The end is near! Garden 2016 will soon be complete with the harvest of the carrots and beets. It's nice to leave them in the ground until we have some cold weather, maybe even some frost, to drive the sugar content up. They taste better and keep better. So far, there have been two light frosts. The main garden gets a miss often for the early frosts, with the protection of the slope and the frost passing over rather than settling.
Not so with the upper garden. As soon as the early morning is 32, it shows frost. It had barely dipped down when the end came for the pumpkin and squash. Here is a pile of the pumpkins among the dead leaves.
It's early to have frost and many of the pumpkins weren't really ready to come off! But, they all come inside to harden off and ripen. Here they are a couple of weeks later:
A few of the small, not ripe enough ones we might lose and feed to the chickens, but for the most part all are turning orange now. It's a wonderful harvest, unexpected with the way it started out.
It was the voles again! We planted the hills, using a generous amount of seed since it was older - saving seed this fall - and yet whole hills failed to germinate anything and other hills had only one plant. The guy at the feed store told me meadow voles love pumpkin seeds! But the Lord has provided a bountiful crop with more fruits per vine than I ever remember seeing. And in a dry year, in a garden that is too far away to water!
Into the cold room soon to process later. Lots of good baking coming, from pies over the winter to pumpkin muffins for market next year. YUM! As these large, one-time harvest crops come in, we get a momentary reprieve from the garden. Trouble is, with planting green onion for early spring harvest and garlic for summer harvest, the cycle never really stops! And truth be told, the onion and garlic go in before the carrots and beets come out, so the matter is that the garden NEVER stops!!!