Harvest in the Kootenays

Image by Kassel via Flickr

There’s snow on the mountains, about a foot or so on Kootenay Pass I hear, this feels early, but maybe I’m just not quite ready for the onslaught. We are in the midst of harvest here in the Kootenays. Our house is full of stored, canned, ready to can, and dehydrated fruit and vegetables. The dehydrator is running as I write, Italian plums at the moment. There is popcorn spread out over the kitchen counter and boxes of apples everywhere. Downstairs, one has to be careful to navigate between the bags of wheat and oats, the garlic, summer and winter squash, pumpkins, potatoes, tomatoes, and hundreds of canned goods. Out in the garden, the only crops still in the garden are beets, carrots and rutabaga which are relatively frost hardy.

Last night at 10pm after our weekend away, we harvested all the squash and pumpkins, and some green tomatoes by moonlight. This morning I began the process of turning-under and preparing the beds for mulching and a dose of calcium. Before the ground freezes, well plant our soft-neck and hard-neck garlic varieties and dig out most of the remaining vegetables.

Every season has it’s moments, but this is one of the best – I can see why Thanksgiving was such an important time for a holiday in previous generations. We will be picking up our grain in the next month or so, all the canning will be done, the house and garden will be winterized and the firewood pile will be growing. The transition to winter pounces on us with snow on the hills in early October, but there will be plenty of sunny days left before the snow really flies to enjoy the Fall colours and flavours.

Published by Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.

2 replies on “Harvest in the Kootenays”

  1. I yanked my garden this weekend. I didn’t get too much out of it – again. I did get 4 small spaghetti squash,and I’m saving my dill seeds for next year, so it wasn’t a complete loss. I just feel gypped!

  2. I will be turning over my three 4ft-sqare beds in the next couple of days after quite a good harvest although I did not keep up with succession planting.
    Had enough leaf vegetables; lettuce, chard, spinach etc to keep me going for summer salads. Also onions, carrots, bush beans and runner beans, and many cherry tomatoes.

    I will use my own compost to top up the beds ready for planting in the spring. Then sweep up the leaves from my trees (32 bags each year) and rebuild the compost heap.

    This is where I admire the pioneers who had to keep families supplied all year or starve.

    Even so, I enjoyed the pleasure of picking my own food straight from the ground to my table, knowing there was absolutley there tht could poison me.

    Now I have set up my indoor Aerogrow Garden so that I can have lettuce etc during the winter. Within the light spillover I place my seeds for sprouts. I did it for the first time last year, and it was a pleasure to have this oasis of light and green growing in my living room.

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