I've needed new professional and blog photos for a long time. My friend Adam Roe was in town recently, and he happens to be professional photographer, so he graciously offered to snap a few shots. Despite less than ideal conditions, he did an outstanding job. Here's a larger version of the photo on my profile (which Blogger shrinks down to a tiny thumbnail):
To see more of Adam's work, head over to his Facebook page, and don't forget to 'like' and share it if you enjoy it. Adam is currently based in Berlin.
Here's a photo of today's harvest (taken by me, not Adam; you can tell by the poor focus and primitive lighting):
The garden is winding down and I'm gradually doing my fall harvest. From left to right, Yukon Gold potatoes, Delicata squash, Blue Lake and Helda pole beans, and assorted tomatoes.
I planted my Yukon Golds too late in the season (end of June) so my yields are mediocre. Still, I'll probably manage to get 15-20 lbs from that bed. Potatoes are fun to grow, and they do well here in the cool maritime Northwest.
The Delicata winter squash did fairly well. All told, I'll end up harvesting 16, 1-2 lb squash. We're fairly limited in the varieties of squash we can grow here due to the cool growing season, but Delicatas tend to do well because they're an early maturing C. pepo variety. They also taste great. If anyone else has a winter squash variety they've had luck with in the maritime Northwest, please share in the comments. Also, I'm interested to hear readers' opinions on my yield. Each plant yielded between 3 and 5 squash (4 average). I have no idea if that's a good yield or not-- I suspect it's on the low side. Thoughts?
My pole beans are in the middle of an impressive second flush. The Helda romano-type beans are vigorous growers and yield beans earlier in the season than the Blue Lake variety, despite being a larger pod. The Heldas have performed admirably, and they taste great, but nothing beats the flavor and texture of fresh picked Blue Lake pole beans. They have a super tender, sweet beany-ness that far surpasses anything I've ever gotten from the grocery store or even the farmer's market. I like to boil them for about two minutes, drain the water and toss them with olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
I'm in the process of "putting my garden to bed" for the winter. That means planting cover crops (winter rye, crimson clover and hairy vetch) and preparing the beds for a good Interbay mulch! The Interbay mulch technique was invented here in Seattle, and is done by placing organic matter directly on the garden beds, covering with burlap, and allowing it to compost all winter. In the spring, hypothetically, you end up with a beautiful fluffy bed, full of organic matter, nutrients and earthworms. It also helps suppress weeds. I'm trying a twist on the technique: I planted cover crops early, and I'll be cutting them down and incorporating them into the mulch at the end of October. I'm trying it for the first time this year because my beds need more organic matter. We'll see how it goes, but I'm expecting an epic season next year...
In the meantime, I'll be saving a bundle on greens this winter because I planted winter-hardy collards, kale and arugula. These are some of the best money savers here in the maritime Northwest because they grow like weeds. Every time we buy a bunch of organic greens at the store, we pay $2.50 or $3.00 for it, and we eat a lot of greens. Over the course of the year, we save at least $100 in greens alone. The greens that come from my garden also taste better than what we get at the store.