Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Gardening Year in Review

Last year for one of the first times in my life, I didn't have a hard time letting go of summer. Was it because I knew I would meet up with the sun again in Mexico in November? I don't think so, I think it was because I really felt I got everything I could out of summer - lots of swimming in the lake, lots of fruit, lots of satisfying garden, a bounteous harvest and a freezer and cold storage room full of summer tastes.

This year, I had a much harder time saying good bye to summer. The evidence is in the fact that there are still about 15 tomato stakes left in my garden and that I just planted my garlic last week.... I think I didn't get all I wanted out of summer. The strawberry, raspberry, cherry and apricot crops didn't do so well and mostly I have the leftovers of the previous year's great harvest of those things in my freezer. And with the super hot and then unseasonably cold weather, the above picture represents all the sugar pumpkins I got out of my garden along with the only Queensland Blue. Its a good thing I set out to grow a year's supply of squash or I wouldn't have any!

And this picture makes me laugh. I have never successfully grown onions but that didn't stop me from deciding to grow a year's supply of them, too. I had more than 52 onions started indoors at the prescribed 10 weeks before planting outside, which I have never done before. However, the results were not much different than usual. Most of them I didn't even bother to pick. This here one that is sitting on my window sill beside a chestnut, is my biggest onion. Most of them were about a third of that size. So, this year my goal is to learn HOW to grow onions. Clearly I don't know. It is my winter reading project that will start just after Christmas.
Tomato production was down this year, too. Although I had a few more plants than the year before, I didn't get near the same amount of tomatoes. It was that weird weather. And then I get shade sooner in the fall thanks to that hedge of elms I dream of cutting down... I had to buy some local tomatoes to add to my canned stash. But I am full of tomato dreams for next year already. I grew some really great tomatoes this year despite all that. I have decided there is little point in growing any tomato that isn't huge. Ahhhhh... it is hard to write about it and remember those gorgeous tomatoes with their striated orange, yellow and red.... they were sooooo delicious....

This is what keeps me going through the winter. This is a transplanted aloe vera plant that turned out to have a bunch of calendula seeds in the soil and they popped right up! I love that!

And this is one of my pomegranate trees who lost all of its leaves by July. It is sprouting leaves and branches. (you didn't kill it after all, Mary Sue;)


bum.by.the.sea said...

the way you talk about tomatoes makes me want to just sink my teeth into one and eat it like an apple.

Andrea said...

Me too!

Mary-Sue said...

yeah, see? it was GOOD for the pomegranate to get new soil and a new pot!!!
i think we need to somehow poison your elm trees somehow... ;o)

Andrea said...

Yes, it turns out that you were right, after all! How could I doubt you?