End of Summer Harvest Notes

21. September 2019 17:18

Walking into the local Costco and seeing the artificial Christmas trees blinking in the seasonal area is a sure sign that summer has come to an end for the year. Much of the garden faded a month ago.  Of course, some of that was due to the critters which have breached the perimeter defenses. The cottontail bunnies started arriving at dawn and dusk to dine on greens.  It is absolutely true that they like carrots -- or at least carrot tops.  Green beans and peas seem also to be favorites on their menu.  While the bunnies tend to avoid being out during the bright parts of the day, ground squirrels seem to favor that time.  Until a few years ago there were none in our neighborhood.  This year they came in invasion force.  Fencing barely slows them down.  They seem to have very short attention spans picking an almost ripe tomato and then dropping it half eaten in another part of the garden.

The early summer was cool, so the garden peas did well until too much cool fog encouraged mildew in the thick tangle of the plants.  Unlike the previous year there was a nice harvest of apricots as well as other stone fruit.



One evening I found a large gopher snake making its way through the garden.  It seemed like there were not as many snakes around the past couple years as there had been, so I welcomed this visitor and hoped that it would eat well reducing the gopher population that has been making swiss cheese like holes everywhere.



By late July the stone fruit was abundant.  Lots of canning and freezing and juicing resulted in a full freezer and pantry shelf.




As the stone fruit faded, the apples and pears made up for it.  The trees are still fairly small and I did manage to do a reasonable job of thinning the fruit clusters.  The result has been much larger apples seriously weighing down some of the still thin branches. To handle this bounty, we decided that turning it into a few gallons of cider (not the alcoholic kind) was a good solution.

At this point there are plenty of apples remaining on the trees which will ripen over the next couple months. And figs and a few pomegranates will be ready as the year ends. 


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