Friday, December 23, 2016

Sad News

I hesitated to write this post now, so close to the holidays.  My blog break will likely extend a bit longer than I originally thought - and the reason for this is that my dad passed away this month.

He was diagnosed with cancer 7 years ago and there have been many ups and downs since then but, overall, he was doing quite well.  However, things got progressively worse in the past year.  He was hospitalized numerous times and each time we thought "this is it".  But then he would improve, and be well enough to go back home.  We knew that, at some point, this would no longer be the case - but this didn't stop us from hoping that he would once again pull through.  You are never truly prepared when the time comes, are you?

My mom is now alone and, as an only child, I will be the one to support her, both emotionally and in the more practical aspects of day to day life, many of which my dad was previously responsible for.  It will be an adjustment for everyone but things will get easier with time, as they always do.

This photo was taken back in the 70's on one of the hundreds of camping trips we went on:

Cape Hatteras, North Carolina

Those are some of my fondest childhood memories.  It was a rare summer weekend when we stayed at home. Photos like this are difficult to look at now...but at some point, I know they will bring more smiles than tears.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Harvest Monday - November 28, 2016

I don't really have anything to report for Harvest Monday this time round, except for a last batch of broccoli.

The picture?  It's at home.  I forgot to upload it to my laptop before I left this morning.  Once I get home, I'll remedy that right here:

Monday, November 14, 2016

Harvest Monday - November 14, 2016

It's Harvest Monday and there's not much to report this week....two harvests and one addition to the tally that I had completely forgotten about.

Half of the leeks remaining in the bed were harvested, photographed here after being trimmed and rinsed:

Jolant (left); Lancelot (right)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

November Update

The end of the season is here.  I don’t know what it is but every year, I think that I’ll be done cleaning up the garden and getting things organized for next year by the beginning of October.  And then it’s mid-November and I’m still at it.  We’ve had a relatively mildish fall with some chilly days and some warmer days and we’ve taken full advantage of any good weather to get as much done as possible.

There are only a few beds left in production:

Lettuce - still quite small so I keep waiting...

Monday, November 7, 2016

Harvest Monday - November 7, 2016

Since I missed last Harvest Monday - with Halloween it was just so busy and I didn't really harvest that much aside from the carrots - this time round there are 2 weeks worth of harvests.  Well, actually, a few of the "harvests" were from a few months ago and I only now got around to cleaning them up and adding them to the tally.

First up in these "old" harvests was the garlic, which I had to get in the ground last week:


Monday, October 24, 2016

Harvest Monday - October 24, 2016

We are almost at the end of October and, bit by bit, the garden is being cleared out.  There are now only a few beds left from which to harvest:  Swiss chard/lettuce; kale; broccoli; carrots/parsnips; bunching onions.

The Swiss chard will likely be pulled soon as it's barely growing in the cool fall weather.

Chard & lettuce bed

Monday, October 17, 2016

Harvest Monday - October 17, 2016

The big addition to the tally this week was the squash.  I had actually harvested them the week before but didn't have time to clean them up and include them in last Monday's tally.

Coming in first place was, not surprisingly, the butternut squash - 12 squash were harvested from 2 plants:

Butternut Squash

Monday, October 10, 2016

Harvest Monday - October 10, 2016

It's the Thanksgiving long weekend here in Canada which is a celebration of the bounty of the harvest...especially for us veg gardeners, no?  Happy Thanksgiving to those that are celebrating this weekend, both here and abroad :)

Many of us are hunkering down with family and friends to enjoy some turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie.  As with most celebrations in my family, we had our big family dinner yesterday, leaving the holiday Monday as a day of relaxation and, just as important, leftovers :)

This year, we had dinner at my parents house and, wouldn't you know it, just as we are about to leave the weather network issues a frost alert.  Ugh!!

Beautiful but deadly...

