Thursday, September 28, 2017

Autumn Memories

It has been one of the mildest Septembers in recent years.  Right now, it is 5:15pm and 23 degrees.  It looks as though the awful black flies/gnats that filled the air for the first three weeks of the month have either met their Maker or have moved on.  Thank goodness.  The quality of the light and the smell of the air today reminded me of the Fall afternoons Mom and I would take the truck to get water from the spring out of town, and family drives to the farmers markets in the Valley to stock up on fruit, squash, potatoes, apple cider, goodies, and decorative gourds.  Nice memories. :)

The last of our carrots were sliced and done in the dehydrator yesterday.  Hallelujah!  This morning, some cherry tomatoes and celery went in and should be dried by tomorrow.  Great to have on hand to make soups during the winter.

Heritage Mix beans, which includes Small White Navy, Green Hutterite, Swedish Brown, Purple Gnuttle Amish, and Mitla Black beans.  Originally purchased from Salt Spring Seeds several years ago.  They are described as early varieties that are great for soups.  Some of the varieties are definitely earlier than the others. Thankfully, I played it safe and put short bamboo stakes throughout the bed, as they all had runners!

Date sown:  May 29 (raised bed)
June 17 – Very good germination rate even though seeds were from 2013.
Most harvested between Sept 6-20.

Drying time - earliest to latest:
1) Swedish Brown (prolific, earliest)
2) Mitla Black (prolific, early)
3) Small White Navy (prolific, early.  Dried about the same time as the Mitla Black beans)
4) Purple Gnuttle Amish (pretty!)
5) Green Hutterite (quite late – most of the pods still firm/damp when I picked them in mid-September and several of the plants are still hanging to dry in the laundry room!)

Tiger Eye beans  - third year growing these.  Easy to grow, pretty to look at.

Painted Pony beans - second year growing these.  Prolific and early.  This year, though, I discovered that quite a number had sprouted in the pods due to the wet spell we had mid-month.

Cattle beans - second year growing these, if I recall correctly. Not the most exciting bean, but a very good producer and one of the earliest to dry, despite it's large size.

Pink Berkeley Tie Dye tomatoes

A few days ago, I brought some of the floating row cover inside, intending to fold it and box it for storage.  I plopped it on the floor, went into the kitchen to drop off some potatoes, and when I came back to fold the row cover, found this:

*The row cover is still there, being used regularly as a napping spot.*

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