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Gail's lemonade stand (Store of Cool Stuff)
Cool Stuff
Sunday, 28 September 2008
Clearing of the garden - cherries, potatoes, carrots, chard, kale, collards
Topic: kale

We're going to have a frost any day now, and I'm leaving town soon for a couple of weeks, so it's time to harvest everything I can.  The Evans (Bali) cherry trees had a good fruit set this year, but they did not all ripen.  I've been picking the ripe fruit for a couple of weeks, but 2 days ago I picked every full sized cherry.  They are ripening on the counter in an open plastic bag, and I go through them each day and select out the ripe ones to eat.  I like them best fresh, but they're supposed to be pie cherries (they are tart).

I harvested 50 potatoes from a round bin about 3 feet across that I placed on my back deck.  The potatoes did better than usual, I believe, because I used fish pellets (Organic Alaska brand).  Potatoes seem to be hungry.  I have black beauty, peanut, and yukon gold.

The carrots that I grew from seed outside are small, three to six inches long.  A friend gave me some she started indoors, and they grew full size, but the ends were curled around because I didn't get them transplanted straight.   I grew a mix of colors.

It was a good year for Swiss chard, cool and rainy.  I've been harvesting and eating it, I've never tried freezing it.

The Red Russian kale and dinosaur kale were my best performers.  The collards did well but the ones grown from seed outside didn't achieve their full size - they need to be started early indoors to do best.

There is still good lettuce in the garden.  For some reason the slugs have not destroyed it this year, for the first time.  Maybe it was too cold for the slugs?  I'm not going to even be able to eat it all, but it's too small to give away.

Posted by gail_heineman at 4:35 PM YDT
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Sunday, 7 September 2008
The first Norland apples ripen
Topic: apples
Today I picked three Norland apples.  The tree is "resting" this year so we'll get fewer than a dozen apples.  The Rescue is resting too.  Luckily the faithful Dolgo crab has a good amount, so that's where the applesauce will come from.  Interestingly, I have both a Norland and Rescue graft on the Dolgo, and there are apples on both those grafts.  So that tells me my Norland and Rescue need pruning, food, or something!

Posted by gail_heineman at 9:31 PM YDT
Updated: Wednesday, 10 September 2008 9:34 PM YDT
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Wednesday, 3 September 2008
Harvesting kale and saskatoons, slugs are lazy
Topic: slugs

I blanched three more sinkfuls of kale and harvested and froze more saskatoons (serviceberries).  The Evans (Bali) cherries and raspberries are ripening and I snitched a few and ate them.  The dinosaur kale and red russian are doing the best this year.  The winterbor and starbor and just sitting there.  But it's not a banner year for either. 

The swiss chard, on the other hand, is doing the best ever, as is my lettuce.  There are tons of slugs on the lettuce but they are not eating it!  I've never had lettuce this late anymore, it's usually devoured by slugs.  I have no explanation for the lazy slugs.  They don't look skinny, just inactive.

Posted by gail_heineman at 8:16 PM YDT
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Wednesday, 20 August 2008
Black Prince tomatoes, saskatoons ripen
Topic: tomatoes

In the last week or so we've had our first Black Prince tomatoes from the bump windows, and our first outside tomatoes, Sun Gold. 

The Black Prince had a luscious meaty flavor, really rich.  The Sun Gold are sweet and light.  They turn an orangey color when ripe, they are  green, then golden yellow before then. 

I picked the first saskatoons of the year from the back yard, about a half quart.  There are a few raspberries ripe, but most are still green.

Posted by gail_heineman at 3:27 PM YDT
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Sunday, 10 August 2008
Preserving greens for the winter
Topic: kale

The Red Russian kale were crowded and the slugs had started on them, so I picked the lower leaves and pulled some of the smaller plants to give them air and space.  Normally I would have thinned them earlier, but there just isn't as much leaf per plant this year, with the lack of sun.  Anyway, I blanched and froze a sink full. 

I made a big pot of Caldo Verde with galego greens (Spanish Collards).  Some of the plants were grown from seed produced in my yard last year, a warm year.  The plants are just forming heads now - no seed this year.  Unlike other kole plants I have experience with, the fact they form heads doesn't seem to detract from leaf formation.  They just keep getting taller and growing more full size leaves. 

Posted by gail_heineman at 6:52 PM YDT
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