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Garden of Rhonda Fleming Hayes & Bachman's Tour

Minneapolis GBF - Day 1 - Garden #4

Our next stop was the house of Rhonda Fleming Hayes, author of “Pollinator Friendly Gardening”.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Harvest Monday - October 3, 2016

The beginning of October is greeting us with some beautiful weather:

Once again, it looks like our first frost will be well after our average first frost date, which happens to be today.  Hurray!  I still have some crops that could use a few more days of warmth, including squash, tomatoes, peppers and the late planting of beans (for drying).

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Lyndale Park Gardens

Minneapolis GBF - Day 1 - Garden #3

Our third stop of the day at the Minneapolis Garden Bloggers Fling was Lyndale Park Gardens, a 61 acre park which was founded over 100 years ago on the shores of Lake Harriet by Theodore Wirth, the superintendent of the Minneapolis Parks System at the time.

The gardens include a one acre rose garden, a peace garden and an annual-perennial garden, the latter being where I spent the limited amount of time we had.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Harvest Monday - September 26, 2016

It's the last week of September and we are finally enjoying a bit of cooler weather.  I'm starting to do some end of season cleanup on each bed which involves removing all of the spent plants & weeds and applying a topping of compost.  Then, of course, I stand back and admire that nice clean bed which is full of potential for next year :)

One of the beds that I cleared out was the sickest of the tomato beds - Bed #2.  I didn't actually harvest a lot from that bed as it's production was pretty much done.  Bed #1 is also in rapid decline, but there are a few large tomatoes in it.  I'm waiting just until they start to show a bit of colour, then I'll be picking them and clearing out the bed.

Trail of Tears beans (for drying); Summer Dance cucumbers
Tomatoes:  Amos Coli, Speckled Roman, Juliet, Mystery tomato & Sungold

Monday, September 19, 2016

Harvest Monday - September 19, 2016

Here we are in the middle of September and our temperatures are finally seasonal.  Well, more or less seasonal.  We are in for a warmer than usual week – temps in the mid-20’s (around 80F) until Friday – but then it’s back down to cooler fall weather.

So on to the harvests, starting with the smallest - a couple of golden raspberries.

'Fall Gold'

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Studio Garden of Donna Hamilton

Minneapolis GBF - Day 1 - Garden #2

Donna Hamilton transformed a grocery store in the middle of Minneapolis into her studio and, right alongside the bricks and mortar, she created a garden that is overflowing with colour & keeps pollinators very happy.

Donna made the most of every planting opportunity, including the “hellstrip”
...the narrow strip of land between the sidewalk and the street

Monday, September 12, 2016

Harvest Monday - September 12, 2016

We woke up to a rather chilly 5C/41F morning today - a sure sign that fall is around the corner.  The rest of the week looks perfect, however, with days in the mid 20's (70's ) so I'm hoping to do a lot of catch up.

The tomatoes are still chugging along, although most of the harvests are now coming from the healthier bed in Area #2.

Variety of tomatoes including Juliet, Sungold, Opalka, Amos Coli,
Bloody Butcher and Mountain Magic

Friday, September 9, 2016

Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary

Minneapolis GBF - Day 1 - Garden #1

After a great sleep in a very comfortable king sized bed, I had pretty much recovered from the travel fiascos of the previous day and was raring to go, bright and early.

The first stop on Day 1 of the Minneapolis Fling was the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary, the oldest public wildflower garden in the United States.

Eloise Butler was a teacher in the late 19th, early 20th century who was passionate about nature.  A quote on one of the plaques at the garden perfectly illustrates her love of nature: “…a bit of natural growth is a source of greater delight to the true nature lover than the most beautiful and most highly cultivated garden” –Eloise Butler.

She, together with several other teachers, were the force behind the creation of the “The Wildflower Garden” in 1907, a 3 acre natural botanic garden.  During her time as curator, the garden was expanded to 23 acres and tens of thousands of native plants were added.  Eloise died in the Garden in 1933, at the age of 81.  I have a feeling there is no place she would have rather been in those final moments.

