Well hello there, it’s been a while! I figured it was time for an update. If you’re still following along, thanks so much!
The garden saw its decline in August. 90% of my tomatoes got blossom end rot, despite amended my soil with macro and micronutrients prior to planting and supplemented with lime waterings. I’m guessing the cause wasn’t lack of calcium, but from inconsistent watering. I got discouraged and gave up, stopped watering and let things go fallow early. I did, however, get plentiful amounts of Principe Borghese tomatoes, which yielded about 3 gallons worth once dried. I think that until I can get drip set up, I’m not going to bother planting any more of the big heirlooms or saucing tomatoes, its just not worth it.
Right now, the garden is slowly becoming flush with the winter crops. In the beginning of September, I seeded out the roots and leaves bed: carrots, kale, lettuce, parsnips, beets, radishes, and arugula. I also planted starts of cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, and underplanted with parsley and nasturtiums. I plan to get garlic and peas in this afternoon, even though its a bit late in the season, and need to reseed spinach and chard that got munched by the damn rollie-pollies and slugs. I planted one bed with cover crop, to revitalize the soil after holding 4 rotations of crops. Already I’ve spotted some ladybugs, whom I’m hoping will overwinter and be ready to clear off aphids in the spring.
Since my tomatoes failed, I was able to barter for enough tomatoes to bother canning, and was able to put up several jars of crushed. Most of August and September was spent canning up jams and salsas, in addition to dehydrating figs and bartered apples. We had a ginormous crop of figs this year, enough for me to make a ton of fig spreads, sell some, and have lots and lots to barter and give away. We also got grapes off the ancient and neglected vines that we unearthed while building the fence, which I juiced and froze. A few weeks ago we bottled 5 gallons of Santa Rosa plum wine that we started back in June.
I called canning season over at the beginning of October, leaving me with the following inventory (excluding what was leftover from last year):
- 7 pints pear juice
- 17 pints crushed tomatoes
- 7 half-pints spicy tomato jam/ketchup
- 3 pints & 6 half-pints roasted salsa
- 8 half-pints salsa verde
- 8 half-pints peach cilantro salsa
- 6 4-oz cinnamon orange fig spread
- 7 half-pints & 1 4oz fig port spread
- 8 half-pints & 3 4oz balsamic pepper fig spread
- 9 half-pints pear vanilla jam
- 7 half-pints plum jam
- 7 half-pints mixed stone fruit “neighborhood jam”- apricot, plum, and peach
- 5 half-pints apricot nectarine jam
- 4 half-pints blackberry jelly