Friday, October 15, 2021

Late harvest

We finished up most of the harvesting last weekend, bringing in another 150lbs of potatoes.

The potatoes were plentiful.

They were also huge!

I had to call in reinforcements to finish the rest of the root vegetables in the back yard.

We still have carrots out front to pull this weekend.

The garlic also got planted in the back beds and leaves raked over everything.

Inside, Jenn baked a pie from scratch.

Our plan is to finish up with the carrots this weekend and put everything away for the year. No snow is forecast for awhile but the highs are only in the low teens. I also have a bit of bed prep to do--some more manure and bonemeal out front.

Monday, October 4, 2021


We've been busy harvesting and processing the results. We started with the last the basil. There was a ridiculous amount (below is one of the 12 plants we harvested, after a summer of heavy cutting) so we gave it away and Jess made soup and we had it fresh. The cupboard is already full of dried, pesto, and oils.

We also pulled in half the potatoes. We got five five gallon pails. Some are in the basement for storage and seed for next year. About half we've given away. Crazy potato harvest the year.

The potatoes were huge this year (likely the heat) and plentiful. One plant yielded 17 baseball- to softball- sized potatoes.

We also culled the peas for next year's seed.

I harvested about 10 feet of kidney beans (bush variety) and have been letting them dry (was a risk of frost so hauled them in). I think we have about four cups of beans.

The larger, later apple tree also got picked. We've made a tonne of apple rings in the dehydrator. The rest we've been eating fresh or baking with.

After some fiddling with the soil and nagging, Jess put in 40+ garlic cloves for next year. This year, I even marked out where we put them!

We've also started digging carrots (nantes and yellow stone).

This coming weekend, we'll likely pull in the rest of the potatoes an half of the carrots as snow is predicted for Thanksgiving Monday.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Early harvest

We have been pretty busy harvesting the past few weeks. The potato bed is still going great guns, which is a much longer growing season than usual.

We have harvested a few plants that have packed in it and they have yielded spuds of a good size.

I also harvested some beats that were growing in the lawn (seed must have failed out of my pocket)?

We're having some late-season luck with peppers, both hot and bell. I think the plants are finally setting fruit now that the scorching summer heat has passed.

The success story of the year continues to be basil. We've given away gallons of leaves and I've made everything I can think of, including infusing a bunch into some olive oil.

The early apple tree has even harvested. We had good crop and they were super tasty this year (with hint of peach), perhaps because of the heat?

Jess turned a bunch into rings and dried them. We still have the later tree to get to. They are just turning nice red colour.

We also have a bunch of drying beans, carrots, and potatoes to harvest. But they can wait a few weeks while we enjoy a nice autumn.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Fire pit upgrade

The last piece of the backyard that we needed to restore post-garage build was the fire pit. I did the prep this summer but waited until Jess returned from Forest Ranger camp to lay the stones.

She did a pretty good job (not her first time!) and we also fixed a few places in the front walk where ants caused a bit of a slump.

Amazingly, we had enough sand (I never buy enough sand) to lock everything in place.

The lawn needs some TLC but will eventually grow in. Otherwise, I'm pretty happy with this outcome.

We've had a few fires to burn up the hedge clippings from this spring and now pretty much have the area behind the garage cleaned up.

I'll have a separate post about some harvesting later this week.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Apples, carrots, basil, and beans

So much watering... this heat wave has meant I've been out almost every night this summer watering. Which had cut into my blogging time. Anyhow...

The tomatoes are starting to ripen. It hasn't been a good year for them in my yard (despite the heat). I think the crazy heat stunted blossoming (same issue with peppers). I also wonder if the soil where they are planted is played out and needs amendment. A few of the cherry tomatoes are doing alright, though.

Things are better in the carrot bed and I have started thinning. These are yellowstone carrots, which get quite big if they have the space. Not super sweet, but they store okay. We also got third harvest of peas off.

We had to pick the early apple tree early to reduce the load on the branches. There are still plenty of apples on the tree nut but it is looking happier with 50 lbs less weight.

The real story of the summer has been the basil plants, which continue to thrive. I trimmed the top third off this weekend and packed two ice cream pails.

This turned onto a litre and half of pesto, which I'm in the process of freezing in smaller pucks. I'm also going to try an infuse some oil with basil in a week or two (since we've dried and frozen and eaten a lot already).

The green beans are doing well and i'm freezing them. We also have some bush beans that are meant for drying (basically small kidney beans). These are really going hard so we should have a good crop.

Jessica is home from her summer job on Wednesday and I'm looking forward to some help laying brick for the fire pit and also cleaning up the back corner of the yard.


Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Berries, peas and scapes

We're back from a short vacation and berry season has begun. I thought the raspberries would be a washout this year because of the insane heat wave. The crop is diminished and the berries are smaller. But there are some to put on top of ice cream.

I've also been picking saskatoons and have frozen about gallon for baking in the winter.

We harvested most of the first sowing of peas this week. Some we ate fresh and the rest I blanched and froze. I did a second sowing late in the year (after the zucchini didn't come up) so we might get a second crop in mid-August. Fortunately, the heat has diminished some so I'm not spending an hour a day watering.

It was also garlic scape time. Sorry the picture is blurry. I gave a lot of these away to friends. We flash blanched about 20 and then blended them into some pesto were were making. This has been tasty in top of pasta. I may also make pizza with it.

The next few weeks look a little slower. I'm weeding a lot, trying to get he tomatoes to come around, and thinning out the carrots. Ive also been doing bunch of succession planting with lettuce and other short-season crops.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Drying herbs

The heat wave has continued this week (>+30C every day), with heavy daily waterings being necessary. The pansies in the front just finally gave up and the strawberry crop cooked on the vine. Other plants are really loving the eat, including the basil. I've never had basil this good!

I culled about 25% of each plant the other day and then hauled out the new food dehydrator. This all cooked down to a large spice jar, which should be almost a year's worth of basil. The next cutting will go into some pesto.

I also did a cull of the mint and oregano and dried enough for next year. I'm going to try dehydrating pineapple this afternoon.

The tomatoes are starting to show some fruit (I think this are Roma). No fruit on the pepper plants yet but they are growing really well. I may try them in a raised bed next year.

I've done some additional seeding (lettuce and such) where plants have either given up or been harvested. With last nights rain and milder temperatures, I'm hopeful this lettuce will last a bit longer before bolting. the garlic scapes are also almost read to harvest.