This week we picked:
2 types of cowpeas and some butter beans.
Lettuce! from the porch box – we consider August lettuce to be a real accomplishment
Hot and sweet peppers: bell, jalapeno, habanero, cherry bomb, cayenne, serano
A few tomatoes (season nearly over)
2 small volunteer carrots that were crazy enough to grow in the summer
Green beans (another 4-5 pints worth)
2 barely ripe watermelons and 1 small charentais melon that detached from its mostly dead vine
3 small charentais melons (picked when we removed the dead vines)
a small eggplant (that was quite tasty)
3 more cucumbers from the round 2 vines
The “worm farm”. Yes, we harvested the worm farm for worm casting compost. It’s probably been about a year since we last did this. It’s not exactly a pleasant task since we have to move the rotting stuff to get down far enough to get stuff. We got 7 5-gallon buckets of compost, which is great! Then we spread it amongst various boxes.
Everything including the various fruit trees got a good spray of fish emulsion. We went lightly on the legumes since we’ve read that spraying too much will just stimulate foliage rather than fruiting the legumes.
By Tuesday afternoon we had pretty decent germination of radishes we planted last weekend in two porch containers.
One of the 3 watermelons turned out to be rotten when we touched it. So we harvested the other two, and they yielded 2 decent servings of a very tasty melon. The charentais melon vines are also dying, but the melons are really too small overall. The biggest one however smelled great, so we cut it open. Mostly seeds and stuff, but we got 4 bites of nice melon. We certainly have a lot to learn about successfully growing melons.
Other than the 3 long island cheese squash (which we roasted and then froze this week), our winter squash plants aren’t doing any much better than the melons. We may or may not just rip them all up this weekend. Some got removed already, but with no fruit forming it’s probably moot that we haven’t pulled them all up.
The eggplants have just been a big failure this year. We’ll definitely go back to covering up the box they’re in next year.
Of course the successes still outweigh the failures. The field peas, peppers, and green beans have been great – putting them up for winter is a multi-day process every week. Last night we sat and watched TV and shelled peas and strung green beans. The butter beans are flush with their next round of flowers. The round 2 summer squash have a gaggle of female flowers, and the cucumbers are actually being productive, which is a nice surprise. For a month now we’ve been getting a few raspberries every week – we can only hope that the production levels are this high next year when the stalks have much more growth. The fall broccoli and cauliflower and some of the cabbages grew a lot in the past week. But caterpillars remain a problem on them despite spraying BT last week. So on Saturday she donned gloves and went around and squished caterpillars and sprayed *again*. We’ve been hardening off our fall lettuce starts in the basement this week, and will plant them out tomorrow. It’s Labor Day, so temperatures will be cooler then – right? Right?
We need rain. The barrels are way down, nearly empty. Deer are starting to expand their predations in the neighborhood as plants lose their moisture (this is a regular pattern).