Introducing Pierre and his sidekicks.
Three weeks ago we harvested Pierre (a Musquee du Provence winter squash weighing in at 11 pounds) and two heirloom butternut type squashes. Since this harvest, we’ve had problems with partially grown winter squash detaching from the vine and shriveling (8 or so died this way). This has been a problem for us every year. We’ve come to the preliminary conclusion that the reason is too much rain. In June/July, we went 3 weeks without any rain at all and then the rainfall was moderate. It was during this time that the various winter squashes we’ve harvested matured. Since the end of that dry period, we’ve gotten lots of rain every week (normal for North Carolina). We think that the detaching problem is due to the rainfall. If anyone knows if “too much rain” causes this problem in winter squash, please leave a comment and let us know. Thanks!
We pulled up about 40% of the spring-seeded carrots a couple of weeks ago. We’ve got plenty of carrots!
This past weekend, we cleared away winter squash vines from some of the “lawn” areas since the vines weren’t producing anymore (we still have a few winter squash out there so there will hopefully be more picking next month) and we were getting tired of having to walk through them. The grass/weeds were quite tall since they hadn’t been mown in a couple of months. After we were done mowing, we saw that a young-ish box turtle had been resting in the tall grass. We were sick that we thought we had mowed over the turtle and killed it, but, lo-and-behold, the turtle was unscathed and walked away from the blades of death!
In other picking… We’ve been getting plenty of tomatoes this year (after last year’s awful tomato season) and have canned over 30 pints of tomato sauce. We have so much now that we’re even starting to give tomatoes away to friends and co-workers. It was also a bumper haricot vert year (almost 60 pints canned) with more still coming. We recently picked the first field peas (aka cowpeas, black eyed peas, or southern peas) and the first butter beans (aka lima beans). We also drastically cut the basil this past weekend and made pesto which we froze into portion sizes in muffin tins.
Last weekend we planted out the fall crops – cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, kales, and mustard. We also seeded lettuce and cilantro. The fall crops we direct seeded a couple of weeks ago (arugula, beets, radishes, turnips, and carrots) are all germinated and growing up. We’ve had a mild summer (for North Carolina) and until a couple of weeks ago, our spring-planted kales and mustards were still growing! We removed them as they were starting to look ragged and we needed the space for Fall crops.