Re: [gardeners] shutting down the garden

George Shirley (
Sun, 24 Sep 2000 11:46:56 -0500

I'm envious of your luck with the New Mexico style chiles, have never had them
do well here. Smaller chiles, yes, bountiful harvests but not the flavorfull New
Mexico type. I end up buying the dried one at a store in Houston and then
reconstitute them when needed.

It sounds as though your garden prospered under Chuck's loving care. <VBG> And
your neighbors aren't doing too bad either with their bounty from your garden.

I assume you have your computer fixed and are back on line for awhile now.


Margaret Lauterbach wrote:
> The forecast for night before last was 38 degrees F.  The last time the
> weather service predicted that, I had fence to fence frost on my garden.
> Not too surprising, since the weather service measures temps 4 feet off the
> ground, and cold falls.  AFAIK, there've only been two studies done on the
> difference between surface temp and the weather bureau site, and one of
> those showed a 6 degree difference.
> Anyway, a friend and I set out to pick the chiles. We got all of them
> picked, a few plants hadn't yet set fruit, so we left them. Yesterday
> morning, there were some frosted leaves on cucumbers and some on
> tomatilloes or ground cherries, whatever volunteered.  Last night's low was
> predicted to be 36 degrees F., so we pretty well closed out the tomatoes
> and eggplants.
> I sent out a call for help,and the person who showed up to pick ripe
> tomatoes was the daughter of the people next door. When she was a child,
> she was a royal pain in the butt. Now she has teenaged sons, and,
> remembering her previous behavior, acknowledges that she was a pain in the
> butt. Anyway, she and her husband were picking tomatoes, and I told them
> some anecdotes or history of some they were picking (I had 39 varieties of
> heirloom tomatoes), and part way into the afternoon, her husband said,
> "Hey, this is fun!"  I suggested they save seeds of some they especially
> liked.
> We had one special disaster in the garden this year: rutabagas have cabbage
> root maggots in them.  We had poor germination of parsnips, so I hesitate
> to dig one up to examine it. I'm hoping they're all right. Radishes were
> okay.  I have very nice kale, regular green curly, black or lacinato kale
> and Portuguese gourmet kale (couve tronchuda).  We also grew Thai pea
> eggplants and some other unusual eggplants.  DH didn't keep eggplants
> picked when he should have, so we didn't get the abundance we should have.
> Ditto the okra.
> I did get an abundance of Habaneros, and even got some Chocolate
> Habaneros.  I also had a big harvest of Big Jims and Barker Hot chiles
> (NewMex style). The latter finally satisfied some friends that it was
> possible to grow flavorful and hot NewMex chiles here. They had ordered 8
> lbs. from Hatch, NM, since they were unsatisfied with their own crop. I
> gave the wife a Barker's Hot, she removed the stem and bit into the stem
> end, placenta, seeds and all, then choked and cried and drank water until I
> suggested she drink milk instead. Then she pronounced it "good."  Jim lived
> in NM for years, and even he pronounced that one acceptable. So I gave them
> a liquor box full of Barker's Hot chiles. Jim has helped me a lot with my
> computer and other things, so I was looking for something that would please
> him.  BTW, that abundance of chiles came from two plants. It took four Big
> Jims to produce that many chiles.
> We love the Big Jims though, since they're milder.
> At this point, I can't say enough good things about having a map of the
> garden on clipboard. It told us what we had and where it was, and where the
> tomatoes were that I wanted to save seeds from. It's thoroughly
> dog-eared.  And speaking of dogs, my wire-haired fox terrier, Tathers,  ate
> fallen apples, picked a large overripe cucumber and started to eat that (we
> took it away, and he lost interest in the cucumber family), started to eat
> an elderly eggplant that should have been on the compost pile, plucked a
> Habanero out of the picking box, and set it down without getting teeth
> marks on it (burning lips should have told him 'no'), chased passing
> animals on the other side of the fence, had a few barking bees with the
> Dalmatian next door, rooted through foliage in search of mice, and
> regularly circled around to see how I was doing. He was pooped out by early
> evening, both evenings.  He went to bed at 7.  I was ready to join him, too.
> Since we were prepared, I think, we were spared a killing frost. We're
> entering into Indian summer, and it's a beautiful time of year here in
> southwestern Idaho.  Golden warm days and sugar coloring leaves.  Margaret L