Monday, August 29, 2016
Harvest Monday 29 August 2016
I had a few random pickings from the garden last week, including the first Jimmy Nardello pepper. I continue to bring in the tomatoes as soon as they color a bit to save them from the birds. My mother-in-law had a suggestion for the birds. She used to hang red Christmas ornaments in the vines. The birds peck on the hard red ball and get frustrated. They eventually leave the tomatoes alone. Haven't tried it yet.
The Black Beauty tomatoes are starting to ripen on the counter and we have had a few. They are indeed like the Indigo series of tomatoes, where they turn black on areas of the skin exposed to sunlight and are green elsewhere. The green sections ripen to a red color. The tomatoes are tasty but not up to the hyperbole of the Baker Creek catalog. I am hoping to get one riper than this to taste but a lot of them are rotting from bird pecks so they have to be eaten sooner.
I cleaned up and weighed the Red Wing onions that were drying on the back porch. It was a good crop and I got 27 storable onions weighing 5 pounds (2.3 kg.). Largest was a half pound.These store quite well, for at least 10 months or longer.
Unfortunately, a significant number of onions (10 onions weighing 2 pounds, about a kilo) had what looked like soft, flat spots on them. If you press on the spot it seems hard, but I kept these separate from the storage onions and will use them first.
In the garden I did get peas and spinach planted for the fall. The beds were bone dry down to the bottom so I had to re-hydrate the soil. It took 12 gallons of water to moisten 6 square feet of one bed where I put the snap peas and spinach. Unfortunately the drought continues and no rain is forecast for this week, so continuous watering of the seed beds is going to be necessary to get anything to germinate. At least the temperatures are more moderate, in the mid 80s F.
Sunday we went to the (third annual) Boston Fermentation Festival held at the Boston Public Market. I was surprised fermentation was popular enough that there was such an event. There is even a Berkshire Festival in Great Barrington in September but we will be at the MDI Garlic Festival. If you find one in your area and are interested in fermentation, they are worth attending. They have presentations and workshops. Interesting were the "mobs", where at various times and places they would set up a table with bowls and chopped vegetables and invite people to make their own jar of kraut or kimchi. And really nice, they had a starter sharing table where people would freely share their extra starters, like kombucha starter or sourdough starter. If you search for "fermentation festival" you will find events all over the country, and maybe one near you.
That's what happened in my garden last week. To see what gardeners around the world are doing, visit Dave at Our Happy Acres, our host for Harvest Monday.