October 6, 2009: Granny's Goin' Nuts!

I'm sitting in my car in front of the library, picking up a pitifully low WIFI signal. I hope it's enough to upload my recent photos. It's fun sitting here trying to type, with the steering wheel as my "desk"!

I pre-wrote my blog before I left the house, but there are a few things I'd like to address before I copy it here. First, I want to thank Stefaneener for the wonderful present I received in today's mail! My goodness, girl...you are too generous. I was on my way to the library and stopped by the PO to pick up the package, and I had to turn around and go right back to the house to see what was in that huge box. Imagine how surprised I was to see a Presto pressure canner! By golly, next year I'll have canned green beans and spaghetti sauce! We can't hardly wait to taste the blackberry jam....and the HONEY! Now, I did find a small container of seeds, and a packet of seeds. Mystery seeds. I had to guess one was radishes and one was broccoli. Was I close at all? Anyway, thank you dear Stefaneener, I love you.

Thomas! I see the seed mats worked for you! I'm so happy, and those radishes look great.

I won't have enough battery time left to answer my blog comments, but I will be going to my daughter's house soon, where I can hopefully catch up. Now....let's see if I can get all the photos in here!


9/30 - 24 pounds 10 oz. tomatoes plus 18 pounds tomatoes, 5 pounds green peppers, 6 oz. onions, 12 oz. carrots, 2 oz. herbs (parsley) (picked yesterday by Pat - 16 oz. bush beans, 4 pounds bell peppers, 1 oz. jalapenos). This is just the beginning of the tomatoes I've picked to ripen. I don't know why I don't have a photo of the entire harvest for this day, it must still be on the memory card in my camera.

10/1 - 1 lb. 14 oz. tomatoes, 12 oz. carrots

10/4 - 5 pounds 4 oz. tomatoes, 9 oz. zucchini, 18 oz. green onions, 3 oz. spinach, 12 oz. strawberries

10/5 - 5 pounds 10 oz. melons, 5 pounds 5 oz. bell peppers, 13 oz. jalapenos, 1 pound 8 oz. bush beans, 6 oz. potatoes, 2 pounds 14 oz. carrots, 3 pound 5 oz. pumpkin, 5 pounds 5 oz. butternut, 10 pounds 15 oz. tomatoes to Pat (no photo), 11 oz. herbs, 11 pounds 6 oz. tomatoes

By yesterday, all these formerly green tomatoes had ripened.

My two day harvest, minus some berries, a melon and what I gave to the neighbor, filled my kitchen counter.

I haven't dug the parsnips yet, except for this ugly thing that had gone to seed. It was so woody, I tossed it in the compost and didn't count it toward my harvest totals.

I had to get one last photo of the morning glories before they freeze. My, we have certainly enjoyed them.

Now, on to my pre-writtien post:

Have you ever seen a Granny go through internet withdrawals? It's not a pretty sight. Really....I've cleaned the entire house, the laundry is done, I've done most of the packing for the trip to AZ, and most of the garden has been harvested and cleaned up for next year. I've driven to all the known hotspots in the area, and none that worked for me last year are available any more. I blogged from my daughter's computer last week, but I'm not going to drive the 30 mile round trip every day!

We were supposed to get a hard freeze last night, so I spent the day in the garden, picking/pulling most of the remaining crops. Everything has been harvested now except for the parsnips, and the strawberries, radishes, mesclun and spinach, which are still growing and producing. And the tomatoes. I've picked a lot of lightly colored green tomatoes, and they are ripening quickly indoors. I would guess there are way over a hundred pounds of green tomatoes still on the vines, but I can't even talk anyone into taking them any more! I've tomatoed all my friends and family to death, and I'm getting really sick of them. I'll bet I wish I had them in the middle of the winter, but for now enough is enough! Well, it didn't even get close to freezing, even though 27F was predicted.

When I began planning my 2009 garden, I was hoping I could harvest 500 pounds. It didn't take long to reach that goal, so I set a new goal of 1000 pounds. I was quite sure that was way beyond what my small garden could produce, but I not only reached that goal, I exceeded it! Here's my total harvest, to date, for 2009 (totals have been rounded to the nearest whole pound, crops that are still producing are in parentheses).

