Can’t catch ‘‘em all

A missed sweet potato showing its hands next to the winter brassicas.

It’s been a decent sweet potato year. I tested yield differences between ones left to creep and crawl and ones given climbing options.

Both varieties gave noticeably higher yields under trellis, the purple Japanese variety really pulling out all the stops in a combined test of second year growth (volunteer list from last year) and shared trellis with a melon. I got maybe 30 lbs from that one spot.

I kept going for a good while after taking a progress photo.

I am not sure between Vardaman and Yellow Jewel how yields were, as they got eaten quickly and I hadn’t labeled the spots, mistakenly thinking I’d be able to tell them apart upon harvest. Both were creamy and tasty, and much less floral than the purple ones (the only way I can think to describe it, it’s not a bad thing.)

The purple ones are also more starchy and fibrous, but the yields on them are impressive in the second year. In the first year they mostly vine and send down a web of roots, seemingly to prepare for next year. No wonder I’ve yet to see slips for them for sale. (These I started in my pantry from organic ones from the grocery store.)

I imagine future sowings will depend heavily on future location climate more so than preference. If I were staying put another year, I wouldn’t add any more purple ones, as I’m sure I left some in the ground already, but would likely triple my creamier varieties to 36 plants, all trellised, and see if I couldn’t get a proper scale.

Delicious, nutritious, purple snowflakes.

Good morning, beautiful.

Some bacon, sweet peppers, and another “national yolk test” to see if we still like the eggs we regularly buy the most.

The nearest egg was the most affordable in the “all the good things” category. The palest was local and likely receives a lot more feed than nutrition from fields. The darkest yolk was also the most expensive, and not that much greater than our usual variety, so we’ll likely stay put for now.

I did learn that you can force a darker yolk by adding yellow-orange pigment to feed, so while we like to use it as a gauge on foraged and pastured hens, it’s not foolproof.

Slush hunting.

The freeze came.

The hottest September on record followed by the coldest November 1st.

Sweet (potato) neighbors creating safe haven for small (golden cherry tomatoes) to survive.

But that’s not what I’m hunting for.

I hunt a little differently than many hunters.

But I bring home a haul all the same.

Tomorrow will be more of the same, as I’ve still more than half way to go here, and two more spots in the garden for hunting.

Like here. Where the sheets didn’t fully protect the green beans in the background.

A July morning jungle

The lines were drawn and the advancing vines paid no heed.

Sweet potatoes marching on pumpkin. Watermelon winding through to climb abandoned tomato cages.

A butterfly weed returned to hearty trumpets.

The okra is starting to synchronise. We may soon see more than one per plant per harvest.

And a zinnia has shouldered its way through the green beans to feel the sun on its head.