Monday, October 17, 2011

Like the Gardening Season Never Happened

I lost nearly the whole growing season. I've been more than a bit preoccupied with other things this year. But I still managed to do some things.

My raspberries produced two batches of berries this year. And I thought planting them in November would kill them :) I have been able to make two jars of jam from them so far. The berries have a very good flavor and produce a lot. I have no idea what variety they are.

My blackberries produced one berry. So far I am not impressed with the flavor. A bit too tart. I will give them another year or two, but if their flavor does not improve, I am replacing them. I know someone who has wonderful blackberries that are in zone 3 so they should do just fine here. They aren't thornless, but neither are my raspberries.

I got a bunch more apples from a friend and have been canning applesauce when I get time. Two years ago I burned out the connections in my electric stove canning - I think the canning pot was too big for the burner and overheated that side of the stovetop. Apparently a pan can be too big! I got a smaller pot this year from the local hardware store. It has still been slow going since I am down to two working burners on my stove - I desperately need a new stove! I received a fairly new gas stove for free recently ( is awesome!), but only have electric hookup. To get a gas hookup will cost me between $280 and $360. That will have to wait for now.

I did get a couple of fruit roll-up accessories for my dehydrator. I haven't tried them yet, but when I do, I will let you know if I like them or not.

I still LOVE my electric mower. We have not had any problems with it at all and I think that it mows the lawn even better than the gas mowers that we have used in the past.

I also love my leaf vacuum/shredder. I saw it a couple years ago in a hardware store flyer for $20 so thought, "Why not?" I have not been disappointed. It sucks up the leaves, shreds them and collects them in an attached bag. I put the shredded leaves in my garden as mulch. The worms love it!

I have to plant garlic yet this year and harvest the rest of my kohlrabi and beets.

I got a volunteer tomato that has beautiful tomatoes and appears to be extremely cold hardy. The rest of my plants succumbed to an early frost; this plant didn't even seem to notice! I haven't tasted the tomatoes yet as they are still ripening, but I will update once I find out. If they are really good, I will be saving seeds to grow them again next year. Who couldn't use a cold hardy tomato? Most of my tomato volunteers have been weird Romas, so this is a really nice surprise.

I also put in another patio. There is a space next to my house that has been a bed of weeds forever. I tore out all the weeds and laid in a brick sitting area. It is perfect for drinking coffee and surfing the web in the morning as it is out of the wind and sun. And now that area doesn't look like an abandoned lot.

I did not buy hardly any plants this year, nor did I plant many vegetables. Next year, though, is going to be a stellar year. I can feel it!