Harvest Moon and Harvesting

Harvest moon rising over Patmos Ridge, located about 5 miles east of here:

 

A still shot.

I just don’t have the right equipment (or talent, training, etc.), but I’ve tried taking photos of the moon, including this Harvest Moon and a shot from a few days ago.

And Mars:

Jupiter:

and Saturn:

Distracted a bit?  There are some perks to not living in a densely populated area anymore.  Especially during a pandemic…

Speaking of harvest and moon and stars – some deer damage to Moon and Stars, Yellow Flesh watermelon:

Deer jumped the fence for this one, and a few days later ate most of the second one as well:

It’s only a 3′ tall fence, so not exactly an effective barrier.  I’ve started bagging melons that are close to maturity now.

I harvested 80% of the squash, melons and cucumbers ahead of that intense windstorm and frost of 3+ weeks ago.  But I did leave 20 or so fruits on the vine, just in case that 30° F hard freeze didn’t materialize.

Well, it didn’t, or sort of did.  There was cloud cover on those cold nights, so the official low temperatures for three nights were in the 37-40° range.  There was definitely some moderate frost.

Cucumbers were hit the worst.

Lemon Cucumber –

English Telegraph Cucumber, showing some new growth.  The weather over the past several weeks has been very comfortable, other than a couple more close calls with low temperatures in the upper 30’s.

Melons and watermelons fared somewhat better, with Sweet Delight Honeydew vines coming out of the light frost in fair shape.  This variety has been very slow to produce fruit – this is the first of the season:

Among the squash vines, some were almost completely wiped out, but most have produced new growth, such as this Rampicante:

Easily the healthiest, earliest and most productive squash variety all season has been Golden Zucchini.  The vines were virtually untouched by the wind or the frost and have continued to produce fresh blossoms nearly every day –

Deer also managed to get into the tomato patch a few nights ago.  The “gate” was rather flimsy, but is secured better now.  Damage was moderate outside the cage but light inside.  It’s such a jungle of vines that the deer didn’t penetrate far.

Following the complete harvest of all ripe tomatoes ahead of the storm on September 9th, it took me until the 19th to complete processing those batches for seed saving.  Then I harvested a “few” more batches:

These in turn took me another 10 days to process.  Then today I picked a few more:

The weather has been very favorable for tomatoes the past three weeks!  Unfortunately, most of these are very small batches, many with just a single tomato.  Not exactly the most efficient way to save seeds, but far better than nothing!

By some miracle of physics, I’ve managed to fall behind with the task naming and processing photos by 2,762 — and that’s just for 2020!  Still 18,000 or so left to process between 2017-2019.  Some really beautiful tomatoes, etc.  Tasty and nutritious as well, of course.

Here’s a sample of a variety I picked today –

This is now at an F3 stage of a cross made between Sergeant Peppers and Libanaise des Montagnes by Natalia Khilenko of Armavir, Russia.  This variety under development is hers to name.  It has been a real standout for me during this challenging year.  Unlike nearly all of the other varieties in the giant tomato project, this one set fruit early and continued with abundant production all year, far outproducing all other varieties, at least in terms of mass of tomatoes harvested.  Obviously a few cherry tomatoes outproduced this one just in terms of numbers of tomatoes.  Flavor is very good as well.  Here’s a photo of the parent tomato from 2019:

This cross has the potential to be one of the largest-fruited tomato varieties with a significant amount of anthocyanin.

One more fun little tomato, Phil’s One:

Also Thornburn’s Terra Cotta, a variety with unique pigmenting and an interesting history –

So many more to come – having too much fun?

Keep tabs on availability of seeds of all varieties, including dozens of new additions from 2020, at:  DT Seeds

Perhaps in 2-3 weeks I will at least have the list of available varieties ready from this season.

 

 

1 thought on “Harvest Moon and Harvesting

  1. Thanks for the report. As I look to you for some of my giant tomato varieties I’m very happy this year with RW Cephei ( solid 2 lbs ,mild flavor, skin crisp not leathery and 3 out of 4 plants still going after starting from seed in February)
    Also a variety called Rim ( 2 lbs pumpkin like in looks and solid meat )

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