Friday, October 31, 2014

The Worlds Most Expensive Vegetables - Part 16

In the words of Devin Townsend, "Let's finish this!"

Yeah, so I've been slacking on the garden posting. It's not easy to get excited when things are winding down and the vittles get weird spots on them due to cold weather. This here is a picture of the current state of The Worlds Most Expensive Garden. Pretty sad, really.

But let's back up a bit and harken back to about the time I stopped posting. Here's that corn that came out chewy. If you look to the right you'll see some cows giving the corn the eye. Maybe the cows ran into my garden a few times this summer to get corn or maybe they were trying to get away from the stink of their barn. Only the cows know.

A "modern artsy" shot of tomatoes in their glory days. "Ooooh, look at me! I'm only slightly in focus!" Very trendy, so I understand.

That was then, this is now (pea pods, that is), though still just as artsy-fartsy.

This is a picture of me an' the missus. Move along, Peeping Tom.

Odds and ends. A small haul, most of which got eaten. As an aside, my household isn't very good at planning around the harvest (it takes practice and time, both rare in my house) so often a fresh cucumber would slip to the back of the fridge, found much later as a shriveled mummy. Or cabbage would sit and patiently wait for it's moment of glory, like a timpani player, only to have peak freshness pass before we were ready. Or remembered. Also note the playful Tomato People! These are romas and so stand a mere three inches tall although they look much bigger. Memories have a way of inflating things.

Speaking of forgetting, or almost forgetting, is the melon party! An unskilled grower like myself has a window of about six and one third minutes between when a melon is actually ripe (and thus no longer tastes like a cucumber) and when it starts to rot. I rescued these and held them in captivity in the garage fridge. My personal favorite is the white, though it's a crapshoot if you get sweet, sweet heaven or sour cucumber. Ya can't tell by looking.

The carrots have done extremely well, at least the white ones. I found that if you don't eat them within minutes of plucking them from the soil they get rubbery, which is why if you look at the top photo you can see some carrots still holding on tight for their chance to feed us. With yellow, white and orange carrots (I know, I can't believe I forgot purple) we chop them into round slices and make cooked candy corn carrots. They kids have been known to be tricked into eating these as the evening snack... at least the younger kids. But this isn't carrots, it's the sweet tater vines.

And here's the sweet taters dug up. There's a complicated curing process involving 90 degree temperatures and 90% humidity for seven days with the taters aligned north to south and rotated every hour by Scandinavian immigrants. I refuse to participate and am trying method #2 which involves leaven them outside on the ground during daylight hours to toughen their outer skin. Hopefully they don't rot or turn rubbery. In any case, I'm sure it's all just a waste of time and money.

Speaking of money, what's the total for the year? Here's my rough notes... too lazy to format them completely.

Big tomatoes - $10 - eating two every day at work
More marconi and bell peppers that are due - one big black, multi-color pack = 1
black, 3 red. $6 for peppers
Melons (one in fridge now) $3
Melon is a pumpkin! Also, mini pumpkins. $4
Lotta mini-melons - well four. Tried lots. $4
8# green beans - $10
Cucumbers - $1
butternut squash are small and covered with squash bugs- pitch 'em
Put rosemary up to dry - five year supply - $3
4# more green beans - $5
Put sage dried - $2
Drying sunflower seeds - $4
White sweet taters - organic - about 30# - $45
Loads more carrots - about 20# - $20

We froze six pounds of them green beans without washing and blanching. Am I insane?!?!? If you have any doubt regarding the sanity of a man who spends $500 on a stupid garden then I doubt YOUR sanity. I got the tip from this site. I think I'll grab a bag out tonight and see how they taste.

Adding everything up comes to $117 leaving the total cost/profit at $308 in the hole. Get it? Gardening? Hole? Oh well. There are still a few smallish peppers growing and pea pods I really should gather up tonight and two cauliflower plants that did nothing all year except look like freakish palm trees but now are sporting wee tiny cauliflower buds so I'll round down to $300 that I'm out.

But surely I can make it up next year, right? I could if we were going to be living here next summer, which we probably aren't. That's a long story that I doubt my lawyer will let me tell at the moment but chances are good that I will be taking at least a few of my $500 expense with us.

Thanks for reading. Happy garden dreaming this winter, y'all!

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