Sunday, October 12, 2008

Winter Withering

One things I tried this year for the first time was a hybrid muskmelon, called the Alaska Melon that was bred to grow in cold climates. Its supposed to grow up to 4 pounds, but it didn't really do that. But it did grow, and I carefully watched it, fed it, watered it, etc. It didnt' get big, but we were harvesting, so I thought, what the heck, I'll harvest it. I brought it in, and I couldn't decide if we should cut it now, or let it ripen on the counter. It felt like it was maybe kind of soft, so I cut it open, and it was so cute! It was a mini cantaloupe. After I cut out the seeds, and cut off the rind, we each got a tiny slice and it was SO good. I totally will try and grow them again next year. Yummy fresh, slightly cold cantaloupe. mmmm
You can see how small it was if you compare it to my thumbnail.

Well, the greenhouse plants went away this weekend. We cleaned up the deck to make snow shoveling easier (it snowed about 3 inches this week, but melted off). And while we were at it, we had to clean up the potatoes which were planted in boxes all over the deck. Hmm, I actually don't have a picture of that. But anyway, we planted potatoes in boxes, sacks, and deep planters this year, and I think if we had planted them before August it would have worked really well. As it is, we have gotten 2 meals out of them, and they taste really good, so that's something. So after we gathered up the potatoes we decided to get rid of the other dead plants and store all the pots and stuff. So we pulled off all the green tomatoes (all the plants died a while ago, they've just been chilling in there occasionally ripening) but since its too cold now, we just harvested everything. Justin even got almost a full second crop of jalapenos, and he had a lot of fun with that. We're switching to hydroponics for next year, and we're going to experiment with hydroponic chili peppers and tomatoes downstairs this winter. Should be fun. Much easier for those kind of crops than messing with dirt. That was part of the potatoes problem, we ran out of dirt, and couldn't keep hilling them as we should have been. So we'll save the dirt we used this year and grow potatoes, carrots, beets, broccoli, etc. And we'll grow tomatoes, jalapenos, and maybe strawberries by hydroponics. Fun stuff. Now I need to get my seeds ordered so they will be here in time for spring planting. . . .


Anonymous said...

Alicia, You should be able to ripen your green tomatoes by putting them in a big paper bag and checking them every couple days (so the etheline(sp) gas collects and hastens ripening).
If you reuse your dirt next year be sure to add a bunch of compost and a fertilizer like chicken manure--all those root crops are heavy feeders and they won't do well in containers with tired soil. Annoying but true.

Have fun with all those seed catalogs! Cheers, Sandra

The Rhiens said...

Those look cute and tasty. Small, but cute and tasty. But, perhaps cute was not what you were looking for. I grew some miniature bell peppers, so I can relate.

Don't give up.


Brian & Charlotte Carper said...

We are so lucky to have all that great goat and chicken manure, as well as all the kelp we can use for compost and manure. I'm excited to try the kelp since they say it composts instantly, instead of having to wait like with a hot manure like chicken.

Our soil is going to be soooooooo healthy next year. YAY !!! good job you guys. Lots of hard work, but worth it. Love, MOM