True to her mission, the garden that now bears her name showcases plants in their natural setting.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Journey of Misadventure

The kids are now back at school and I finally have a bit of time to start writing about the gardens that we saw during the Garden Bloggers Fling in Minneapolis, which took place in mid-July.  As I sorted through all of the photos, it was as if I was re-living those beautiful gardens.  The Fling is so often a blur of places, gardens and people - it's wonderful to sit back, relax and really think about what I saw.

Group photo taken at Como Park Japanese Garden and Conservatory

Monday, September 5, 2016

Harvest Monday - September 5, 2016

Well, we had quite the unexpected treat come out of the garden last week.

First ever fig...

That’s right – an honest to goodness, ripe from the tree fig.  It was small, but it was perfectly ripe and oh soooooo good!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Harvest Monday - August 29, 2016

The big harvest this past week was the onions.  And they were pretty much the disappointment that I thought they would be:

Onion harvest curing on rack

Thursday, August 25, 2016

On Tomatoes - Preserving and Problems

The tomato harvest is in full swing as is the proverbial glut that inevitably occurs.

I remember my first tomato glut summer - it was overwhelming to say the least.  There were tomatoes on every surface of the kitchen and I simply could not keep up.  It was stress overload.

The one thing that I've learned since then is that, for me, there is no single "best" method for putting up the harvest.  What works well for me one week may not work that well the next, depending on the circumstances.  So I like to use a multi-pronged approach and which "prong" I use depends on a number of factors including how many tomatoes I have to deal with, how many jars/containers I want of each preserving method, how much I have already put up and, most importantly, how much time I have.

For this post, I thought I would share the different methods I’m using this season to keep on top of and make the most of the harvest, ordered from most labour intensive to the least.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Harvest Monday - August 22, 2016

The big news lately is that our drought seems to have finally ended.  We have had quite a bit of rain over the past week - so much so that I’ve actually turned off all of the drip timers for now.  The grass and ornamental beds (and weeds, unfortunately) are loving it.

This past week, the harvest story begins with the corn:

Dorinny Sweet

Monday, August 15, 2016

Harvest Monday - August 15, 2016

It's the middle of August and the warm weather crops are at full speed ahead.

From left to right:  Melrose, Odessa and Hot Wax

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Early August Update - Main Garden Areas

Once again, the main topic of discussion in our area is the heat...the unrelenting heat.  And this week is supposed to be the hottest week yet. 

The Weather Network Screen Shot
Check out the humidex readings on Thurs & Fri...up to 41C/105F...ugh!!  At least it looks as if we will be getting some rain, so that's good.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Harvest Monday - August 8, 2016

This week, I finally harvested the 1st of the larger tomatoes – here it is, surrounded by all his friends:

Taxi surrounded by (from the top):
Super Sweet 100, Bloody Butcher, Sungold, Juliet

Friday, August 5, 2016

Eary August Update - Hilltop

Before I get going on some Fling posts, I thought I had better do a couple of updates on the garden – the summer is flying by and it will be September before we know it!

This year the hilltop was planted up with most of the root crops – carrots, potatoes, onions, leeks, garlic and shallots – plus the corn and squash.

A new problem, however, emerged this year – voles.  In early summer, vole holes appeared in practically every bed.  Last year, when this area was created, all of the beds were lined with cardboard (to smother weeds and grass) before they were filled with soil, which is likely why this issue wasn’t apparent.  The cardboard would now be decomposed, giving the voles unrestricted access.

In an effort to avoid digging out every bed and laying down hardware cloth, I decided to purchase a “Yard Sentinel” ultrasonic device and so far, it actually seems to be working.

Yard Sentinel Ultrasonic Pest Control

Monday, August 1, 2016

Harvest Monday - August 1, 2016

This past week two veg dominated the harvests - beans and peppers.

