Sunday, September 19, 2010

Harvest Time

We're having a cold, rainy Sunday here. Just what the farmers don't need! They have a heavy crop on the field, good prices on the market, and aren't able to harvest because of the inclement weather. It must be difficult for them to remain optimistic!

Jim and I whiled away many Sunday afternoons very pleasantly at the local library. There is a wide variety of magazines available, in addition to books and movies. But the library hours changed recently, and it is no longer open on Sunday or Monday. We do miss that opportunity to relax there!

We did quit a bit of harvesting from the garden this week. S and I dug potatoes, carrots, and some of the largest onions. Jim picked apples and tomatoes.

We grew Norland Red potatoes, and Russet Burbanks. If I find varieties I like, I tend to just stick with them. Jim is talking about being more involved in the garden next season, and I'm sure he'll want to try many more veggies than I stick with. So that will be interesting.

The Norland Reds turned out very well, but the Russet Burbanks suffered from too much water in the beginning, and produced very strangely shaped tubers, with all kinds of extra knobs on them. They also tend to have split centers. Too bad! We didn't grow very
many potatoes this year. I planted just 24 hills, twelve of each variety. So often we end up throwing out boxes of leftovers in the spring. Now maybe we'll run short.

Here are the ones that got split in the digging.
The Reds I cleaned up and made into oven fries, and the Russets I peeled and made mashed potatoes. The carrot was one that also split because of too much moisture.

This year I thinned the carrots vigorously, and although that meant fewer carrots, we did get really nice straight ones. Other years they've had the same trouble the potatoes did this year: all sorts of odd extensions. Jim put the carrots into a big barrel of sand, and they will keep very nicely that way in the cool storage building.

Here's the first bucket of Kerr apples. These are an "applecrab" so they are rather small. Our Kerr tree bears fruit every other year. I picked these Friday morning and got started washing, halving them, and cutting
out the stem and blossom ends. S. then
helped me pick the rest and prepare them, and loaned me her steam juicer. So I had two juicers going from 11:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. That worked really slick. And here's the end result of all that: 16 quarts and one pint of apple juice, all sealed to put away for the winter.

Harvest time is a lot of work, but there's also a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction in seeing the shelves lined with canned goods, and the freezers bulging with bags of veggies. We're ready for winter!

No comments:

Post a Comment