Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tracking the Harvest on World Food Day: September 2013

Today is World Food Day, part of the effort to end hunger around the world. My contribution to today's effort is the loan of my broadfork to the Plant-A-Row-For-the-Hungry project (for which I was a volunteer, before I got the new job) in Kennesaw; the group is going to use it in harvesting sweet potatoes that will be donated to The Center for Family Resources in Marietta.

Vegetables -- foods full of essential vitamins and minerals -- are especially important foods to provide to low-income families. When a food budget is tight, fresh veggies usually don't make it onto the family menu, but they can contribute a lot to good health.

In my own yard, this month's harvest has been a little skimpy. The saddest part is the sweet potato total, since the bed those were in was so totally chipmunked. If we were depending on my garden for all of our fresh produce, we would be in trouble, because we like to eat a lot of veggies every day.

The following harvest weights for September are in kilograms:

Tomatoes, ripe
Bush beans, green
Potatoes, sweet

September 21.85 kg =  48 pounds, 2 ounces
Running total January through September = 166.1 kg =  366 pounds,  3 ounces

I don't know whether the total is going to make it above 400 pounds this year. It will be interesting to see how the fall vegetables do. Right now, many of them are being nibbled fairly persistently by chipmunks and/or rabbits. The carrots and radishes are doing well enough, but the beets and assorted greens seem to be losing the battle.

Wish me luck?


  1. The rabbits had a feast with my newly planted collards. So - I took cheap plastic cups - about the 9 oz size, cut them down the side and then cut the bottoms out and put them around my tender plant stems till they got big enough to fend for themselves. It'However, the spinach is another story. It's harder to protect. My question for you today is what do you use to organically control bugs and pests on the leaves of the collards, broccoli, and brussell sprouts? Especially collards since the leaf is what we eat - I would like to harvest some without holes!

  2. Hi Barbara,

    I barricaded the third planting of cucumbers with little cups last spring, but I was hoping for a lot more fall greens than I could easily protect one-plant-at-a-time.

    For caterpillars on the cabbage family crops, I have used tulle (fine netting) to keep the fliers from laying eggs on the leaves. In the past few yours, though, I've gone to spraying the plants with Bt for caterpillars. The batch I have at the house right now is called Thuricide, and I got it at a Pikes garden center. There are other brands at other stores. Bt is an OMRI-approved bacterial product that has a targeted effect on caterpillars, and it washes off easily (you'll need to respray after a rain) so you won't have to worry about residues when you want to eat your greens. (Note that just because something is OMRI approved doesn't mean I will use it. I use Bt, and I've used an Iron Phosphate bait for slugs & roly-polies, and I use insecticidal soap on my indoor plants, but that's about all.)

  3. I've used Bt, just never on the leaves I intended to eat - wasn't sure. Thanks.


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