Sunday, August 24, 2014

Apples, garlic, tomatoes and potatoes

It has been a busy weekend, split between the bike, the garden and the kitchen. I finished processing the apples we picked last week. 

Most are awaiting cidering (this week, I think) and I turned the last five gallons into 10 litres of apple sauce. We're off to pick another tree tonight so I expect to be back at the stove tomorrow.

I pulled up the last of the peas (drying them for soups) as well as the hard-necked garlic. I got a number of really nice-sized bulbs plus some smaller ones. The thing about the small cloves is that home-grown garlic has so much more flavour than store-bought that tiny cloves are all you need.

The tomato onslaught continues. Between salads and giving some away, we've manage to stay on top of the cherry tomatoes.

The issue is soon going to be the eating and canning tomatoes, which are just starting to ripen.

We're undergoing neighbourhood revitalization (new curbs, sidewalks and roads). This is exciting but some of the design choices of the crews are interesting. This stretch has a challenging s-curve!

Out front our place, I pulled another row of potatoes. These were Russian blues (the empty row right in front of the sunflowers and corn) and turned out well. I got 5 gallons in 12 feet of row. Not bad given this was nasty clay that was underneath a tree last year.

I selected the best for next year's see and also put a few in the basement for storage. The rest are dinner over the next few weeks.There isn't enough time to get a cover crop on before the frost so I will just let the potatoes tops I dug in decompose and will then plant garlic here for next year.

The empty row in front has been planted with buckwheat. These are up about four inches. This will be squash next year (with room for the vines to crawl among the irises). I am hopeful the city will make it down out street with new sidewalks before the snow flies.


  1. Unfortunately, Athabasca had frost the last three days, and even though I covered the garden, the cucumbers, zucchini, and pumpkins did not survive terribly well. So, I spent most of Sunday taking what I could out of the garden - some cucumbers and zucchini are very small ,and the pumpkins are a complete write off.
    I now have several bags of lettuce to give away (I planted far too much), and my son and I pickled most of the cucumbers and turnips. My evenings this week will be spent processing beans, peas, and whatever else I can store away before my (obviously poorly timed) vacation to Montreal next week :)

  2. Sorry to hear about the early frost; that is the pits. I know some gardeners in Athabasca use hoop row covers to extend the growing season a bit--but a price investment and not that easy to do with vining plants anyhow. I'm often pretty relieved when the frost finally kills stuff but late August is too soon!

  3. Looks awesome, Bob! You have plenty of time to put a fall rye in as a cover crop. It's spectacular for soil building - turn it over in spring as soon as the soil can be worked. The thick mess of roots decomposes beautifully and it creates a lot of soil. It's not difficult to deal with in Spring (as I had feared). It has really boosted fertility here in an area which had horrid, clayey, compacted soil. I'm hooked!

    1. Thanks. I went and got some fall rye at lunch and plunked it in a couple of the nastier beds at the back. Thanks for the tip! Now back to apple saucing (shudder)!