Sunday, September 29, 2013

The desolation that is my backyard...

This weekend we went ahead and harvested what was in our backyards. The last of the beetroots will be pickled and stored for later consumption. All the other beetroots were boiled and canned. It is really a shame that the ring pattern ets lost in the boiling. Well, not entirely. The red turns a sickly shade of yellow. It looks like we canned onions or something. I bet they'll still taste fine though.

We had a really great tomato year. Until the last weeks. The plants were absolutely bursting with tomatoes, but htey were still green. So we left them on the plants to let them ripen. Then we had a few really big rain showers. That messed it all up. We took off all the tomatoes and put them in the sun inside our house so they could ripen further. However they just turned black and/ or mushy. So basically we only had one meal from our own tomatoes. Another lesson learned I think. Maybe put them outside a bit earlier next year.

The strawberries are still going strong. We've got flowers and fruits popping up constantly. I'm curious to see how long they'll keep going.

Now on to the big project: The potato towers!

The results were... Discouraging. We started digging out the beds and found no potatoes at all. Until we got to the bottom pallet collars. Those were packed. We pulled out about 10 kg of blaue sweden and roughly 8 kg of blaue congo. Quite a lot of work actually. I like geting my hands dirty though.

This seems like quite a decent haul, considering we only used 0,5 kg of seed potatoes for each batch. I am going to have look into what a 'normal' harvest nets you to see if this was average or a lot. Here's an overview of our harvest. I cut two potatoes in half to show the inside colour. The blaue sweden (white flesh) are really crumbly when cooked. Good for mashing I think. The blaue congo turn a bit blue when boiled. Their taste is better in my opinion though. We will make hutspot with those at least once. Just because we can! How colourfull that will be!

While digging out the potatoes we noticed that the plant roots just went straight down with no offshoots whatsoever until they arrived at the bottom layer. So either I did something wrong or these breeds of potatoes are unsuited for towering. Or it simply doesn't work.

We also went to a local farmer who sells his harvest alongside the road. My girlfriend is going to make a nice big pot of pumpkin soup today, of wich portions will be frozen for later use. We got 3 pumpkins. One of them is absolutely HUGE! I'll get some pictures of that one once I'm done eating it and have carved up the husk for a lantern. But the stands were so nice my girlfriend shot some beautiful pictures of them. Which I can't keep from you! They convey that great, warm autumn feeling. Enjoy!

Now on to our plans for next year:
We will see if can rent a small plot to start growing more! The plans so far are to put our potatoes on that plot and not tower them up again. Other planned vegetables include onions, leeks, beans, pumpkins and cabbage. A friend of us is planning something along the same lines, but wants to grow a lot of peppers of different breeds as well. I see sharing and trading possibilities here! :-)

The backyard farm will be converted to fruits. The plans are to fill up one of the potato beds with strawberries, have one and a half bed of tomatoes and half a bed of cucumber. That leaves us with one bed to be filled with lavender. And we will probably get another berry bush.

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