The usual harvest is ticking along nicely. We got lots of field peas and butter beans, and green beans and tomatoes and some cucumbers!, and peppers and tomatillos, and whatnot.
We filled in replanting in areas where seeds did not germinate, for stuff for the fall plantings.
After a month of no sign, suddenly voles have reappeared. We are attempting to squash them early this time.
We were concerned about the voles getting in amongst the potatoes, so we went ahead and harvested them. Overall, it was a failed experiment. The russets (which we had planted from commercial grocery store organic potatoes) only produced 2 potatoes out of 16 plants, so we had a net loss of 6 potatoes. The Yukon golds produced a nice little bucket of new potatoes, enough for a big meal, but none of them were much larger than my thumbs. They just didn’t make. Research into this, including at the NCSU labs, tells us that you’re not going to get potatoes from plants put in the ground after May 1st around here, though they differ on *why*.
I learned as a child that you plant your potatoes at the dark of the moon in March, and no other time. It is interesting to me that in 2010 we don’t have anything more than theories as to why this does work, but I believe it.
We got some volunteer tomatoes this week, and they’re in much better condition than the other tomato plants, since they haven’t been around as long.
We’re gonna have yet another eggplant this week, and we’re very happy with this continuing slow steady production.
I’m using up some of the continuing pepper harvest in making my “chili red” today. Also, I dried a couple sheets of cayenne and Serrano peppers, and ground them up into powder.
We ate THE APPLE, with a cheese and cracker plate. It was fabulous, and I was delighted to discover that it is a very similar apple to one of the types that used to grow on my grandfather’s farm that I never knew the name of.
Last night we made pesto out of this huge basket of basil. The recipe is attached to the recipe list on the main page, the big variations being using walnuts, and that we froze the pesto in muffin tins (one of the pictures there in the recipe looks like chunks of alfalfa-fed donkey droppings, I’m afraid, but there you go).
The butternut squash and melon plants continue to spread; the butternut now covers a depth of almost 4 rows, and has a great number of little butternuts on it, so we are cheering it on. If the raccoon doesn’t get it, we’re gonna harvest a moon & stars watermelon in the next day or so.
Peppers just keep on trucking, and I’m having fun with them. We pulled up the El Chaco pepper plants, they just never did anything this year, though last year we had a bumper crop. Who can say what motivates this kind of growth, or lack thereof. We have lots of anchos, bells, and those little Tabasco peppers that are so cute to look at, all growing upward toward the Sun.
The kaolin clay we sprayed does appear to be at least somewhat effective, though we want more testing to figure out how much.
Lastly, we don’t understand the lack of tomatillos. Lots of little paper lanterns, but few of them ever actually finish making. They seem to rot or something, any advice would be welcome.