Provider Snap Beans

It's my first year growing Provider snap beans and I love them - they are tender, stringless and delicious.  I served a big batch when we had some company over and everyone, including the kids, had 2nd helpings.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Harvest Monday - July 25, 2016

The Fling has flung and it was fabulous!  I reconnected with old friends from last year and made a lot of new friends as well – some were bloggers that I had only briefly met last time while others were brand new faces.  And the gardens and inspiration….wow!  The Minnesota climate & growing season is very much like our own, so everything we saw could easily be applied to an Ontario garden.  More on the Minnesota sights in another post - today is Harvest Monday!

Since I missed last Monday, I’ll be covering 2 weeks of harvests.  First up is my favourite photo from the past couple of weeks:

Arcadia Broccoli - Pretty in Pink

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Work in Progress - Front Yard - West Ornamental Island

I'm off to Minneapolis for the Fling but figured I would squeeze another post in as I sit here in the airport.  This particular post has been on the backburner for a while so I thought it best to get it out there before my computer & mind gets flooded by the sights and experiences of the Fling.

A long time WIP at our house has been all of the ornamental borders.  This has been an on again/off again project as there are numerous areas, some of them quite large, and all needed a LOT of attention.  The main problem, of course, was that the ornamental areas were never a priority - the veg garden came first as that was something I had been dreaming about for over 2 decades.

So each year, I would complete one or two beds, and the rest were left for next year.  Then the following year, I would start on another bed...and the first two would go to pot, what with 2 small kids running around and the veg beds to build, fill, mulch and take care get the idea.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Harvest Monday - July 11, 2016

The weather has remained hot, hot but we still have some cool weather crops coming out of the garden.  The big harvest this past week was shelling peas:

Aladdin Shelling Peas

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Garden Update - Area #1

Area #1 has 8 beds plus an herb bed and it is home to all of the brassicas & favas as well as more tomatoes, peas & beans.  With only eight 8'x4' beds, I thought this would be a fairly quick post but as usual, there was just a lot more to show and say than I expected.  So get comfortable :)

Tomatoes are planted in beds #1 & #2 and these are spaced down half of the bed just like those in bed #12, which I spoke about in my last update post.

Bed #2

Monday, July 4, 2016

Harvest Monday - July 4, 2016

First of all - Happy 4th of July to all those south of the border!  Our tradition on Canada Day (which was a few days ago on July 1st) is to go out for breakfast and then watch the fireworks in the evening.  Whether you go out or stay in, I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday today.  Now on to the main attraction... the harvests!

First up this week was the smallest, but most exciting harvest:

Fall Gold Raspberry

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Garden Update - Area #2

Area #2 of the garden, where the drip irrigation was recently finished (hurray!), holds 4 beds - #9 through #12.

This year, bed #9 holds shelling peas, cucumbers and Tromboncino squash.

Shelling peas in back with cucumbers in front &
Tromboncino squash on the far left

Monday, June 27, 2016

Harvest Monday - June 27, 2016

It was a good evening yesterday.  Why?  Because of the soft patter of rain falling.  Finally.  It wasn't a huge downpour, but enough to make everything look a wee bit fresher this morning.  They are calling for more rain on Friday...but that is a LONG way off when it comes to the forecast.

So on to the harvests - first up are the newbies.  It's scape time & most of them were ready to harvest.

Garlic Scapes

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Garden Update - Hilltop

Here we are at the end of June & the theme remains the same….HOT and dry.  Our grass is in a sad, sad state:

Those patches of green...weeds (of course!)

I’ve started to water it – something that I don’t normally do, even during those brief periods in midsummer when it turns brown.  However, I learned my lesson on waiting too long to water a few years ago when we had a similar drought – the grass went from dormant to dead and weeds filled in the empty spots.  So, I’m lugging the hose around and doing what I can to get some moisture into the ground.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Harvest Monday - June 20, 2016

Feeling hot, hot, hot...that's been the theme (again!) over the past week or so.  With temperatures into the 30's most days (86F+), I still get out there for a few hours each day, although not nearly as long as I would like.

