Garlic braids are hanging in the pantry, a big bowl of potatoes is ready to eat over the coming weeks, green beans are all picked for pickling, and I won't have to buy another onion for a good long while. It was a wonderful feeling this weekend to harvest some of the fruits of our labour. All summer long we've been picking some peas here and there, gathering a bowl of cherry tomatoes every couple of days, eating fresh lemon cucumbers with salt and pepper, thinking of many creative ways to cook zucchini and yellow crookneck squash, and eating all the lettuce we could ever want. After looking around over the past week while I was watering (this is how I spend a lot of my time nowadays), I could see it was time to haul some things in. We cleaned up the garden a little, weeded between the rows, pulled up the dead peas and planted some fall peas, and picked all the ripe green beans. Then it was time to work on the field.
I started with the garlic. This was a spring crop of garlic I planted from some free garlic that had begun to sprout at the local food Co-op back in April. For all those people who said you can only grow garlic in the fall, eat your hearts out! It's small garlic, true, but it's really tasty, and it didn't cost me a thing to plant. In a few weeks, I'll plant my fall garlic in that empty space in the field, and try to leave some room for another spring garlic crop as well.
I made garlic braids and hung them to dry in my pantry. It smells pretty delicious in there right now. I imagine it will keep any potential bug visitors away too.
The guys got to work on digging one patch of potatoes where the tops had died back. These too were a free sprouting produce find at Grower's Market. I took home a couple boxes of them, and planted part of the field in potatoes this spring.
We ended up with a good sized pile of red potatoes. There are still more growing in straw that have some seriously vigorous tops, so I know there will be more potatoes to come in the fall.
My son said he loved digging potatoes because it was like finding buried treasure! You can tell he's very proud of that big old spud he found.
My husband picked a good sized bowl of green beans that will become dilly beans in the next couple of days along with a bag from our generous neighbors. It sounds like they have green beans coming out of their ears over there. That's a goal I wouldn't mind aiming for next year.
The birds and honeybees have been enjoying the sunflowers out in the garden too. It's a busy, happening place out there every day.
We just keep working away, right along with those busy bees. With Autumn approaching, there will be more harvesting, wildcrafting, gleaning, food preserving and planting to do. There are apples, pears and plums to pick in alleys around town, huckleberries to pick in the mountains, acorns to gather from our ancient oak trees, more veggies to harvest in the garden, and pumpkins to pick in October. After that it will be mushroom gathering season. It's a time of great abundance, and my favorite time of year with the cold, crisp mornings and golden, hazy afternoons. I love harvesting the bounty that the earth has to offer us.