Friday, September 14, 2012

Late summer bounty

Well, it's September and tonight I harvested a late summer bounty of eggplants, eggplants, and more eggplants.

Oh, and a modest pile of lovely yellow beans, a ton of basil (third batch of the summer!), and a handful of cherry tomatoes. The latter did not make it inside - god, how I LOVE those!

I got the egg plants on a lark at the beginning of the summer hoping we would have a warmer summer than the last two. The descriptions spoke of the white, lavender and purple hues of the fruits. I know from past experience that Portland, Oregon is not the best spot to grow egg plants, but I thought I would probably just get one or two Asian eggplants.

Boy was I wrong! This summer has been warm and dry - perfect for growing many summer vegetables.

Here's a preview of what else is to come soon:

Our tomatoes seem to be a little later coming in than most other folks this year, but all indications are that September's, and possibly October's, bounty will include a variety of lovely tomatoes.

Here is my prize tomato that found a perch on the one of the top tiers of the tomato cage. It is a whopper, and surely will weigh in at 3-4 pounds. The variety is called gold medal. Indeed.

I also took a chance this year and planted a melon called Minnesota midget. I know, melons don't typically do well in our climate.

But, I thought I would take a chance on this one anyhow. The caption in the seed catalog said something about this variety being the only one that regularly bore fruit in the author's northern Montana garden. Sold!

Despite having to replant the little bugger three times due to voracious slugs last spring, it looks like we might have three to try out this fall.

Last weekend I ripped out the cursed zucchini, patty pan and yellow crook neck from the west side raised bed.

Good riddance! One delicious four inch zucchini and one two inch patty pan was the yield this year.

Oh and a horrible rash on my arm that is thankfully almost healed almost two months later. 

Lest you think I am completely inept at growing squash here is a picture of my fabulous tromboncino squash. It is going gang busters in the same bed as the others mentions above.

I also have a butternut and another winter variety that seem to be coming along nicely too.

Last weekend, I also harvested potatoes that I had willy nilly stuck in the ground on the west side of the house. We had a small harvest of potatoes (about 10), but I only planted two so I feel like that was a modest win.

Next year I think that I will clear out my compost bin and try growing some there. Another experiment!

In place of the squash and potatoes I planted two types of kale and chard to over winter. 

Here are some scenes of what is going on elsewhere in the garden right now:

A view of the troughs on the driveway. At the moment they contain: a tomatillo, two tomatoes, two winter squash, four eggplants, french beans (see above), golden beans, basil, carrots, dill, and the Minnesota midget.

I am trying a new experiment this year and filling the space between the troughs and my neighbor's house with a winter planting. Thus far this section has brussel sprouts, broccoli and kale. I also have a patch of broccoli by the front door and one of brussel sprouts in the back west corner in the back patio.

I figure, why not? At the very least they will provide some winter color interest, and hopefully some yummy veg in the rainy winter months.

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