Archive for the ‘Harvest’ Category


Sebastian, the garden cat, also enjoys rides in the car. Really. He is one crazy dude.

I’ve been seriously remiss in not posting updates from the garden. Can I excuse it on the great harvest? It’s true that I’ve been focused on bringing in the sheaves, with making tomato sauce using borrowed pots and pans. It’s also true that I’ve fallen victim to the fall doldrums, an easing of responsibility in the garden now that cool nights and mornings are upon us.

Last night we had our first frost of the season. I’ve been talking, talking, talking about winter harvesting, and darn it, I’m going to do it. Not sure where the materials will come from, but I’m motivated to try. Elliot Coleman has two books I pore over to inspire me – “Four Season Harvest” and “The Winter Harvest Handbook“. Although he’s in Zone 5, I know much of his wisdom can work for a Zone 3 gardener (and he formerly farmed in a Zone 3 Vermont garden.) What I especially love are his thoughts on getting started. Simple. Easy. Low impact. While I may not be harvesting tomatoes in January (yikes!), I will have sweet tasting carrots, greens and snappy scallions. Plus, an early start to appease my spring gardening yearnings.

So, I’m off to plan my plan. Those of you who know me will roll your eyes and sigh, “here we go.” That’s okay. I like planning. I like piling on the information, then sorting through it and finding the one gem, the answer that creates that “yaahooo” moment. I do that at work, and I do that at home.

And yes, part of the plan is to expand my indoor growing area. I used to have new seedlings in the basement. Now, I start them in the living room, overlooking my gardens. I’ve been teased – “what you growing there, honey?” but pay no attention anymore. My neighbors know the score. It’s tomatoes, peppers, greens, flowers, and more.

I tip my hat to Fall and the start of the Winter Harvest!



Read Full Post »

IMG_2175I never realized before this year that raspberries come in two varieties – late spring and fall. I’d always assumed they ripened once a year. In Minnesota, that can be a reasonable assumption – many varieties that bloom and blossom in other parts of the U.S. cannot up here in the frozen tundra.

So what’s up with the raspberries this year? What did I do differently? I ask myself this question often, sometimes about my garden, many times about my life. What can I do differently today, than I did in the past? What made today’s raspberries blossom?

Well, I didn’t cut them back like I’m known to do. I gave them some starter fertilizer this year. I watered them more often.

So, my key learnings? Treat them tenderly, feed and water them. Life lessons, those.

I’m harvesting potatoes today, and will be digging them differently. I gently fork the row sides, then hand dig each potato. Avoids cutting the ‘tato in half. Treat them tenderly.

What are you doin’ to treat yourself tenderly? Are you feeding and watering yourself well?

Read Full Post »

Ruby Red Harvest

IMG_2187It’s harvest time at the Mishek Garden and I’m behind on my posts. This is a time of change here, with my son wrapping up high school memories and now packing to go off to college. Today is also his golden birthday, and I filled with awe and delight at the man he is becoming. To say I’m proud doesn’t give words to how I truly feel. Let it be enough that I trust he will be a good steward of my generation’s future.

I said its harvest time here – and it’s true. I was fortunate to visit my in-laws recently, and comment on their crabapple tree bounty. Come to find out they don’t harvest them, and I eagerly asked if I could in exchange for jars. They agreed, thank goodness!

It was rainy, humid day when Greg and I went to the farm to pick the harvest, a fast truck drive on the highway, a sticky wind in our hair. When we turned onto their road, the road-side black-eyed susans winked at us. Two blankets were already draped under the trees,  healthy crabs loaded with apples. Greg’s brother Andy had already shaken the first tree of gems; and we all worked on the second. Like bullets, they rocketed down on us, hitting head, backs, falling into the arms of waiting blankets.

Loaded the bounty up into the truck (50 pounds!), sweet smelling of apple harvest. And had a jaw around the bed, about harvests past, cherry harvests missed, kids, weather, solar energy and saving money.

Then back to the road and home. It took me a couple of days to get organized around making jelly. I wanted to try some new recipes – with pectin, without pectin, crabapple butter and such. My first batch hit the towels yesterday, four pounds down, 46 pounds to go. I used the Ball (canning jar folks) recipes – highly recommend the book. Here’s a link to their site.

More harvesting to go. More freezing and canning adventures to come.

Read Full Post »

Ugly, Heirloom Tomatoes


Read Full Post »

The Last Raspberry


Read Full Post »

Read Full Post »

Harvesting Scallions

Read Full Post »