CELEBRATING: BOTH THE SPRING HARVEST AND CLEAN-UP
WOW! What a wonderful spring garden in 2019. The four squash plants produced over 30 squash which we have eaten various ways as well as given away. I have gathered at least 3 bushel of large tomatoes off 9 plants. Caspian Pink and Pink Girl were the best tasting, but their thin skin and softness caused them to split and ruin quickly. We have about 20 tomatoes left from the last picking. We have had them in salads, sliced, in Bacon Tomato sandwiches, cooked with the squash, and in pico de gallo which flavors many Mexican foods.
The fruit on the 19 pepper plants are ripening now to a beautiful red. The giant jalapenos are delicious both green and red. The Gypsy peppers are the best among the frying peppers, but they all have wonderful flavors. Some are nearly a foot long. The Mexibell peppers have one bite that is sweet and the next hot and spicy. We will roast and freeze the Poblano peppers to stuff with cheese or flavor pork chops.
I picked about 25 gallons of beans from the Maxibel filet bush beans, Algarve pole flat beans, and Fortex filet pole beans. I sent some to my 101year old aunt, gave 3 bags to my son, and many to the church staff and other friends. We ate big pots of them for 6 weeks. My aunt prefers the flat beans as tasting more beany. The one row of Purple Hull Peas have produced about 12 gallons of peas. We freeze what we don’t eat.
The 3 half rows of Ambrosia and Obsession bicolor corn produced over 100 ears. We have shared them with family and friends. For many years we have put 2 ‘shuck on’ ears of corn in the microwave, cooked for 4 minutes, shucked and desilked under running faucet water, and put the corn ear on our plates to eat. The heat is maintained for several minutes.
The Okra is still producing about 25 pods per day. This should go on through August, maybe even September. It shows no signs of Root Knot nematodes so far.
The adolescent Adam felt that tilling the soil to grow food was a curse after being practically hand fed in the Garden of Eden.(Genesis 3:17-19) Yes, I dread the clean-up of the garden post-harvest. It is not nearly so fulfilling as harvesting the fruits of my labor. However, I learn a lot in pulling up dying plants. The squash, beans, and corn have long roots, no root knots, but many hundreds of spider web-like root hairs attached to the long roots. These hairs grow in response to Mycorrhizae inoculation which enhances the taking up of nutrients that are broken down in the soil by microbes. Molasses drench or in Liquid Microbial Concentrate drench feeds and multiplies the microbes. Chemical fertilizers kill many microbes.
I pulled up the corn stalks and enjoyed grinding them up in the shredder. I added 2-3 bushels of heated compost to my compost pile. I still have other plants to pull up and the tall grass in the middles to pull or hoe.