Yesterday Loretta and I ventured over to the Lincoln County produce auction to fetch a load of bushel baskets. Ralph King has a bumper crop of half runners coming on. We had been hoping to sell them for $30 a bushel. Yesterday at the auction they were selling for $68 to $75 a bushel! If all goes as planned, I will be back at the market come Monday morning with a truck load to sell myself. I do love half runners, but if they are fetching $75 a bushel, I will do without.
In the meantime, if you live in Wind Gap, Pa., for example, there’s a chance that you can still sow spinach there where the sunflowers used to be and have a marvelous crop come late winter or early spring. Otherwise, you should give up anything other than cleaning up the residue left this fall from your dead and dreary stalks — assuming you live in northern Pennsylvania or thereabouts.
And not many of you readers, other than Fred Beste, choose to live such a northern and desolate life style, but I do know that FJ passes the column along and I feel obliged to offer you free gardening advice if you live there on the swampy tundra or on the salty flats of the normally miserable east coast.
If you live in Kentucky, and your tiller is still running, and you want to take a chance on something, roma II beans will still make it if you get them in the ground this week and if we don’t have an early frost. All you have to do is plow up a little bit of ground and dig some rows and plant em. At this writing I have seven different varieties of late beans climbing the trellises. No more perfect time will happen for late lettuce, radishes and name your favorite greens.
But if you have a big piece of plastic or a tarp to cover them come frost warnings, there’s no reason you can’t have green beans from the garden for Thanksgiving. Same thing for your cucumbers and maters and peppers. I have mine planted, but we did cucumbers on Labor Day last year and had them crisp for Thanksgiving. Along with fried green tomatoes.
I spent most of the cool hours of the day on Saturday plowing and then sowing about a dozen different varieties of lettuce, mustard, beets, turnips, squash, kale and beans. All I need right now is a good hard rain and I will have a good fall garden.
The wind and rain and early frost may get it yet, but I’m betting that that my late fall vegetable garden will be better than anything that anyone had come on in July.
In the meantime I’m putting my old tiller in the garage and anything I have to do from here on out, tilling wise, will be done with a hoe. Stay tuned. Unless you live in Wind Gap, in which it’s way too late.