Late Autumn at the Urban Oasis

Relaxed Black Bear in Our Maple

Relaxed Black Bear in Our Maple  

Some of This Year's Honey

Some of This Year’s Honey

The active growing season now lays behind us. Beloved annuals have been harvested; such as winter squash, sweet —as well as hot peppers, tomatoes, and maize — all open pollinated and our own saved seeds.  Maize ( Hopi Blue and Martin Prechtel’s) is hanging in a kitchen corner; Winter squash (Greek Sweet Red and Al Trompaccino) are extended out from another corner.

Heritage Winter Squash

Heritage Winter Squash

Our kitchen suddenly becomes smaller and more crowded!

Kitchen Gets Smaller...

Kitchen Gets Smaller…

Tomatoes are in the freezer, having been transformed into Putanesca sauce: Jalapenos and Sweet red peppers are either frozen (to minimize perishability) or still in baskets, being used fresh —some given to friends.

Last Harvest Before 1st Frost...

Last Harvest Before 1st Frost…

 

Late Summer Wild Mushroom Harvest

Late Summer Wild Mushroom Harvest

Our use of open pollinated seed is an example of a practice that allows us to stack functions (a Permaculture guideline:one action: multiple benefits). Not only are we saving money by not having to purchase new seed, we are able to continue the practice by saving seeds of this year’s crop.

This is icing on the functional cake! Not only does seed carry genetic information from all seasons and types of conditions past (throughout it’s entire ancestry), the plants are also adding new information concerning this current seasons’ growing conditions!

Potential Seed Saving Opportunities

Potential Seed Saving Opportunities

Last Moment Harvest...

Last Moment Harvest…

We tailor this genetic process by selecting seed from plants that, for instance: fruit early; are extra large and delicious;  exhibit unusual vitality and disease/insect resistance, and other desirable characteristics.

Akebia Harvest

Akebia Harvest

Our urban orchard (with over 48 different varieties of perennial fruit) continues to delight, feed, deepen our relationship with our Homeland, and… teach.

Damage from Brown Marmorated Stinkbug

Damage from Brown Marmorated Stinkbug

Every growing season I learn more of the ever deepening and expanding complexity of life, especially in the realm of creating abundance.

Picking Late-Ripening Goldrush

Picking Late-Ripening Goldrush

Even with spraying our larger fruit (multiple times) with Surround and Serenade (organic products for dealing with both insect and disease organisms), almost 70% of the harvest was compromised.

Some of Our Apple Bounty

Some of Our Apple Bounty

Out of this 70%, 15% was unusable: the remainder has insect and disease damage, and must be cut around to utilize the good parts. This is labor intensive: the fruit cannot be used without this effort (which means one at a time).

Damaged fruit is very perishable (will not keep long) and must be used fairly quickly. I’ve been operating on —and eating — 8-10 apples each day! In addition, giving some to friends for quick use, and making some pies and gallettes…

Apple Serviceberry Gallette

Apple Serviceberry Gallette

We were fortunate to make it through the extended ripening season (Goldrush apples ripen in November) especially with the frequent wanderings through of multiple Black Bears.

Collared Mama with One of 3 Cubs

Collared Mama with One of 3 Cubs

Even with all the compromised fruit, we still have quite a lot!

Driveway De-Husking of Black Walnut

Driveway De-Husking of Black Walnut

Next season, though, I will pay more attention to the life cycles of insects and disease organisms, as well as timing of sprays…

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About goodheart

Education: Warren Wilson College (BA Environmental Studies) 1987: University of Wisconsin Stevens Point (MSc. Natural Resources) 2005 Permaculture Design Certificate (The Farm, TN) 1994 Presidential Volunteer Award: 2005, 2006, 2007 Experiences: National and international Permaculture teacher and practitioner since 1995; Sustainable land use and permaculture consultant; International consultant for small plot sustainable agriultural projects; Home orchard consultant; Endangered species observer for sea-turtle and whale projects; Field biologist and naturalist; Gourmet natural food chef and teacher; Home baker (artisan breads) brewer & fermenter; Home orchardist; BeeKeeper; Ecological gardener; Broom-maker in the Southern Highland Craft Guild, and general bio-philiac...
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