The lack of rain is another concern - I would be surprised if we received more than an inch in the past couple of months.  We are "supposed" to have some good rain this afternoon - forecasts are not guarantees, so fingers crossed that this one is correct.

On a very positive note, the drip supplies have been delivered.  I was going to get started on it this past weekend but with Fathers Day celebrations, both days were basically accounted for.  I'll be doing one veg area at a time, starting with the hilltop.  As with most other projects, I know this one will take me longer than I anticipate, so I'm trying to include a big buffer when it comes to timing.

And now on to the harvests.  This week, there were a few newcomers & first up is the chamomile:


Monday, June 13, 2016

Harvest Monday - June 13, 2016

You know what the best thing about growing your own is?  Every week there seems to be at least one new veg or fruit coming out of the garden.  And this past week, the newcomer was….

Fort Laramie strawberries
Yum!  This harvest actually snuck up on me – I’ve been so busy in the front garden (in fact, we even hired some help to deal with a couple of particularly bad areas), that I didn’t realize the strawberries were starting to ripen until late last week.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Harvest Monday - June 6, 2016

It's been a very busy week with a lot of transplanting and seeding.  The big push came on Saturday as I knew we were in for a rainy Sunday & wanted to take advantage of that by getting everything into the ground.  I transplanted the tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, squash, basil, as well as a few ornamentals.  I also seeded the carrots (finally!!) and corn.

We have had some very high temps over the past couple of weeks, with many days in the high 20's & humidex readings in the 30's (80F+/90F+).  And what does that mean for the harvest?  Well, one of the first things to be impacted was, not surprisingly, the spinach.  The sustained high temps did not agree with the Viroflay spinach, which promptly started to bolt.  I quickly harvested what I could (which wasn't much at all) and pulled the plants.

Viroflay spinach

Monday, May 30, 2016

Harvest Monday - May 30, 2016

Another week of nice weather and the harvests are picking up.

The overwintered spinach was starting to bolt, so it was all harvested & the plants were pulled:

Giant Winter Viroflex Spinach

Thursday, May 26, 2016


Right on the tail of getting the first harvest of the season is the start of the greens parade.  This is the much anticipated point in time when the greens trickle picks up the pace and you can start to walk PAST that section of the grocery store with a bit of extra pep in your step and mumble under your breath "see you in November..." :)

Our recent spurt of warm weather has put the garden in high gear - and it's about time.  Remember the bed that is planted up with quick growing crops that need to get pulled by next week so that the tomatoes can go in?  What a difference a week can make:

Bed #12 on May 19

Bed #12 on May 25

Monday, May 23, 2016

Harvest Monday - May 23, 2016

Each year I think that my first harvest will be earlier than last year - and each time I don't get that 1st harvest until the May long weekend.

With our very late spring, I actually feel lucky that I'm harvesting anything at all as the spring sown crops, including lettuce, spinach and rapini, all crops that I've harvested in the past at this time, are still babies.  But what finally put on some growth was a veg I had sown in the fall with the hopes that it would overwinter to give me an extra early harvest.  Giant Winter Virolflex Spinach.

Giant Winter Viroflex Spinach

Sunday, May 22, 2016

A (not so) brief garden update....

It’s been a busy couple of weeks both in the garden and out and I’m long overdue for an update.

To start, we have the straw bales which, unlike last year, I’m conditioning this time.  I picked up 5 new bales about a month ago but am also going to try re-using the ones from last year.  The old bales are still holding together pretty well, likely because they didn’t really get going until the 2nd half of the summer.  To help them stay upright, I sank some u-posts around the bales and wrapped them with chicken wire.  I decided to do the same with the new bales to see if I can get 2 seasons out of them instead of one.

New Bales

Monday, May 16, 2016

Aaaand.....we're back!

