20 September 2009

Harvest & the Garden Cleanup Crew

Today was the day to harvest the remaining things out in the garden – the rest of the potatoes, beets, the squash, and the few stray onions that were left behind in earlier diggings. Oh, and the wheat and sunflowers.

The veggies were piled on a tarp (tarps are easy to load and drag around): a generous pile of potatoes, then the beets and onions, then the spaghetti squash. We only grew a little wheat this year, as an experiment, so it was harvested with scissors, one head at a time – the heads plunked into a bucket, and the straw left on the ground. The sunflowers were broken off at the stems and taken to the shed to dry out.

Once the harvest was complete, the strawberry bed was covered with boards and the sheep were let in to graze all the leftovers. There’s a lot of grass in the garden area (not all of the fenced off area was planted this year, so it really got to be quite a jungle), plus all the leftover beet tops, squash leaves, sunflower stems, and assorted weeds. The pastures are dry and overgrazed, the sheep are hungry, and I don’t want to spend two days hacking my way through all that vegetation … they might as well eat it!

So the cleanup crew is on duty in the garden, and I’ve started the preservation tasks indoors: potatoes were washed, sliced, and boiled briefly then bagged and sealed with the vacuum sealer. The boil-in-bag packages are in the freezer, where they’ll be very convenient come winter time.

Next will be the beets, but I think I’ve done enough for one day. :)

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