Beans, bush - 25 pounds *I need to space the plantings out more in 2010. We had too many all at once.
Beans, pole - 18 pounds *Early on, these were very good, but they kind of went into retirement when the weather got hot., Will try planting in a different area of the garden in 2010.
Beets - 26 pounds *Perfect amount of tasty beets for fresh eating and pickles. Repeat in 2010.
Broccoli - 3/4 pound *The two heads I ended up with were delicious. Try harder for bigger crop in 2010.
Cabbage - 9 pounds *Golden Acre: Sweet, firm heads, perfect size. Plant more in 2010.
Carrots - 19 pounds *All varieties were good except Rainbow Blend. Plant more in 2020, try some sweeter varieties like Mokum and Sugar Snax.
Cauliflower - 3/4 pound *A total failure. Do not plant in 2010.
Cucumbers - 102 pounds *Planted three small (2-gallon size) containers of Spacemaster and had all we could use fresh and more than enough for pickles. Repeat in 2010.
Garlic - 2 pounds *Good return for what was planted, but really didn't use much. Will not plant for 2010.
Herbs - 3 pounds *More than we needed, but will plant about the same amount in 2010.
Lettuce/mesclun - (14 pounds) *Didn't plant nearly enough lettuce, spring or fall. Plant much more in 2010. Prizehead, buttercrunch, red and green Romaine were the best performers.
Melons - 18 pounds *Some of these were delicious, others (Hale's best) not so good. We get excellent local melons very cheap, so will not plant in 2010.
Onions - 16 pounds *These weren't the best onions, purchases as sets from Wal-Mart. For 2010, buy plants of Walla Walla sweets.
Parsnips - (1.4375 pounds) *The two I've eaten were delicious. The remaining ones won't be dug for another week, and I'm guessing I'll end up with another 8-10 pounds.
Peas, shelling - 1/2 pound *A total failure. Set back when birds decapitated them, they never did recuperate. Maybe I'll try again in 2010, maybe not.
Peas, sugar snap - 3 pounds *These didn't perform real well, as they also got nipped by birds, but they were in an otherwise unusable area of the garden, so worth growing again in 2010.
Peppers, hot - 10 pounds *All the jalapenos turned out to be very sweet. Only the one in a pot was hot. Plant two pots of hot peppers 2010, but keep them in a dry area of the garden/yard.
Peppers, sweet - 87 pounds *One of the big successes, definitely repeat in 2010.
Potatoes - 36 pounds *A great yield for only 12 square feet. Plant twice as many in 2010
Pumpkins - 95 pounds *Another success, but took up too much garden space. Will not plant in 2010
Radishes - (1/2 pound) *Why do I always fail at radishes?
Raspberries - 1/2 pound *2010 will be the first year for a crop.
Shallots - 4 pounds *Another success, as I started with so few in a 4 square foot area. Saved some to plant in 2009 for a 2010 crop.
Spinach - (6 pounds) *Good year for spinach, but didn't plant enough for the fall crop. Plant more in fall of 2010.
Squash, crookneck - 37 pounds *These were good/prolific, we got sick of them midway through the season. They also took up a lot of room and suffered from powdery mildew. Iffy about planting in 2010
Squash, butternut - 32 pounds *Another successful crop, Worth the space they took, will plant in 2010.
Squash, zucchini - 22 pounds *Not sure these were worth the space they took, but I'll probably try again in 2010. Maybe try growing in a bucket, away from sprinklers.
Strawberries - (24 pounds) *Very happy with this first year of strawberry plants. The 20 Tristar plants gave us a steady supply for fresh eating, plus two batches of jam.
Tomatoes - (421 pounds) *I'll NEVER plant this many tomato plants again! Even after losing 8 plants to blight, we had more than we, the family and the neighbors could eat/preserve.

Are you ready for this?

!!!1032.1875 pounds!!!

I'd estimate my final total, by the time the parsnips are dug and we leave the garden for the winter, will be close to 1050 pounds. A successful year to be sure!


  1. 421 lbs. of tomatoes??? Are you kidding me? Holy Moly! Your tomato harvest weighed more than my entire garden. Dang....that's impressive!

  2. Gran - it was nice to hear from you today. I was missing my daily dose of your wit and sass. 1032 pounds?! That's amazing! It just goes to show we can all put a huge dent in our food miles by growing our own. That's a huge accomplishment. You must be so proud!

  3. You make me want to dig up the whole back yard, stick some planting boxes in and just leave a three foot path to the garage. As mushy as it sounds, you are a true inspiration.

  4. The internet gods are plotting against me today. I answered the three comments that appear here, and when I clicked send, they went bye-bye somewhere! So I'll try again, and also answer the comments that my daughter deleted! At least I had them downloaded in my email.

    EG, I picked another 14 pounds of tomatoes Wednesday. There are more. Nobody wants them.

    Thomas, I miss you! I have so much to catch up with.

    Cheryl, I double dare you! Rest assured, my garden will not be so productive next year. I have no desire to try to beat EG two years in a row ;-)

    Hi, John. Isn't that a woman's job to provide for the family? LOL.

    Maureen, I'm battling the steering wheel again today. At least I can sit out here in my car, I have to go inside the library in AZ, they did something to keep access confined to within the building.

    Sande, as near as I can estimate, probably around 350 to 400 sf all together. It's hard to figure, as I don't plant everything in the measurable raised beds, I find little spots all around the back yard to tuck in a plant or two wherever they will fit.

