Saturday, September 20, 2008

September 20, 2008

Well, it's this time of year that Seattle weather forecasters lose all respect they've earned throughout the year.  Today was partly cloudy with scattered showers.  What that meant for us was a light rain or drizzle the entire day and night.  So my grand plans were rained out, well partially.

I did get a chance to harvest plums.  My mother, father and aunt came out to help, though I was the one up in the tree most of the time.  I started out climbing the tree.  The branches spread out about waist high so it's an easy climb.  I cleared out the middle that way.  Then we used the ladder to get the rest of them.  At one point I was hanging out over the neighbor's fence, pulling down a heavily laden branch, using it to steady myself while I harvested the juicy plums. 

The rain was coming down hard by then and I was soaked. Every time you'd pull a plum water would shower down on you.  We were so "done" by the end that I didn't think to take pictures of the harvest. But we got 8 plastic shopping bags of plums, about what we got last year.  I didn't weigh them, but I'm fairly certain we got over 50 pounds. Maybe closer to 75. 

I gave a bag to my neighbors and kept about a dozen big juicy ones for my eldest to eat and the rest went off with my mother for juicing and freezing.  Some will be made into plum buckles and some will be halved and frozen for smoothies, but most of them were juiced and frozen for making jelly.  To celebrate I had PB&J sandwiches with plum jelly from last year.

We didn't get the blackberries harvested because everyone was soaked.  I really hoping that tomorrow is decent weather because rain or shine, I'm harvesting.  Next year's blackberry jelly is at stake, so those berries are coming down!  I'm not sure if I'll go out and hack a third of it down tomorrow.  It depends on the time and weather.  If you don't recall, my plan is to cut a third of the very mature wild himalayan bramble.  What I've read is that blackberry canes grow and spread out one year, fruit the second and are dead after that.  So I figure if I take out one third of the bramble each year, after a few years I'll be removing dead canes and harvesting only a third, but it will be low and productive.  Much better than climing a ladder and still not getting the poundage in the middle of a ten foot tall bramble.  Anyway, I seriously doubt it will be tomorrow that I get out there.  The late harvest this season has really thrown a wrench in that plan. 

I also moved the bags of potato dirt and coffee grounds behind the shed to store it for the winter.  I decided that the left over on the tarp will be used to augment the dirt under the sod when I plant my blueberry bushes compliments of SandyGoGreen from

Lastly, though I didn't harvest the green beans, my mother harvested 6 pounds of tomatoes!

Enjoy your garden!


  1. Wow! Good work and you must be tired today after all the tree and ladder climbing - I know I would be. The tomato harvest is a good haul too. Your garden and fruit production areas are doing really well and providing you with quite a bit of produce to preserve. I am jealous of your plum tree. Our property has no further room on it that get's adequate sun to plant fruit trees. I have to content myself with gifts of apples from our neighbor's tree and purchasing in bulk from local sources.

    I bet that PBJ sandwich tasted mighty good - sweetened by the knowledge you have contributed once again to your families well being and eating pleasure.

  2. Hey Sinfonian, that was a big haul on the plums! My santa rosa plum trees should produce enough to make something out of next year - it will be their 4th year in the ground. Those blackberries are out there just waiting on ya! I have 1/4 acre of wild blackberries, and I would estimate that there was probably 25 gallons of berries out there for the taking this year. Of course, since It's a one man show (me), I only got 8 gallons picked. Next year, i'm doubling what I preserved this year. That's a pretty good haul on the tomatoes too! Oh, and BTW - my wife won't let me plant potatoes in the bench planters....I've already asked! LOL