Saturday, September 20, 2008

GAIA LUNA: Fall Harvest 08

Happy Autumnal Equinox, to those in the Northern Hemisphere.  It's a day to celebrate our creative harvest.

The picture above is the last big harvest from Gaia Luna: one spaghetti squash, half-a-dozen each sweet italian banana peppers and bell peppers (red and green), a few jalapeno peppers, several acorn squash, and an arm-load of under-sized delicata squash, all topped by a bunch of pink cosmos.

This is far more than I thought the garden would produce with so little water and weeding during the height of summer.  It falls far short of what I had envisioned last spring, but vastly exceeds my most desperate hopes during the many weeks I was confined to the house.

The only credit I can take for this harvest is in minimally preparing the soil, planting the seeds and erecting a fence to protect them from deer, all prior to the first weeks of June.  Everything else, quite literally, was done by the sun and the wind and the rain.  At the end of it all, I simply walked out with my clippers and gathered what the plants chose to supply.

Other things didn't go so well.

The zucchini, yellow crook-neck, and patty pan squash plants I'd grown from seed were stunted when I mistakenly pealed off their paper pots before planting, damaging their tiny new roots.  This and the lack of water yielded only a handful of summer squash.  This was a blessing in disguise.  They produced just the amount I could deal with.

I planted three kinds of cucumbers.  Because I couldn't get the rabbit fencing up, groundhogs and rabbits got into the garden and ate the growth tips off each.  Two varieties died from this and lack of water.  The third, the lemon cucumbers, produced prolifically enough for many salads plus a large jar of refrigerator dill pickles.

I planted tomatoes, too, but didn't get nets over them.  Bluejays and crows carried away each tomato before it had ripened.

A large net was thrown over the blueberry bushes, but it had unnoticed holes in it this year.I hadn't the strength to fix it.  Catbirds got in and ate all the blueberries.  There will be no frozen blueberries from the garden for my breakfast cereal this winter, no blueberry jam.  Very sad, but ...

There was another solution.  Once I was feeling better again I went to a pick-your-own orchard and brought home fruit to freeze and can.  I brought peaches, to eat fresh and preserve, home from vacation and from a local farm stand.  I made friends with someone who had more zucchini than she knew what to do with so I could make bread-and-butter pickles.

More soon about the meaning all this has communicated to me, in the world of gardening as metaphor.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:39 AM

    oh kay that bounty looks delicious !

    mary awgrad