    Raised Beds:
    Bed #1: 22'x4' = 88 sf (main garden bed)
    Bed #2: 3'x4' = 12 sf
    Bed #3: 18'x3' + 2'x2' = 58 sf (along fence line, mostly determinate tomatoes)
    Bed #4: 10x1' = 10 sf (along shaded fence, peas)
    Bed #5: 6'x1' = 6 sf (trellis)
    Bed #7: 6'x2' = 12 sf (trellis)
    Bed #8: 4'x8' = 32 sf (strawberries)
    Bed #9: 4'x8' = 32 sf (raspberries)
    Bed #10: 4'x8' = 32 sf (this year's indeterminate tomatoes)
    Bed # 11: 6' round = 26 sf (squash bed)

    Total Raised Bed Space: 308 sf

    2 whiskey barrels
    5 5-gallon buckets
    10 or 12 pots (1-2 gallon sizes)

    Plus nooks and crannies in the garden and flower bed areas.

  5. Daphne, it was my decision. Mr. H wanted to get switched back to DISH after a summer of hating cable (we had always had DISH until this spring). I was enjoying the cable bundle, especially the internet and telephone. I just decided, rather than just drop the cable portion, I could manage for three weeks without the internet, too. Last year, when I went grocery shopping, I could park outside of IHop and pick up a signal, but for some reason I can't get it now. McDonald's was a no-go too, but I didn't go inside, just tried them from the parking lot. I knew I could access from the library, I just hate having to drive clear into town to do it. But I will. It sure is nerve wracking not having it right here and handy, though! The problem is, nothing we get here as far as high speed internet, is available to us in AZ. My choices here are Charter Cable or Clearwire, neither of which can be used down there. In fact, the only internet there (other than dial up) is via Hughes satellite. Last year I paid the RV park near us for using their signal, but it was off more than it was on. I'll probably end up using the library (free) or local realtor's (? weekly and monthly charges) this year, but neither signal can be used from our house, I'll have to drive to their building. We're going to try to sell our AZ property this winter. If successful, I'll be back here with Charter internet service again. Either way I'll have Charter through the spring and summer months.

    Stefaneener, hooray for the cilantro! I thought I had some this year, but turned out not to be....whatever it was, it smelled like celery! I might try some of the kale in AZ, as November 1 is the planting date for that, according to my Victory Garden book. Do you think it will grow well in a big pot? I'll only have a 3'x3' garden there, LOL! BTW, the pressure regulator (the jiggly thing that sits on the vent) was missing from the canner. I went through the box carefully, quite sure I didn't miss anything. If you don't have it, I think they are probably readily available from the hardware store. I had to stick my finger in the honey for a taste...it is delightful! Must bake biscuits this week. Blackberry is my favorite jam, even before strawberry! I'll save that for AZ.

  6. ********
    SB, I'm trying my best to answer everyone as I'm off line, then I'll do a quick copy and paste the next time I get to the library. Mr. H is suffering the wrath of wife through withdrawals, so he kindly drove me to the library this morning so I could sit comfortably in the passenger side and not have to battle the steering wheel. You know, I could like actually go inside and sit at a table, but I just enjoy sitting in the privacy of my car

    Momma_S, I sure hope the rest of the parsnips aren't like that one! I thought it was going to be a bad one when I saw it had gone to seed.

    Dan, OMG! I had to look at that parsnip photo again...I didn't even notice that! Reminds me of my obscene zucchini plant last year or the "boy" cucumber from this year, only worse!

    Rachel, I miss you too! In fact, it's not so much missing an internet connection, it's more like missing interacting with all my blog friends. I'm getting lonesome. *pout*. Can you imagine how long it's goint to take me to catch up with all the blogs? I did catch up with a couple of them yeaterday by bringing the blogs up on my computer and not closing the tabs. That way I can read them after I get home. I didn't even think to do that when I went to the library this morning, but next time.... :-)

    Erin, every man should be so lucky (just kidding, LOL!!). Mr. H asked what I was going to do all winter if I didn't have a connection, so I told him I'd packed the seed box and would garden. He just groaned and offered to drive me over to ATT to get an air card for the laptop!

    Shawn Ann, this (above) pertains to your comment, too. I checked with ATT, and it would cost $99 for the air card (used to be free), and a two year contract at $60 a month. That's just a bit steep for me, when I can have unlimited access through cable for under $40 and they let me snowbird the account when I go to AZ (Clearwire won't do that, the monthly charge continues even when not in use).

    Ribbit, I'm already planning my AZ garden in my head, although it's very tiny (the garden, not my head....although my head is quite small, too). And the seed box is packed and ready to go! I'll at least try lettuce, radishes and maybe carrots, and maybe kale from Stefaneener and lemon basil (in a pot) from Kelly.


  7. Wow what an amazing harvest Granny! Those tomatoes look so good right now... I would love a tomato sandwich with a little sprinkling of salt and pepper please LOL

    Great job in the garden this year!

  8. Wow!! That's a lot of produce!
    ::is very impressed!::

  9. Well you'd better hijack someone's Internet and post often. You don't understand what Granny withdrawal is like....although I'm sure Arizona means quiet for you without the need to garden. You can gear up for next year.

    Question: Do you bring all of your canned food with you or do you leave in in Washington for use when you get back?

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