|8-27-2016 and we were still getting blossoms on our pea plants.|
Kinda crazy, considering 8-27-2015 was the day I drove through a blizzard...
The high tunnel is pretty amazing for extending the growing season.
For our first year, I think we did a pretty darn good job. I don't have any stats, but I know I've made a few loafs of zucchini bread, three or four rhubarb dump cakes, countless pans of carrots/beans/pea pods. I made (what I like to call) salsa (and others would possibly refer to as pico de gallo, but no cilantro because cilantro is gross) using cherry tomatoes, and it was, well, different.
We have a lot of frozen tomatoes. I want to try to make tomato paste, but haven't decided yet to buy a food mill. I've also considered making pasta sauce, all to use up those frozen tomatoes. We've decided we most definitely need to plant way fewer tomato plants in 2017.
It was nice that we had two different kind of beans planted, because one type started producing way before the other. But whoever decided to plant the one kind on that tall lattice thing is my enemy because I am short and it was very hard to get to the beans. I'm gonna need to see if I can find some "dwarf" plants for 2017. No need to have my beans trying to be 10+ feet tall...
The zucchini and squash had a big problem. We have one or two nice zucchini, some decent round squash, but had a big blossom end rot problem. Not sure why, but it resulted in a lot less zucchini in the freezer than I had hoped for. But hey, I have no idea where my loaf pans are, so whatever...
The giant cabbage split, or got pecked to death, or something. The strawberries were delicious, but I want to figure out a different way to plant them this year than in a 4x4 box. Strawberries don't frequently come back the following year up here; it gets too cold. The corn got ears, but didn't develop. I was super sad about that. I found out that I LOVE picking carrots, and want to plant a whole lot more next season. Celery never got thick, but got tall, and we have some in the freezer, which I've used.
We frequently shared produce. Cucumbers went to the lady down the street. Lettuce went to anyone who would take it! Turnip greens went to some southerners at work who were so darned excited to have them, and to the neighbor who gave us some salmon in return. We harvested a ton of produce right before our trip to Fairbanks, and didn't want it to go bad, so we took a bunch over to Jeff's coworker; his family really enjoyed it and I was happy to hear that.
The things I'm really disappointed in:
We didn't really work the soil before it snowed. My bad. I didn't really know where to start, didn't really ask for help, and just let time pass. I have no idea how bad this is going to affect the garden for 2017.
Without thinking, I invited someone to participate in the garden with us. I should have thought about my personality and the fact that me not having full control over my project would not go well. We will not be asking anyone to join us in gardening for 2017.
We've not yet made a plan for 2017. There is a rip in the south side wall and there are some wear spots in the roof. I know that I have a lot of work to do once the snow gets melty (it'll stick around for a while back there). And I still need to make plans of what to plant where. We'll have to see if we put the roof on, or if we go for more of a "low tunnel" situation, since this tall, huge high tunnel is in need of some fixing and is really way to big for us. I don't know, maybe with me not working full time it won't be too big for us. Time will tell. Stay tuned...