Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Big Haul at PAR Davies 7/3/13

Our colorful bounty
 Hi Everyone,


What a colorful display. Too bad I cut off the top of the photo with our big box of potatoes!

We had a bountiful day today and got to harvest a lot of great veggies. Workers included Susan, Cathy, Jamie, Greg, Lauren, Trisha, with newcomers Michelle Page, Peggy Griffith, Bari McDuffie, and myself. Welcome to the newcomers, we are glad to have you.

The first order of business was the harvest, which included cucumbers, green beans, squash, peppers (bell, serrano, jalapeño, shishito, banana), tomatoes, onions, eggplant, garlic, potatoes and basil…and a bouquet of zinnias were picked for the office at Hillwood.

One note of caution with the barn refrigerator. We need to be careful not to shove things way to the back because they tend to freeze. So some of the squash and tomatoes that were harvested Saturday were frozen : (     Greg made the temperature a little bit warmer, so with doing this and being careful where we place the produce in the fridge, I feel we will still be able to harvest on Saturday and keep in the fridge until Wednesday.

The last short row of potatoes were dug, and the voles actually left a few pounds for us. Then one of the potato towers was harvested. I wasn't expecting too much from it, but was pleasantly surprised. We ended up with a not too shabby total harvest of 14 lbs. of potatoes, not counting the potatoes harvested previously.

Greg and Bari digging into the potato tower
and then deciding to just dump it ...
... Russets and Yukon Golds tumbled out
Jamie set 10 traps for voles…mousetraps with peanut butter and oatmeal for bait. These were set by the holes and covered over with dark containers. I sure would like to see these critters gone so we can feel good about planting a big fall root crop.

Greg fertilized the squash, blackberries and pear trees with comfrey tea. Thanks Greg, I know it is a smelly job, but somebody has to do it. Susan gave all the container plants some fish fertilizer. The little Minnesota Midget Canteloupes look super with some as big as golf balls. I can't wait to try one. We have four containers of these and they are climbing all over the place. The Hugelkultur bed with the watermelon and regular sized cantaloupe is also covering the ground, with little melons starting to appear.

We got excited about the cucumbers!

Camilla F1 Hybrid cucumbers - about a foot long!
We have these and other varieties of cukes growing in tomato cages interplanted with bush green beans. These are the first ones ready. Several people were interested in the variety (Camilla F1 Hybrid.) I bought these pricey seeds ($6/pkg!!) for myself and shared a few with PAR. I will definitely get a package for PAR next year, since they are so prolific and pretty. They are just like the 'English' cucumbers you get all sealed up in a package at the store. They are costly but worth it, and doing just as well in my home garden. They are also parthenocarpic (self pollinating), as are both varieties of our zucchini (Cavilli and Partenon), with the Cavilli being very light green and Partenon dark green. I got these because I thought they would do better under the row cover. The Cavilli seems especially resistant to the vine borer. I got all of the above seeds online from Gourmet Seed.

We've started filling beds that have been emptied out with more bush and pole beans. Half of our empty space was planted, and next week we will finish out our succession bean planting.

Bean planting ladies
I need to report on our espalier pear trees. One tree is coming along well, but the other has had all but one limb knocked off. I don't know if more will sprout, but if we get no more limbs by next spring, we will have to dig it up and start over, because of the need for a pollinator.

Espaliered pear tree has reached the second level
Today was our first tomato harvest (not cherries). The plants look good, except for the Jet Star which had a lot of leaf damage from the early blight, but they are still putting out top growth and lots of tomatoes. At least the blight didn't take over the entire tomato crop, and there were no hornworms spotted today. I feel sure we will have a good many varieties to bring to the Tomato Tasting on the 18th…….be sure to let me know if you can help pick and set up.

Trish cleaned up the therapeutic herb bed, clearing out space for our comfrey to expand. Lauren checked out the 'Sweet Fall' squash bed for vine borers, and hopefully stopped what appeared to be several early sites. But the plants look very healthy and have little squash on them. Check out this link below that tells about this squash, which was a another gift from Julie Morgan from Seed Savers.

I've been forgetting to say many thanks to the guys who finished putting up the fencing. The bottom half of the fence was reinforced with strong fencing to keep the deer from kicking it in. Many thanks to Jamie, Greg and John….and thank you Bob H. for starting this project. We feel more secure now. And thank you Jamie for keeping our garden watered with the irrigation system. You are fast making yourself indispensable.

One last thing, Saturday workday is iffy at this point, with rain forecast. I will send out a notice late tomorrow or Friday as to what the plan is.


'Til later,

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