Sunday, October 5, 2014

Garden Share Collective - October 2014

Beds 1-3
Here in the northeastern part of the US our leaves are starting to turn beautiful colors. Well not the squash you see above. They are all turning white as they die and get mildewed. Soon the squash will all be harvested (actually it already has been, but I wrote this at the end of September). But as you can see in the next bed down the storage carrots and parsnips are growing well. It might be my best carrot year ever. In bed 3 I have my cabbage covered. Though I haven't seen a cabbage butterfly in a while. Half that bed has been picked, the other half is still getting bigger.

Beds 3-8
In Bed 4E my mustards are starting to turn yellow as the seed dries. I like to make my own mustard so grow the seed for it. To the west side of the bed are my kales that have been doing a good job of feeding me over the last couple of weeks. Bed 5 holds more squash. Bed 6 has my fresh eating carrots and under the row cover on the west side of the bed is the broccoli.

Bed 7E has my bok choy and chard. Bed 7W is more squash. Bed 8E has my sad looking zucchini plants. They are still producing, but I think it isn't long before they die. The asparagus in bed 8W mostly died this summer. I have two plants still left alive. It might be my last attempt as asparagus here as it doesn't want to grow.

Around the corner in the Circle Garden

The far side of the circle garden had the sweet potatoes that were harvested. It is empty now and needs to have compost put on it. The near part is my spinach. I got this in about a week too late to eat it this year I think. But it will over winter here and give me greens in the spring.

September Completed

  • September 12th, 22nd, 26th Watered garden
  • September 7th Seeded Spinach Bed CE, mostly Space with some Winter Giant
  • September 9th Sprayed insecticidal soap on kale and broccoli
  • September 16th Started turning compost piles and sifting compost (almost done)
  • September 17th Pulled 1/2 sweet potatoes and started curing
  • September 24th Pulled sweet potatoes from ornamental pot by front door
  • September 27th Sprayed insecticidal soap on kale and broccoli
  • September 29th Pulled last half of sweet potato bed, put the first batch into storage and started curing second batch


In September I transitioned from harvesting the summer crops like cucumbers, to the more fall based crops like carrots and greens. The harvests were varied: bunching onions, beans, broccoli, carrots, cucumber, Napa cabbage, chard, kale, kohlrabi, melons, zucchini, and sweet potatoes. In the herb department I harvested cilantro, fennel, parsley. That isn't to say I didn't harvest any other herbs, but I tend not to record or weigh very small amounts. Or herbs grabbed at the last minute. All in all I harvested 106 pounds for the month.


September is the month that I start making and canning applesauce. My husband would eat it every night after dinner if given the chance. So I put up a lot of it. Sadly these aren't my apples. It was a sad year for my apple trees, so this year I got them all from the farmers market. I'm not putting these in the tally of what I have below as they aren't mine. I did get to freeze a good amount from the garden though: 3c zucchini, 3c Napa cabbage, 9c kale, and 1c chard. I ought to have five more frozen of chard already, but it isn't going to happen. I do have tons more kale than necessary though. Way more than I've ever frozen before. So I'll be eating kale a lot over the winter. I also froze burritos for my husband to last the winter. These use my carrots, onions, and cilantro. I buy the nightshade crops (like salsa and peppers) because I'm very sensitive to them and get poisoned by just touching the plants. I even have to open all the windows while cooking them so I don't breath too much of it.

And unlike the sad apples, the sweet potatoes did very well this year. So I have 42 pounds to go into storage. These keep very well. Basically until my basement starts to warm up a lot sometime late May. So I'll be eating these for about 6 months. I wonder if I can get through 7 pounds a month. That is about 1.6 pounds a week. I'll be working on it. But I know I can get help from my townhouse mates if I get behind.

Tally of what is in storage from the garden:


  • Broccoli: 19 servings
  • Celery: 5 cups (Oh how I wish I had more)
  • Chard: 11 serving (need 5 more)
  • Chinese cabbage: 10 servings, 4 soup packets
  • Corn: 16 cups
  • Cucumber juice: 2 quarts
  • Kale: 36 servings
  • Spinach: 24 servings
  • Zucchini: 11 cups
  • Burritos: 13 servings
  • Mizuna Soup: 4 servings
  • Basil: frozen leaves
  • Cilantro: frozen leaves


  • Rhubarb syrup: 4 half pint jars
  • Gooseberry jam: 2 half pint jars
  • Peach cobber filling: 4 half pints
  • Peach preserves: 4 half pints
  • Peach rum sauce: 6.5 half pints
  • Dill Relish: 10 half pint jars


  • Onions: 7 braids (we ate 4 of the 11 braids that were stored)
  • Garlic: 9 pounds

October To Do

  • Plan next year's garden so I know where to plant the garlic
  • Plant garlic
  • Clean up beds that are done and cover with compost for the winter
  • Finish sifting compost
  • Harvest, cure, and store squash (actually started this process on Friday)
  • Harvest and winnow the mustard seed, fennel seed, dill seed
  • Collect seed from the zinnias
  • Go through my seeds and see what I need for next year
  • Deadhad the garlic chives before the seed drop - or I'll really regret it next year
  • Weed
  • Go through the row covers and store the ones that are still good
  • Store 8' bamboo in tarp
  • Check to see if I need to dry anymore herbs


  1. We've gathered our squashes too.We tend to either freeze or for some things pickle as canning worries me a bit.

  2. I too haven't seen any cabbage butterflies about so I just uncovered all of my brassica beds to let them breath & stretch their legs. You are so organized! Someday I hope to get there but I have a feeling it will be a long while still.

  3. I don't think you are going to starve this Winter! :) I seldom have enough of anything to make it worth preserving it.

  4. Do you keep track of what you stash in the freezer and when you pull it out? I've been toying with the idea since things do tend to get forgotten in there. Panty items are in view so I do use those up.

    1. That should be pantry items....

    2. I try to keep on top of it, but I tend to lose track over the winter as I eat things up. Usually I have to take an inventory in February to figure out what I've been ignoring and needs to get eaten. Last year I tried something new. I made up bags to go through every two weeks (two bags actually). So I would go through things more evenly. But I don't like that as much It is good for the things I have little of, but not for the greens as I get the chard and the kale mixed up if they are in the same bag.

  5. I'm so impressed with how productive your garden is. How big is your garden?

    1. I have 565 sqft (52.5 sqm) of raised bed which is where I grow my vegetables. The fruit is randomly scattered around the yard. That is 9000 sqft (830 sqm) and is shared by two townhouses.

  6. I am hopeless when it comes to tracking how much we harvest and freeze. I am totally impressed with both your growing and your organising skills!

  7. You know whats amazing. The fact that you only watered three times in a month. To me that sounds just crazy, I water every two days and for the new little seedlings every day. I am really impressed with your carrots, we are starting to grow them also. Experimenting different places and varieties. Loads of green still in your garden. Good idea about making my own mustard too from the seeds.

    1. We don't have the same weather you have. We tend to be very humid and it rains a lot here. Though admittedly August and September were much drier than usual. So we don't really need to water as much. In fact most of the plants do better if you don't water as much here because they get so many mildew diseases.