Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Final Harvest

Well, then.

Our grand growing experiment has come to an end for this year and it's time to put the veggie bed to bed.

We've plucked off the last of the tomatoes, pulled up the final carrots and harvested the potatoes at last (more on that in a sec). Our busy little bed has gone from this:

To this:
(That's my niece, Sydney, picking tomatoes.)

And now, to this:

  • Strawberries (killed two sets of plants)
  • Mail order tomatoes (4 died)
  • Touchon carrots (they grew but we didn't like them)
  • Sweet potatoes
Very disappointed in our Beauregard sweet potatoes. We were hoping for big, scrumptious suckers like these:
But instead, after months of waiting and drooling, we got these:


You're supposed to 'cure' sweet potatoes in a warm, humid place for two weeks or so, to give their skin time to heal ('cause it looks so delicate, don'tcha know), and for the starches to convert to sugars and get all sweet.


They're curing, but...they're rather frightening to behold. I'm thinking we carve 'em up and stick 'em out on Halloween night.

  • Tomatoes (I'm going with Family Tree Nursery transplants again next year. Sun Sugars are awesome.)
  • Corn (limited harvest but amazing flavor)
  • Lettuce (I didn't do a great job of keeping the harvest going, but it was good while it lasted)
  • Purple Dragon carrots (good taste, beautiful color)
  • Fingerling potatoes (moderate success. Didn't produce very many, but they were good.)
  • French green beans
Without a doubt, the green beans were an outstanding success. The girls are begging for more. We've tried the frozen haricort verts, but - meh. Not the same as picked fresh from the garden. And I just can't bring myself to buy the canned stuff anymore.

Next year we'll try some new yummies. I may be able to talk the fam into trying peas. I'm fascinated by Thomas Jefferson's annual pea growing contest with his neighbors. They supposedly had around 32 different varieties to taste!

I'll be back in the spring to chronicle our growing adventures next year.

I'll leave you with a recipe that impressed my kids and my non-veggie lovin' hubbie. These will work on good old store bought carrots, but we did it with the last of our home-grown beauties.

Honey-Vanilla Glazed Carrots

8 ounces baby carrots (or sliced grown-up carrots)
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon white wine vinegar
pinch of salt

Put it all in a saute pan over medium-high heat, carrots in a single layer.
Let simmer until the pan is almost dry.

Try not to smack your lips too loudly while eating.