It’s time for my annual garden assessment. The vegetables are harvested—except for ten rows of potatoes to be a dug and a row of rainbow corn that’s yet to be husked.
One of the great joys of vegetable gardening is not knowing which crops will do well and which will falter. So, for some of the main crops, here are the scores for the 2011 season. A five means great, a one means not so good.
Sweet corn: (5) Best crop in years, harvested a couple bushels of plump ears.
Lettuce (3): Weather too hot too soon; crop likes cool weather.
Onions (3): Okay, but I’ve done better. Big family demand. Must plant more next year.
Cucumbers (5): Rave reviews for my new smooth skinned variety that also yielded well.
Zucchini (5): Kept right on producing right up to and even past the first light frost.
Pumpkins (4): Dry weather in August cut yield—and diminished size.
Green Beans (4): Good yield. High quality. But not quite as good as some year’s.
Squash (3): Dry weather about did in my squash. Have less than a half bushel. Pitiful.
Tomatoes (5): How about this year for tomatoes? Harvested several bushels.
Potatoes (3): Didn’t stop the enormous invasion of Colorado beetles in time—knocked down my yield. So far have dug maybe two bushels. Quality good. Size average.
Concord Grapes (5): Best year ever. Close to a bushel off of one vine.
Cabbage (1): Three scrawny heads. Failure. And I know how to grow cabbage, I thought.
Lesser crops such as beets, radishes, carrots, broccoli, spinach, gourds—average, not terrible, not good.
But as we old farmers grew up saying, “Next year will be better.”
CHECK THIS OUT: There are a few more slots available for my Saturday, October 29 writing workshop at The Clearing in Door County. It’s all about writing stories from your life. Go to The Clearing’s website for more information: www.theclearing.org.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: You are never closer to the land than when you are gardening.
October 4, Union Grove Library. 1:30 p.m. Horse Drawn Days, 6:30 p.m. History of Cheese Making.
October 8, Stonefield Village, Cassville, WI. 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Speaking at 12:00 and 2:00 p.m. Horse Drawn Days
October 15, Wade House, Green Bush, WI. 1:00 p.m. Horse Drawn Days.
October 18, New Holstein Library, 1:00 p.m. Book talk featuring Cranberry Red. 6:30-8:30 Writer’s workshop.
October 22, Toll/Londowski Family Farm, one mile west of Hwy 49/Co. Rd. J. Intersection, Green Lake, WI; “From the Land,” (A gathering of traditional crafts and skills with demonstrations) 11:00 a.m. Horse Drawn Days. 1:00 p.m. Lighter Side of Country Living.
October 23, Madison, WI. Wisconsin Book Festival. 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Campfires and Loon Calls.
October 27, Richfield Town Hall, Richfield, WI. 7:00 p.m. Horses and barns.
October 29, The Clearing. Writing From Your Life Workshop, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.