Slim pickings from the garden this week while waiting for the fall crops to reach harvest stage. The weather was moderate with a lot of daytime sunshine and cool nights, with an occasional rain storm. The squash and cukes are kaput, except for the Tromboncino squash which is still trying to put out a few more fruit. My peppers are rebounding and I got a nice crop of the Aconcagua frying peppers. Meanwhile I have been clipping some of the herbs for drying before they get killed by a frost.
The week was brightened a little by the arrival of some of the seed garlic I ordered last month. I grew two varieties last year, German Extra Hardy and Red Chesnok, and they are safely stored in my basement now, with some bulbs reserved for seed stock this fall. We have been enjoying it and it is amazing how much better tasting fresh hard neck garlic is than the spongy bulbs in the supermarkets this late in the season. Some of the supermarket garlic is actually imported from China so you have to check carefully.
Since the experience growing garlic this year was so satisfying, I went looking for just one more variety, maybe Spanish Roja which I considered buying last year. I found it but along the way was intrigued by Viola Francese, a softneck garlic popular in southern France and Italy, so I bought some of that. Then searching for reviews of the Francese, I kept encountering rave reviews about Rosso di Sulmona, a hardneck garlic from the Sulmona area of Abruzzo. That variety is imported from Italy by Seeds of Italy, and fortunately for me they receive their stock late because of USDA inspections and fumigation, so I was still able to order it this late. And they ship very quickly.
Above is the Rosso di Sulmona, nice big bulbs with large cloves covered with a purple-striped skin. Seeds of Italy is very generous, throwing in some loose cloves with the four bulbs to make sure I got my half-pound of garlic.
This is the Viola Francese, my first softneck artichoke variety, so I hope it does well in my climate. I got it from Cook’s Garden, which I guess is now owned by Burpee’s since it came in a Burpee’s box from Warminster, PA. You can see a tinge of the violet color on the wrappers, but the cloves themselves are an orange-brown color. I’m still waiting for the Spanish Roja from High Mowing Seeds, so still something nice to expect in the mail.
That’s what is going on in my garden this week. See what other gardeners around the world are doing by heading over to Daphne’s Dandelions, our host for Harvest Monday.