The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Picking for the frost

Last summer harvest

It's likely to frost at some point this week, so I went ahead and picked everything sensitive.  Green peppers are a giveaway item, while yellow and red peppers will sit in the fridge and go in the next couple of weeks' salads.  I cooked up a huge basket of sweet corn and socked away a gallon of decobbed kernels in the freezer.  And the tomatoes I roasted with carrots, onions, and garlic, then whizzed up in the food processor to create a cream of tomato and basil soup.

What's left?  Lots of lettuce and leafy greens, all of which can be eaten at our leisure.  Potatoes and carrots need to be dug this week, and I'll probably freeze some broccoli since the heads are expanding faster than we can eat them.  Soon after that, the first cabbage will be ready, right about the time we'll likely eat the last of our sugar snap peas.  These fall crops can all handle temperatures down into the low twenties, so I'm hopeful we'll be eating them for weeks to come.

What are you eating out of your garden at the moment?

Our chicken waterer is the POOP-free solution for spoiled hens.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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We are eating salad greens. I do have cabbage, broccli planted but not ready to eat yet. Carrots and beets are growing. I am able to pick a beet green here and there for the salad bowl.

Will be spending this fall and winter getting new gardening areas ready for the spring.

Comment by mona Mon Oct 8 12:37:27 2012
Mona --- Smart idea prepping for next year!
Comment by anna Mon Oct 8 16:54:10 2012
Have you tried leaving the carrots in the ground over winter? I've covered mine in straw and had them store really well into the winter. This was in heavy clay soil that was wet all winter and usually covered in snow.
Comment by Chris Mon Oct 8 18:35:25 2012
Chris --- We're in the non-sweet spot for storing carrots in the ground over the winter. Much further north and you get enough snow cover that it protects the carrots. (You'd think snow would promote freezing, but it actually insulates the ground.) Much further south and the ground doesn't freeze much at all. Here, though, we have constant freeze and thaw all winter, and that pushes the carrots right up out of the soil. I've managed to get a few to overwinter, but they end up in sorry shape, so now I just dig them and keep them in the crisper drawer of the fridge under a damp towel. Happy eating all winter long!
Comment by anna Mon Oct 8 19:23:54 2012

We had a hard freeze last night- 23 degrees. So everything from the summer garden is gone. I picked the butternuts that were ripe enough, and sadly said goodbye to everything else. One eggplant that had some nice fruits developing, but alas, too late! The buckwheat cover crop froze back but I turned the chickens loose and they sure enjoyed scratching around in the bed anyway. The fall planted carrots, lettuce,peas,cabbage and turnips are fine, but only the lettuce is eatable right now. and the kale.. But even some of that took a hit from the cold.

And I accidentally got locked inside the chicken coop! I had to crawl out through their little chicken door, which would have been pretty entertaining if anybody was watching. I was glad I had just cleaned out the coop with new fresh bedding!

Comment by Deb Tue Oct 9 02:17:09 2012

Deb --- What a shame! I hate it when the first frost is also a hard, killing frost. We still haven't gotten ours, but I'm hopeful it won't be for us this year....

That's pretty funny about your chicken coop! Especially since I think I remember someone else telling me a similar story a couple of years ago? Sounds like chicken coop designers need to take the unintentional lock-in into account...

Comment by anna Tue Oct 9 08:07:57 2012

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