Southern Bounty

Though I’ve moved away, my gardens are still producing–and producing well!

I came back to Vermillion for the weekend to get my house cleaned up to sell and to harvest and do another CSA delivery for my members, who have been incredibly understanding and supportive about my new job and move.

The pictured harvest was done in about three hours this afternoon after having spent the morning doing house work and meeting with the realtor.

H and I also managed to make it down to Ribs, Rods, and Rock n’ Roll twice–once last night for dinner, and again this afternoon for lunch.

Not sure if I’ve had my entire fill of pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw, and beans yet, but I don’t know if I’ll manage to get back down there before the festivities conclude.

It is always interesting to experience the barbeque-and-car culture–though my favorite at the show and shine is always the old trucks–give me that 1974 IH pickup over one of those hot rods any day!

The older trucks always look so much more functional than any of the new “super-duty” ones they put out now–I wonder how you can even get anything in those high beds–and most I’ve seen don’t look like they’ve ever had anything in them anyway–not a scratch on ’em.

Anyhow, I headed out to the farm at about 3:30 and still managed to dig out one of the two remaining rows of Blue Solaise leeks (grown from seed I saved!) and one of the two rows of Purple Peruvian fingerling potatoes.

Purple Peruvians are a very long season potato, and they are one of the oldest varieties known.  People living in the Andes (whence potatoes come) tromp them on tarps and let them freeze dry overnight in their arid and chilly mountain climate.

They’re also somewhat difficult to harvest because when they’re dirty they look all the world like an elongated hunk of clay–or really more like a dog turd.  I know that’s not an appealing image, but there you have it.

Once they’re washed off, their lovely purple-through-and-through color is a little more obvious.  I have to wonder if the soils in the Andes are lighter colored than our clay loam–which would make them a lot easier to spot without clawing through every clod.

I also harvested spaghetti squash, and I pulled the first several Delicata squash, which I’ve never grown before.  They’re a little longer season than spaghettis, but they’re sure yielding well.  I pulled three for each member and about five to bring back to Minnesota.

The peppers are doing really well–those Jimmy Nardellos are pumping out the sweet red peppers, and the Italian Sweets are also ripening up.

There weren’t many Napoleon Sweets out there, but I’m guessing that’s due to my telling a couple of people in H’s family they could pick a few–they seem to have concentrated on that variety, which is fine with me, because I like the others better!

The summer squash is overwhelming, but I expected that.  I’ll probably toss a few of the real monsters over the fence–wishing I had chickens right about now for those and the oversized cukes and crazy-long Cowhorn okra pods.

I haven’t even touched the tomatoes yet, but it looks like some of them are still eking out an existence out there–and maybe even making a bit of a comeback.  I thought for sure they’d all be flat dead when I got back, but they aren’t all.

So, tomorrow morning I’ll be boxing or bagging up the bulk of this bounty and doing deliveries before a few more small clean-up projects at the house, then loading the remaining big cooler with my produce share, and making my way back to the northland.

Wonder if there’s been a frost up there yet!


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