October 12, 2009

Fall Harvest

Yesterday, a hard frost was predicted for overnight, so I decided to bring in the cabbages, which were still growing in the garden. I had a terrific cabbage harvest, with 7 huge heads, each from 7 to 8 pounds. I guess I'll be eating a lot of cabbage this winter. Luckily, it keeps very well, till April or May, wrapped in newspaper (this year they're so big I used brown paper) and stored in the root cellar. The cellar in this old house is dirt floored, therefore damp, which is ideal for storing cabbage and root crops. It's not quite cold enough: perfect for potatoes, a bit warm for carrots and beets because of the furnace that runs occasionally, but it serves its purpose quite well.

Today, sunny but cool, was a good time to dig beets and carrots. The forecast for tonight has the "s" word: snow. Too early for that. The carrot harvest was middling, and the beet yield was not very good, likely because of the cool summer weather. What was great for cabbage wasn't so good for root crops. I store the beets and carrots in pails and boxes in the root cellar, covering them with sand and peat moss which helps keep moisture in the vegetables. I occasionally water the sand so that it doesn't dry out, and cover it with plastic. The crops still in the garden are just the very hardy ones: kale, brussels sprouts, and leeks. Now my meals come from storage areas in the house and from the garden, a sure sign that fall is advancing.

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