It’s hard to believe it’s already September, and we’re heading into the final weeks of Garden 2022. From here on out the focus is upon gathering and storing the food we began growing almost six months ago.
Last Sunday I collected the first of the Brussels sprouts from the transplants set out on May 21st. The focus was removal of the sprouts lowest on the plant stalks, along with any of the dead or dying leaves. Brussels sprout plants shed their leaves from the bottom up as the season goes along, and only need a few at the top to remain viable.
I harvested 2-3 pounds of sprouts, and after cleaning them, my wife blanched, bagged and froze eight 2-person portions. There will be many more sprouts, not only from these plants but from the six new plants that should join the harvest in early November.
After drying out over the last few weeks, the onions are cured for storage. We rigged a mini production line the other day where we cut off the withered stalks, and then removed the roots and loose skins from each onion before storing them in burlap bags. The estimated harvest of onions is about 70lbs of New York Early Yellow Onions and 25lbs or so of Rossa Di Milano Red Onions.
Despite the cucumbers not performing well this year, enough National Pickling cukes were collected to allow my wife to put up a batch of her excellent bread & butter pickles. Pickling is strictly her domain- my contribution is only to run the boiler and process the jars. We ended up with eight nice looking pints of pickles.
The eggplants continue to produce, and last weekend I processed some more for the freezer. I’m using the grill this year instead of a saute pan, which is resulting in a faster process and better product.
And it’s a simple process. After peeling the eggplant and chopping into ⅜” – ½” pieces, they go through an egg wash and then coated with seasoned bread crumbs. Then it’s on to the grill where they’re toasted on both sides until they begin turning a golden color. Finally, on to sheet pans and into the freezer. Twenty-four hours later I bag them up and they’re ready for eggplant parmigiana on-demand.
Everything else is coming off now as expected. The Jetstar and paste tomatoes have caught up with the very abundant grape tomatoes and are harvested daily. The summer squash is still producing, as is the Swiss chard and lettuce. Since the rains returned, we’re taking in more strawberries each day- “everbearing” is living up to its billing. And there are more radishes on the way.
We’ve got two Diablo pumpkins beginning to turn orange, getting ready for October. There are at least 6 or 7 Butternut squash as well. Hard to be sure how many, as the grass around the vines has become pretty tall. We’ll know soon enough.
Next week I’ll share more about the cauliflower and broccoli targeted for harvest in October or November. They are looking good! May also have a carrot harvest to report, but unsure right now if they’re going to be pulled up now or further down the road.
I hope your growing season this year has been and continues to be as rewarding as ours has been. Thanks for stopping by!