Monday, September 19, 2016

Harvest Monday 19 September 2016

I missed Harvest Monday last week because we spent a week in a cabin on Somes Sound on Mount Desert Island, Maine, doing strictly non-gardening tasks, like watching the sunset from Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park.

Or a little before the sun set, we watched the moon rise over the fog bank on Frenchman Bay from the other side of Cadillac. A storm front went through the day before and it was very cold and windy up there, so not a lot of flatlanders were around to spoil the picture.

The week we were there, the annual open house for Bass Harbor light was held and we got to climb the lighthouse. This is a shot of Bass Harbor Head and the approach to Somes Sound on the left. The reflections are from the glass windows in the lighthouse, and you can see the light itself reflected as two vertical red lines on the right of center. This was a significant view for me because five weeks before, the sailboat in the picture would have been the Schooner Heritage with us on board, sailing into Southwest Harbor to spend the night before the Centennial Parade of Sail.

This is the view of the lighthouse from the Schooner Heritage in August as we head into the Sound to find an anchorage for the night.

This is the view of Somes Sound from our campground. This is the only fjord in North America, carved by glaciers from the massive granite domes that formed Mount Desert Island. Fjords are mountains down to the sea, and you can see the mountain ridge across the sound, with Sargent Mountain to the left and Penobscot to the right. You do not see the hill behind me, which is riddled with old granite quarries, nor the mountains to my right. This beach-like area was actually a wharf where schooners were loaded with huge granite blocks that were shipped all over the eastern US. There is a boat yard to the right where five of the schooners rafted up for the evening after the parade, sort of a re-creation of what the wharf might have looked like 100 years ago.

It was nice being far away from the garden and the continuing heat, drought, bugs, varmints and disease (which seems to sum up the gardening season this year). But I did go to the MDI Garlic Festival, looking for a softneck garlic to add to my collection. This is northern Maine, so the softneck varieties were extremely limited. I finally purchased the Transylvanian garlic bulbs shown above from Redbird Farm. Transylvanian garlic is an artichoke type with huge cloves and is obviously the garlic of choice to ward off vampires, given its origin in the Transylvanian mountains. It is also the name of a Romanian movie about a gypsy boy of the Onion clan who runs off to the city to work and earn money to help his older brother raise a dowry so he can marry the daughter of the rich head of the Garlic clan (not kidding). A garlic variety all about vampires and love has to be a good one to plant.

Before we left for the trip, I made a pass through the garden and harvested this basket of produce. The peppers are an Hungarian Paprika and a Super Shepherd. The paprika peppers are now setting a second flush of fruit but I don't know if they will have a chance to ripen.

The Lemon Drop pepper plants now have peppers on them and I hope a few get to ripen before we get really cold weather. The plants look very healthy here, but were looking a little sad when I got back because they did not get watered for a week.

When I got back, another pass through the garden showed the Jimmy Nardello peppers had ripened. The plants look healthy and ready to produce more, but we are rapidly running out of summer. Usually we start getting rain in the fall, but in fact the drought has increased and over half the state and parts of southern New Hampshire are in extreme drought conditions.

There were some larger tomatoes on the vines that were not attacked by the birds, including my second and final Sunkist tomato. The four pink tomatoes on the left are Rose de Berne, and there are two Mortgage Lifters.

And another large basket of cherry tomatoes. The pink ones upper right are Sweet Treats, a really great tomato, very productive and good tasting. Then Juliet, another great tomato year after year. And a few Black Cherry and Bing tomatoes.

A lot of the garden is done. The squash plants are dead, as well as some of the tomatoes. The caterpillars got into the brassicas because I have not sprayed for a while. The caterpillars seem to come on really strong at the end of the season, just when I am getting a little tired of the usual routine. Future harvests will mostly be cherry tomatoes and peppers. I am eyeing some nice Ancho Poblano peppers on the bushes and will soon have enough for a batch of chiles rellenos. I was hoping to get some at the XYZ restaurant in Southwest Harbor, but found out too late they were only open weekends in September.

That is all that happened in my garden the past two weeks. To see what other gardeners around the world are doing, visit Dave at Our Happy Acres, our host for Harvest Monday.


  1. Looks like a super trip to MDI. It cracked me up to read "flatlanders." I've been called that, as if New Hampshire has any difference in topography than Maine. You came home to some nice harvests despite the challenges of the year.

  2. Just substitute smoke for heat and I've had an identical summer. That week away looks like it was fabulous. What a beautiful place. The air looks so refreshingly clean.

    Nice harvests in spite of your garden travails. Your pepper plants look decidedly healthier than mine.

  3. The colours of your harvest are amazing.

  4. It brought back fond memories reading about your trip to Maine. I went there with my parents as a teenager. My wife and I are planning a trip to the NE next fall but I don't know if we will make it to ME or not. It looks like you had some nice weather for the trip. I hope your weather at home lets some more peppers ripen too!

  5. Looks like you had a wonderful trip - those are some beautiful views! And great harvests, especially considering the drought.

    So I've just taken the netting off of my kale as I was thinking that our first frost is will likely be in 3 weeks or so and I'm tired of dealing with it. We'll see how that goes and whether I get any damage this late in the season. Loved all the garlicy details in this post btw :)

  6. With all the trials and tribulations in your garden, you needed that holiday! Actually, despite the problems, you have got some nice peppers and tomatoes. I have some "Aji Limon" chillis, which are the same as your Lemon Drop. They are really good - probably my favourite chilli.

  7. "The continuing heat, drought, bugs, varmints and disease (which seems to sum up the gardening season this year)" I second this!!!
    Your trip to Maine looks amazing. I would love to venture up there, especially during the summer!

  8. A gypsy boy of the ONION clan!? I love it!

    Oh, I hope your peppers get to ripen, that plant has so much potential given enough time.

  9. We had very similar gardening season this year, wondering what kind of winter is in store?????
    Beautiful photos from your trip visited Acadia National Park few years ago and would love to return some day.


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