a nice basket of apples from the tree, plan is to make pie or apple sauce with them.  They aren't all wormy, but some are and the skins are speckled with something originating from bugs.  I stopped my spraying routine too early not knowing when the fruit would be ripening.  I probably could have done 2-3 more doses.

I also harvested my Oaxacan and Hopi Blue corn.  I peeled back the husks and saw beautifully colored kernels of green, blue, purple and speckled yellow.  I set it out on the porch of the screenhouse to dry.  By the next afternoon, the squirrels had found and danced off with the lot.  About 20 ears.....  oh well. *sigh*
I decided earlier this year that i won't be growing corn next year. It never produces much and something always happens to it anyway.

Oh, what else?

Well i got a pretty good harvest from the early butternut squash, despite the raging plague of squash bugs. The squash is smallish, but just the right size for a 4 person side veggie.

Did i mention the potatoes?

I dug up the rest the other day. I didn't really get much, but its ok.  They are smallish, maybe i'll go for a bigger variety next year.

Its almost time to dig up the Jerusalem artichokes.  The plants are huge and they flowered nicely this fall.  I should get a decent crop.

I'm hoping next year is more weed free.  The weeds really got away from me this summer. Much of my garden was wasted because of it.
I think gardening with my little one will be possible next summer.  While i was out pulling up the tomato cages, she stayed with me and didn't wander off too much.  She'll be 3 this winter and a few more months of maturity on her will help her be a better listener- i hope.  I'm also hoping she will be cooperative enough to allow me time to preserve some things.

Well the weather is definitely cooling off, its been in the 50-60 range for the last week.  We did have warmer days until then, it was a fairly mild stretch going for a while.  The week ahead forecast is calling for a little snow late Thursday night, no accumulation expected-- but it will be nice to see snow again.

Well, this entry took about a week to cobble together a little at a time.  I think i got everything covered for now!