Saturday, November 1, 2014

Garden Share Collective - November 2014

Beds 1-3

I've been putting my garden to bed slowly this fall. Some things like Bed 2 still have crops to harvest. Bed 2E has my storage carrots and 2W has my parsnips and purple top turnips. It also has a few beets. Bed 3W just has a few things left - parsley, a couple of celeriac, and two celery plants.

Beds 3-8

Bed 4 has my kale that is getting overwintered.

The kale is undersown with some mache on the outside and cilantro on the inside. The mache will survive until spring too, but usually the cilantro dies over the winter, so I'll be sure to pick most of it before things freeze up too much.

Bed 6E has some fresh eating carrots along with just a few radishes and salad turnips. On the other end is the broccoli which I have been enjoying this fall. I'll be harvesting it all in the next few weeks.

Bed 7 has my bok choy and tatsoi. I don't think the tatsoi was planted early enough to get big, but the bok choy was sown on time. Behind this is the chard which has had all of the big leaves picked. I doubt I'll get another harvest, but you never know.

Circle Garden

Around the corner in the Circle Garden, the spinach has picked up. I might even get a harvest from it this fall, but mostly it will just be overwintered for the spring. There are very few things that will survive our winters, but I've found spinach, mache, and certain varieties of kale (but not all) do pretty well here and provide me early greens in the spring, usually starting in late April.

October Completed

  • Finished sifting compost and leaf mold
  • Cleaned up beds that are done and covered with compost for the winter
  • Harvested, cureed, and stored squash
  • Harvested and dried the mustard seed, fennel seed, dill seed
  • Collected seed from the zinnias
  • Deadheaded the garlic chives
  • Went through the row covers and stored the ones that are still good
  • October 31st: Planted garlic


I harvested 124.5 pounds of produce in October. Most of that were the butternut squashes. The rest was just enough to keep me well stocked in vegetables for my fridge. Though what I'm harvesting is going down in variety, I still harvested quite a bit - bunching onions, broccoli, carrots, Chinese cabbage, choy sum, European cabbage, chard, kale, herbs, radishes, turnips, zucchini, and as I mentioned before, lots of winter squash. So except for the squash, I'm basically eating fresh greens and root vegetables.


I didn't do a lot of preserving in October. I should have. I could use some more herbs like sage, but I didn't get to it. I hope I don't run out over the winter. I did freeze eight servings of chard and five of kale. And I finished curing the squash and sweet potatoes which are now in the basement for winter storage.

Tally of what is in storage from the garden:


  • Broccoli: 19 servings
  • Celery: 5 cups (Oh how I wish I had more)
  • Chard: 19 serving
  • Chinese cabbage: 10 servings, 4 soup packets
  • Corn: 16 cups
  • Cucumber juice: 2 quarts
  • Kale: 41 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: 4 pounds
  • Waltham Butternut: 27 (avg. 3lbs each)
  • Sweet Potatoes: About 50 pounds

November To Do

  • Plan next year's garden
  • Go through my seeds and see what I need for next year
  • Clean up beds as they are harvested and cover with compost for the winter
  • Winnow the mustard, fennel, dill, cilantro
  • Store 8' bamboo in tarp
  • Harvest and store the carrots
  • Harvest and store the parsnips
  • Collect leaves for next year's compost

I also wanted to note one problem I had this year. Both cabbages, Michihili and Early Jersey, had trouble this year. I think it was because they were planted too early. With all the record keeping I've been doing this year you would think I would have the info on when I seeded them. But I do not. So I made two mistakes this year. I do know when the transplants were put in the ground at least. They were planted on July 13th. I would have done this when they were about three weeks old. So they were probably seeded around June 22nd. I need to hold off a week next year. I probably ought to plant them at the start of July. Though the broccoli needed that extra week, so I'll have to do that a week early. I'm hemming and hawing about the kohlrabi that I grow in that bed too. It was early and sized up fine. The last two bolted when I was on vacation last week, but if I had picked them when the rest had been picked it would have been good. They made a nice early brassica for me to eat while waiting on the cabbages. So I might do the kohlrabi and broccoli early and the rest of the brassicas later.

I'm always trying to fine tune when things go in. But we all know that Mother Nature doesn't always cooperate. Nor does my schedule. I might be on vacation one week. Or I might be sick and not up to planting things. Or worse I might be lackadaisical and just not get it in because I'm don't want to do it then. But it is good to know what time is best to plant on average. Last year I planted everything much later. The Early Jersey's didn't head up in time. This year they bolted because they saw too much heat. I'm sure there is a sweet spot in there somewhere if I can just find it.


  1. What an excellent round up. Those broccoli and bok choy look excellent. And what a squash harvest. Do the butternuts store well? I always thought they had too thin a skin to store, but maybe I've been misled.

    1. They store very well. You have to use the ones that start to go first, but I always have some that last a long time. They are picked in October and I've had them last until late May when my basement start to warm up. Then I have to cook and freeze them as they won't last in the warm basement. Now not all of them last that long, but I'll use up the ones that show even a hint of anything on them first. I've even had a couple that I've already had to use because they showed signs of alternaria. So it is pretty random how long they last.

  2. I tried to grow mache last year but was completely unsuccessful - the seeds simply did not germinate. I think it may have been temperature related as I read they can be pretty finicky, I had no idea that Mache was winter hardy - Just for that reason, I will definitely give it another try sooner rather than later.

    I've never tried to overwinter kale, but your success has inspired me to leave it all in the ground this year in the hopes that some of it comes back to life come spring, even though the varieties I have growing now aren't necessarily known for their winter hardiness.

    1. I've found that most except the tuscan kale will survive at zone 7, but I'm zone 6b. Only the curly types seem to do well here. I grow Winterbor and Dwarf Curly Kale. The sad thing is that the aphids love the curly types and are hard to wash. But it is worth it to me to have early spring greens. And the spring kale is out before the aphids, but at least that is safe.

  3. I think I will also try to overwinter kale ... not sure how it will work but worth a try. Great pics of the yard, it's good to see the size of space you work in for the wonderful harvests you get. I think I need a few more raised garden beds next year ...

  4. An impressive list for the month's preserving. I had to Google mache as it was a new one on me. I think we call it lamb's lettuce,

  5. It is so hard to know when to plant out seeds and seedlings. This year I have made a few mistakes of our own planting too early and it hasn't helped with harvesting at all. I am impressed by your squashes so many and they look beautiful. How many plants were they from?

  6. Your harvest and attention to detail, regarding keeping records, is really impressive.