Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Fruitful abundance: update on the 2023 garden



The photo above shows a few of the many apples that we harvested this summer. On behalf of our fruit trees, tomatoes, and peppers, I hereby proclaim 2023 as the Year of Fruit. Here is a look at the 2023 garden harvest so far.


Most of the spring crops did well enough. I planted the carrot and beet seeds too thinly and so I didn’t get a lot of roots, but the roots I got sized up well. The cabbages suffered from more caterpillar damage than in past years, but none of the cabbages rotted before harvest. Fortunately the bok choy matured before the caterpillars had time to eat it. I got good lettuces, until a rabbit figured out how to get into the garden to eat the rest of them.


The real disappointment was the potato crop. I planted the usual 25 pieces, from which I have gotten 20 to 25 plants most years. But this year I only got 6 plants. We’ll miss potato-leek soup made from our own leeks and potatoes, as we’ve already eaten the potatoes that those 6 plants produced. We still have leeks to harvest, but we’ll have to buy potatoes to make soup with them.


In my February 2023 post, I discussed my experiment on waiting to plant all the potato onions until early March. As it turned out, the yield was no better from March planting versus the usual early November planting, even though more plants survived. This year I’m going to plant the onions a little earlier, in the middle of this month, to see if that helps them to survive the winter better.


I planted the summer crops a little earlier than usual, especially the pole beans. We enjoyed many weeks of bean dishes during the summer and just ate the last of the beans! 


A tree frog found a home in and near our garden shed this summer


The tomatoes and the ‘Italian Frying’ peppers were very productive. Then the warmer than normal September weather and late rain led to a new crop of peppers that I just harvested, over 4 pounds!


Whatever else failed in the garden, the apples, pawpaws, and persimmons have more than made up for them. The apple trees out-produced the squirrels this year. Especially the ‘Eddie April’ tree, whose apples, shown above, are yellow with a red wash. I harvested about 45 pounds of them!


Pawpaws were as productive as last year. I harvested about 60 pounds, until the freezer was full. Our ‘Early Golden’ persimmon tree had its best year ever, about 16 pounds so far (that’s a lot of persimmons!), with most of them in the freezer to keep us eating our own fruit until well into 2024.


For once I actually thinned the autumn root crops, and it shows. I’ve already harvested some large turnips, with more of them to come. There will be daikon radishes as well. But some critter ate what little kale germinated.


That’s it for now. Next time I plan on sharing the latest info on the soil re-mineralization effort. Till then, the best to all of you!