Harvest Report

We haven’t actually had much in the way of summer weather. It looks like spring is going to morph right into fall, with only the length of day to cause anything to grow. Well, plus all the rain. It has rained pretty much every night and quite a few days, too.

It’s a pattern that has favored smaller fruit and vegetables. You can see that the San Marzanos are doing great, as are the cherry tomatoes and this smaller variety that I hope sticks around. The big guys are a sick yellow, still, and splitting from all the water. I put a reflective mat under the vines, to encourage early growth. I think the bees were drawn to the warmth as well, because the germination rate was huge. The neighbors hardly have tomatoes at all. Heh heh heh.

This butternut squash is actually bigger than it looks, close to being as big as Jacques’ head. I have two or three that size, thanks to all the rain. I guess I can roast and freeze it.

I won’t be showing you an overall shot of the potager. The potato leaves are yellowing and the weeds are everywhere. Julien and I weed enough that he takes a truckload of green waste in every couple of weeks and still, it’s bad. So, a bumper crop of dandelions for all you winemakers out there. My liitle kitchen garden looks pretty ratty, but it’s producing like crazy. I’ll keep it going until the Brussels sprouts are finished.

You also won’t see the berries because I keep eating them. Content yourself with my first tiny crop of grapes. I had to look a while to find a bunch that hadn’t been taste-tested into oblivion. They really are excellent, seedless and better tasting than the ones I buy at the market. These are trained against a wall across from the terrace. Looking at them, you might almost imagine that it’s warm outside.

The peaches are small, but getting there. And this apple tree is almost doing too well. I’d like to start picking them, but I don’t know when a Reine de Reinette is ripe. Maybe that one at the upper left?

Last one, I promise. Rose hips. Julien stuck some rugosa rose cuttings into the ground intending to transplant them. Then he didn’t. Apparently the spread by their roots because they are taking over, and fast. They, along with the sumac and raspberry roots, are likely Julien’s full-employment program. I guess the rose hips are for me.

It’s tea time. See you!

8 thoughts on “Harvest Report

    1. I don’t know. I’m such a lax gardener, honestly. But if your friends live around here, I highly recommend a nursery called Pépinières Végétales 85, near La Roche sur Yon. They specialize in plants that do well in this area. I bought these grapevines there, as well as all my fruit trees. Notice that the grapes are against walls that get a lot of sun, when we get sun. Also Julien pruned the leaves away from the grapes, to maximize the heat.


      1. A sunny wall helps no end…as does removing excess leaves when you lack sun. We had chasselas – green – on the garden wall in the last place in France, and brought some cuttings of Bacot – one of the hybrids – from the house before which we trained round the balcony balustrades. In hot summers they needed the leaves to prevent scorching. I’ll pass on the name of the nursery, thank you.


        1. The last place? How many did you have? Plus how many in Spain? I’m sure you had good reasons and I guess my moves would add up too, if I cared to count, but it sounds exhausting. Is your Costa Rica house the one you’ve been in the longest?

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          1. Adding up, 8, though we only lived in four and one in Spain. Here we have two houses, pne here and one in the capital.
            As Leo could not work and I had to give up to care for him we needed ncome, so doing up places and selling them on was a solution. Leo had plenty of experience since he started doing up houses as a young man in London to supplement his income on the Stock Exchange – everything from a mews cottage to a thirties whopper and a lot inbetween.
            We started out here in the original little house which was sweet, but then built the current one as it became clear that Leo’s mobility would be reduced.
            I enjoyed the work on the houses – and learned a lot – but could not go through it again…memories of having to hurdle two trenches to bring food from kitchen to dining room come back to me…


          2. I’d have eaten while standing up in the kitchen, but maybe the trench hurdle is a better solution. Either way, I’m with you. I love this house and yes it was worth it, but I never want to do it again. You’ve got me beat on the numbers, though. I’ve done cosmetic work on a few places but major renovations, just four.

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    1. I can recommend Reine de Reinettes. They grow easily, are self-fertilizing and can be used to fertilize other apple trees. You can see how abundant they are. We have finally gotten some warm days, so they are now ripe. They are a little crisp, which I like, and they have this slightly perfumed quality to the flavor. Absolutely top.


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