It’s been a wet and cold week as Fall arrives. The “official” end to summer is this Thursday at approximately 9AM Eastern. We are still quite busy with the growing things.
When this recent wetness began last Sunday, it was Carrot Day. This is one of the more labor-intensive harvest activities each year, and my wife and I devote the better part of a day to getting it all done.
I started mid-morning, before the rains began. The first step was getting the carrots out of the ground- all four varieties. I trimmed the leaves off each carrot as they came out. Taking care of that step outside makes the rest of the process inside much neater and efficient. Trust me on this. It also leaves whatever vestigial critters still making their lair in the leaves outside of the house, which makes Wife happy.
As each type filled their respective bucket, I brought them into the kitchen where Wife was busily scrubbing away. Then I’d take the load of carrot leaves and smaller discards to the compost heap, and go pull up the next variety. Several of the tiniest carrots managed to avoid detection until this cleaning phase:
Four varieties of carrots meant four buckets and trips to the kitchen. Once they were all inside, it was time for chopping. Wife was still a-scrubbing when I took up the knife and began hacking away at the veggies. We held out several pounds of each variety to have some fresh ones in the fridge, and to pass along to other folks.
After chopping for what felt like hours, all of the carrots were more or less uniformly sliced and ready for the next steps of blanching and bagging.
Yes, we mixed up the Rumba and Red-Cored Chatnay varieties. After all, they are both orange!
The final steps before freezing was blanching and bagging. Wife has that process refined. Each blanching load into the pot is balanced across the varieties, and then bagged in two cup quantities after being cooled off in an ice bath. Then, on to the freezer.
Thirty-three meal sized portions went into the freezer that Sunday afternoon. If previous years are any guide, they will be delicious.
We’re still into the tomatoes, though they’ve slowed down a lot over the past week. The strawberries are still coming off, but slowly as well. More Brussels sprouts were harvested, as were a couple more eggplants. They may be the last, even though the plants are flowering again. I don’t think there’s enough good weather left for more fruit to grow.
We are continuing to cut and dry the herbs we grow. This year it’s oregano, rosemary, thyme, dill and Italian parsley. Some years we add basil, but we’ve still a lot of that on hand from previous years. Here’s the cut German Thyme before heading into the dehydrator.
Pretty soon all that will be left is the brassica. I think the broccoli will come in first, then the cauliflower, and all the while we’ll be picking the Brussels sprouts as they mature.
Almost forgot- it looks like we’ll have a small yield of butternut squash to put up in a few weeks, too.
More news in a week or so. Thanks for checking in!
Very impressive yield on the carrots! You are now well stocked.