Belle’s 2013 Garden and Harvest Nearing Its End.

IMG_1783IMG_1776IMG_1772IMG_1774I find it hard to believe that Winter is right around the corner but when looking at the Garden, obvious signs abound everywhere; falling temps., color changes, leaves falling and the last harvest of squash, walnuts, pecans and kiwis. The weather has been unusually mild for this time of year, which has allowed us with an extended harvest of some tomatoes, beets, peppers and greens. It is a bitter-sweet time of year in that we’re tired of all the work, but thrilled as well as thankful for all the bounty.

The Herbs are still going strong but the plants are starting to show the effects of the cooler temps. Have spent a little time gathering/harvesting herbs in preparation of the upcoming Thanksgiving dinner. Kiwis were harvested/picked today and I will admit that I was pleasantly surprised with this years’ bumper crop. I did gather the fruit in several baskets and placed in the garage which is obviously warmer than outside. Recommend placing old newspapers under the baskets, in case of drips etc. The less firm fruit was separated out, in order to not miss the perfect moment of the ripening process when ready to eat.  The Kiwis do require fairly regular rotation/assessment as like all fruit, ripening occurs at various rates.

All varieties of squash did well this year, my favorite being the Hubbard squash.. We also harvested Butternut, Acorn, Banana, Pumpkin and Spaghetti squash. There were a few I wasn’t familiar with as my husband typically introduces new varieties every year. The root crops, such as carrots, beets and rutabagas, will be left in the ground and harvested as needed. They do last longer when left in the soil vs being picked and refrigerated.

I do hope that we were able to inspire some of you with our gardening blog. Our posts have clearly demonstrated the reality of having a garden, including the upfront planning/preparation, soil preparation, ordering of climate appropriate seeds, planting of seeds, planting of seedlings into soil at appropriate times, maintenance of plants throughout the growing process and last of all, harvesting and food preservation. It is a seasonal project for the whole family, with lots of learning experiences, as well as quality controlled, bountiful rewards–a win-win story that anyone can undertake with merely a little effort

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