green field or yard

The Fall Garden

It would seem that I’ve topped my month-late August garden update with a two month-late September and October garden update. For the purpose of journaling/record-keeping here is how we fared the last couple of months-

{Main Garden}

Farmstead Garden in the Fall Season{Early September}
Farmstead Garden in the Fall Season{Early October}
Farmstead Garden in the Fall Season{Mid-October}
Farmstead Garden in the Fall Season{Late October}
{Corn & Pumpkin}

Farmstead Garden in the Fall Season{Early September}
Farmstead Garden in the Fall Season{Late September}
Farmstead Garden in the Fall Season{Early October}
{Fall Garden #1}

Kale, Mangel Beets, Parisian Carrots, Purple Carrots, Parsnips, and unproductive leftover pumpkins

{Early September}
Farmstead Garden in the Fall Season{Late September}
Farmstead Garden in the Fall Season{Early October}
{Fall Garden #2}

Late Season Potatoes on the left, Lettuce on the right… when the potatoes came out, I put in Peacock Broccoli, cabbage, garlic, onions, & radishes.

Farmstead Garden in the Fall Season{Early September}
Farmstead Garden in the Fall Season{Late September}
Farmstead Garden in the Fall Season{Early October}
Farmstead Garden in the Fall SeasonA bushel of tomatoes.
Farmstead Garden in the Fall Season
I planted numerous varieties of tomatoes this year. Having found an heirloom fresh eating tomato I can’t do without last year (Brandywine), I was looking for a canning tomato this year that is prolific, flavorful, and trouble-free. We have a winner. San Marzano produced heavily on neat bushes, resisted blight the best, and were much more flavorful than Amish or Heinz.

Farmstead Garden in the Fall Season

Beautiful Cinnamon Basil Flowers
Farmstead Garden in the Fall SeasonA corner of the herb garden.
Farmstead Garden in the Fall SeasonOne of the few sunflower heads the gold finches didn’t steal first. They’re quick!
Farmstead Garden in the Fall Season
One part of the potato harvest… I had read that late season potatoes do better in containers and will produce larger yields than early or mid-season varieties. To test this we planted two late season seeds- Kennebec and Red Pontiac. Half were planted directly in the ground, the other half in an old 100 pound feed sack. By far the direct seeded potatoes blew the others out of the water in size and yield. Most of the ones in the sack were the size of chestnuts with about 3-4 large ones near the bottom. I would hesitate to try that again unless I wanted to see what filling it with well-rotted manure and compost would do, but unless necessity compels me, it seems like far too much trouble when I can just use the soil.

Farmstead Garden in the Fall Season

First frost came early this year… the 9th of October instead of the 13th.

Farmstead Garden in the Fall Season

Signaling the end of the beans. I pulled out one last harvest when we came home from vacation before they froze.
Farmstead Garden in the Fall Season
Our tomatoes, between being too closely planted this year and poorly pruned to check their growth managed to contract late blight in a drought year. Go figure. The rule this year was if it’s orange, pull it. If they can call them “vine ripened” with only 10% color at the grocery store, then mine definitely were still vine ripened. If I left them on any longer, they lost texture or became scabbed. Pretty much we didn’t eat outdoors this fall between the cats attacking us for our food and the tomatoes taking up the table space.

We had the best sweet potato yield to date. They’re still curing in the basement now, but I don’t see how Thanksgiving can really happen without a sweet potato pie, so I’m calling it then. I’m really looking forward to that!

Farmstead Garden in the Fall Season

The last of the pumpkins. It was starting to feel soft, so I actually baked it a couple days ago. That big guy gave us 8 pounds of pureed flesh to enjoy. So far we’ve had slow cooker pumpkin steel cut oats, pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin baked oatmeal, and I made a cheesecake that will be ready tomorrow. Gina’s cinnamon rolls will be up next. She’s a master of all things dough related and I fully expect to be wowed. I would seem to be on a sort of breakfast kick.

Farmstead Garden in the Fall Season

Putting the garden to bed.
Farmstead Garden in the Fall Season2nd generation Red Russian Kale- I harvested seed from last fall’s crop this spring.
Farmstead Garden in the Fall SeasonEating his kale straight from the plant- doesn’t get fresher than that does it?
Farmstead Garden in the Fall SeasonThe gates open in the fall and the gals are allowed to come in and search for goodies and contribute a bit of their own.
Farmstead Garden in the Fall SeasonNothstine dent corn harvest.
Farmstead Garden in the Fall Season
And a few of the best ears for seed.
Farmstead Garden in the Fall Season
FM-1 Blue Lake Pole Bean seeds. I finished the green ones off by simply placing the pan in the drawer under the oven for a week or so drying them out nicely. That is until Bekah got ahold of the shelled seed and thought it would be fun to drop them in a cup of water thereby destroying half the seed in a quick five minutes of being unsupervised.

Farmstead Garden in the Fall SeasonBroccoli planted in March is finally, finally trying to flower. I can’t help but notice that, even though this photo was taken days before the end of October, the cabbage worms are still determined to make their mark upon the plant. See him?

There all caught up. Feels good. Next time, I’ll be planning a winter garden to be able to enjoy a fresh harvest of coldy hardy vegetables.

Well now that the season is pretty much over for most of us, how did your garden’s fare?

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