The almost-last garden harvests of 2010: Beans, radishes, and a carrot.

Save for brussels sprouts, the months of October and November mark a close of the growing season for Wisconsin gardeners. (Unless you have a hoop house, but that’s another story. Next year!)

(Brussels sprouts are usually the last thing that I bring in. They are not harvested until the day after the first frost. The frost mutes the sprouts’ bitterness, making them much more palatable. This year I decapitated the stalks at about a knee-high level. This to prevent them from growing high, thus devoting growth to the sprouts. We’ll see in a month or so how they turned out.)

Anyhow, I harvested several pounds of bush beans today, and accidentally pulled up a ball carrot in the process. While the placement of the carrot in that spot was accidental, its leaves stood tall among the bean plants.

(Bush beans grow about a foot high, and have several pods on each plant. Bush bean plants require no support, while “pole” beans do require a trellis, a teepee, or even tall plant to wrap around and grow on. All of the beans that I have grown were of the bush bean variety.)

While the big sack of beans isn’t that impressive, I did want you to see the ball carrot:

A homegrown ball carrot.

I have several more in a different bed, and I may harvest them tomorrow.

Last month, I pulled up a bunch of radishes.

Homegrown radishes

Not bad considering that I just threw a bunch of seeds at the soil, then thinned the sprouts out about two weeks later.

Today I also brought in another red chili pepper and one sad-looking eggplant. It got about three inches long, and had a big hole in one side where something had eaten it.

The beans, radishes, and carrots, along with lettuces, a previous round of radishes, and a variety of herbs were all grown in my newest raised bed, which I built in May of 2010. That bed is filled with (free!) leaf mulch (leafmold) from the city of Greenfield. I have never had any plants grow so well as did the plants in the leaf mulch. And I think they were bigger and tasted better, too. It’s a bonanza for urban gardeners. Thanks, Greenfield!

So, soon as the frost hits, I’ll be out in the garden, trimming back the plants and harvesting brussels sprouts at last.

Published by Jason Haas

I am a resident of the Bay View neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors. That sometimes comes up on here, as it's kind of a small part of my life. No official county business happens here. I'm mostly using this now to give a rough draft account of how we're dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. God help us all.

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