Friday, October 2, 2009

End of Season Numbers

Since most everything in the garden has lately (or very nearly) given up the ghost, I’ve decided to go ahead and tally up my harvest totals for the spring and summer seasons. My numbers are very approximate being that I am far from perfect in the recordkeeping department, and taking into account kid and chicken pilferage…my totals are of the more or less variety.

Anyhoo, here we go-

Rhubarb – 5 lbs, 2 oz
Cilantro – 6 cups
Mints – 3 cups
Strawberries – 6 pints +/- (These have also just begun fruiting again, but these latest berries will be included on my Fall/Winter totals)
Shelling Peas – 3 cups +/-
Lettuce/Arugula – 7 cups +/- (Most went to seed very soon after planting.)
Kale – unrecorded – but still producing
Wild, foraged cherries – 7 lbs, 5 oz
Basil – 3 cups +/-
Baby Yukon Gold Potatoes – 2 lbs, 11 oz
Wild Foraged Berries (Huckleberries, Salmonberries, Trailing Blackberries) – 1 lb, 4 oz
Zucchini – 24 lbs, 10oz
Blueberries – 1 lb, 10 oz
Raspberries – 3 oz (this was a really bad year for my raspberries)
Delicata Squash – 11 lbs, 8 oz
Vidalia Onions – 8 oz (This is my second year of utterly pathetic onions. I think I’m done with them.)
Hazelnuts – 1 lb, 2 oz
Wild Himalayan Blackberries – 4 lbs, 8 oz
Concord Grapes – 51+ lbs!!!
Cantaloupe – 12 oz (This was our first try. They were tiny, but SO good!)
Tomatoes by type-
Slicing – 32 lbs, 9 oz
Cooking – 30 lbs, 14 oz
Tomatillos – 9 lbs, 8 oz

For a grand total of – 172+ lbs grown and 13+ lbs foraged. These totals don’t include our very modest seafood take for this year, two pink salmon, five red rock crab, plus the odd trout. This being my first year or recordkeeping in detail, I don’t really have anything to compare these numbers to. However, I am certain that this is the single best year that I’ve had for both tomatoes and grapes, both of which went bonkers. Besides being the first year that we have kept detailed records of our garden’s yield, this year’s garden was also a learning experience in that we tried quite a few new crops, used primarily our own compost as soil/fertilizer, and began chicken keeping. We’ve learned at least as much about what doesn’t work in our garden as we’ve learned what does. For instance, tomatoes and squash are obvious shoo-ins for next year’s garden, whereas onions and brussel sprouts will not be returning, due to their disappointing yields.

As a continuation of this year’s experiments, I have, for the first time, planted a few late summer crops for a Fall/Winter harvest, including carrots, arugula, cilantro and snap peas. So, God and weather willing, we will have some fresh veggies and greens to brighten out days in the depths of winter.

I will continue to keep records of my slowly trickling-in fruits and veggies, because my inner Geek compels me to do so, but for all intents and purposes, I consider the garden wrapped up for the year, and not a moment too soon – I’m whooped. ;-)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Attack of the Fruit Flies

One of the few downsides to having a nearly nonstop stream of fresh fruits and vegetables in your kitchen is the appearance of the very persistent fruit fly. Try as I might to take the compost out daily, the fruit flies always seem to find a way to hang on. Our recently adopted hobby of winemaking has not helped. I see fruit flies buzzing around the airlocks on our jugs of wine, presumably drowning their sorrow over their inability to reach the sweet, sweet wine itself, and instead huffing up the powerful fermentation gasses that are regularly belched out via the airlock.

In essence, our kitchen is now an extremely popular fruit fly singles bar.

I have tried good old fashioned fly paper, with some success, and gave one of these traps a whirl, with decent results, but the surest way to catch them still seems to be leaving my cup of coffee unattended for 5 minutes. I tip my cup up to take a drink, and if I'm lucky, notice that I have a passenger in my coffee just in time to abort the sip. If I didn't already have it in for these guys, that'd do it. Not cool, flies, not cool.