Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Making sense of the totals

Well, some more booty out of the Boone garden.
Black Krim tomato: 211g
Stupice tomato: 162 g
Green Zebra: 656 g
Amish Paste: 529 g
Hybrid: 244g
Moonglow: 317g
Eggplant: 191 g
Yellow squash: 477 g
Zucchini: 1.46 kg (This thing was literally the size of my arm, wrist to elbow)
cabbage: 296 g
Purple Green Beans: 41 g
Green Beans: 122 g

The squash and zucchini got grated up and the first 3 cups went into two loaves of tasty homemade zucchini bread. The rest of it got divided up into 3 cup servings and frozen for zucchini bread this winter.
I also tried my hand at a stew this weekend. I bought 1lb of beef and a handful of potatoes from the farmers market. Tossed in garden bounty: onion, green beans, garlic, herbs, carrots. It was VERY tasty.
I had a canning party Saturday. I sent out an open invitation to my friends, telling them what I was planning on canning and when I was planning on doing it. Two took me up on the offer. Brian and Mel got 7 pints of delicious salsa canned out of their garden. I got another 2 pints of my roasted tomato sauce canned.
I'm going to try and make a variety of the sauce tonight using my eggplants. Not sure if I'll go to the trouble of canning it. I might just eat on it for the rest of the week. :-)

So, making sense of totals. The idea with this blog and my garden journal was that when it came time to plan next years garden and order seeds, I could look at what performed well and choose appropriately.

So, starting from spring, and working towards fall, lets see if we can make sense of some of the jumble.
I planted Tango lettuce and Monoppa spinach in my cold frame in late March. They both did really well. I can definitely plant the cold frame thicker next year though, there was a lot of space wasted in it this year. Maybe instead of rows of seed, I can just evenly cover the frame in seed.
Outside the frame went the Forellenshuss (romaine) lettuce and 5 color swiss chard in early May. The Forell. did really well, but I'd like to see how it does with an earlier start in the cold frame. It did take a while to head up really well. The Swiss chard got eaten by birds I think. Maybe a scrap of row cover or something next year to protect the baby plants.

No more onion seed for me. That experiment failed. I got spindly looking sprouts that never got big enough to plant. The sets I bought from Earl May were healthy and vigorous and tasty. No contest there.

Carrots came up in early May. I planted Scarlet Nantes and was very happy with them. They are tasty, grew well and are keeping nicely in the fridge. I was told if I want something that will rootcellar over the winter I should look into a carrot that isn't harvested until fall. We'll see.

So far a rousing success. I harvested lots of seed pods. I'm still processing them though, it's rather tedious. Might plant some more next year. Might not. We'll see.

I started from seed a variety called Romanesco, it has been healthy and strong all year, but stubbornly refuses to head. Could be too wet and cold this year. I might give it one more year, but I think I will add another variety more suited for Northern planting. The varieties I planted from Earl May did alright. About half of them headed. Taste was so/so.

Did alright. They seemed to enjoy the cold wet weather at least. :-) I should have seed leftover so I will probably try them again. Every plant headed, but I think to do anything useful with them I"ll need more than the 2 or 3 I planted this year. Not sure if I"ll find the room for the 6-10 heads that would be more useful, but we'll see. I need to figure out ways to eat it besides coleslaw too. Some sort of kimchee maybe.

Well, I planted two types, and I planted them WAY too close together for starters. I thought it would be easier to tell them apart. Course, I saved seed, but I'm not even 100% sure I got the different types sorted totally correct. lol. But, I gave it a good try. The yeilds were wonderful on both. Both tasted delicious. No change probably, just replant the seed I saved and focus on seperating the different varities so I can harvest them better. I think I ate a lot of the pod peas as snow peas.

The Golden Zucchini has so far outperformed the Black Beauty. But, both were tasty and fairly prolific once they got started. I should still have seed leftover so I can see planting both again. They didn't ramble too badly, which was nice.

Crop failure on the Cucumber. Not sure if it was the flooding or what, but the little sprouts never got past the first few leaves. I think this is the second variety I've tried, and the second to fail. I might just be destined to not grow cucumbers. Possibly not going to bother planting any next year.

Crop failure. The vine stayed at 2 or 3 leaves for months and only now has a decent size to it. No flowers no fruit. Might not bother to replant next year.

Flooding took out all the corn. No verdicts on which of the 5 types is better. :-P I never got the Bloody Butcher corn to sprout at all. So that one might be a bad batch of seed. I can see myself trying one more year on corn, but this is the second year I have totally failed.

FLooding again to blame for this failure. Brian and Mel mentioned a squirrel cleaned them out of sunflower seeds before they got any. So if I do try again I will try to come up with a bag or somethign to keep the squirrels out of my seed.

I picked 3 of the 6 varieties to try again next year. Based on growth habits and harvest.
German Extra Hardy, Russian Giant and Chesnook Red. The other 3 were either generally malformed and/or small upon harvest.

Pathetic most adaquately describes my peppers. I think I just don't have the touch. I got maybe one or two scraggly peppers from 3 or 4 plants. Perhaps I'll just leave the peppers to the pros and Brian. :-)

I'll replant the Empress Green bean and the Royalty Purple Podded bean, but the Cherokee Black and the Red Runner Beans were not to my taste. The red Runner Beans are really pretty and fun to grow, so maybe just for fun they will get another try.

Clear winners seem to be Green Zebra, Stupice and Amish Paste with Moonglow following closely. Purple Cherokee and Striped Roman did as well as can be expected. They are always finicky, but tasty enough I might plant them again. Yellow Beams totally failed. Black Tula I haven't decided on. I only got 2 or 3 tomatoes off the 2 vines I had planted. Tasty enough, but hardly worth the space. With all the wet and cold, I'm loathe to judge too harshly, but space will be limited next year, so choices must be made. I can see taking garden space for 2 each of the first 4, but the PC and the SR will need to find homes in my container garden or something I think.

Well, there's the year in recap. The seasons almost over and I probably wont plant a fall garden, just cause I"ll be cover cropping and weeding heavily. Lots of tear down and setup too, getting the Boone garden reverted to sod and the Des Moines community plot under some sort of control in regards to the grass. Plus putting in veggie space around our rental house. So, no time for fall plantings.

Lets hope next year isn't quite so cold and wet. :-)

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