You may have noticed that I was conspicuously absent for the past couple of weeks.  Well, once again, my husband wanted to get away in April – didn’t I say last year that we would never go away during one of the busiest times of the season?  It could have been worse, I suppose, had we gone a couple of weeks later when transplants were bursting out of their pots, needing to get into the ground, and I wasn't around to take precautions should a late frost be predicted.

Now take a wild guess where we went…

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Good, the Bad & the Great

Remember my last post when I said that our good weather was supposed to last?  I should know better than to trust the long range forecast.  We are now in the midst of a cold trough with chilly days and some nights approaching the freezing mark...again.  Spring, where are you??

Anyhow, on to the good.  I took my fig trees out of the cold cellar back in early March and within a week, buds had developed.

Fig trees on March 12,
one week after coming out of the cold cellar

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Spring has Sprung!

Spring is here…finally!

Our weather has turned and rather than the one or two days of good weather followed by a few weeks of bad, it looks like this stretch will last (although I do see next Monday is supposed to dip below freezing, so I'm not too thrilled about that).

Things have been very busy this spring with lots of seeding, planting, bed prepping, etc. but, unlike last year, I am more or less on top of things - hurray!

Aside from seed starting, there have been a couple of new developments in the garden. 

The first big change was something I spoke about last year – removing the large spruce tree beside our shed.

The pros getting ready for the job

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Potatoes - The Reveal and Some Surprises

Homegrown potatoes were new to the garden last year and yum…what an eye-opener!

I grew 6 different varieties of potatoes – Yukon Gold, Caribe, Roko, Linzer Delikatess, Viking and Bintze.  Other than the Yukon Gold, I had never tasted any of the others.  Different types of potato are amenable to different cooking methods and I kept a cheat sheet in the kitchen so that I could keep all of that straight.  If I needed a baking potato, I reached for a Caribe or Viking, but if I wanted a potato that would stand up amazingly well in the slow cooker (even in 8-9 hour stews!), I would grab some Rokos.

Viking (left) & Yukon Gold (right)
I was not only new to growing but also storing potatoes.  Everyone's storage area is different when it comes to the two key variables that impact on how long root vegetables like potatoes will store:  temperature and humidity.  This being the case, I decided to give two different methods a try to see how they did in my particular situation.  First the proper method - layering the potatoes, not touching, in boxes filled with shredded paper.  Then the lazy method – plonking them into open cardboard boxes…done.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

More Seeds? Umm...that would be a yes

Just so that I don't miss documenting what is obviously an annual event around here, this is my obligatory April snowfall pic, taken yesterday -

You can make out the absolutely HUGE fluffy flakes of snow as they fall.
Funny how you don't realize such things as "it always snows in April" until you start to keep track of them.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Plenty o' Peppers

This is my third year growing peppers and, not surprisingly, my collection of varieties keeps expanding - from 2 (2014) to 10 (2015) to 16 this year.  Of course, I only have a limited amount of space for peppers in the garden – this year I’ll be squeezing them all into one 8'x4' bed – so I’ll be growing only 1 or 2 plants for most varieties.

Pepper Seedlings - 5 weeks old

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Allium Troubles

Onions are always the first seeds of the year to get sown in early February and this year, leeks joined the mid-winter party as well.

Four of the storage onion varieties I’m growing are repeats from last year – Copra, Rossa di Milano, Red Wing & Ailsa Craig.  The Ailsa Craigs are a large, sweet(er) onion that only store for a couple of months so those are always used up by late fall.  The other three, including Red Wing which was a new variety last year, are storing very well - I still have several bags & braids hanging in the basement.  So far, only a in literally two...of the onions have sprouted/gone bad on me.  Hurray for netting that kept out (most of) the onion flies last year!

Every couple of weeks I refill the onion basket in the kitchen
with a selection of onions from the basement

Thursday, March 17, 2016

2016 Seed Orders

March break is in full swing.  This year, we decided to have a staycation…and it’s been exhausting, in a good way :)

Nature Trail at Guelph Arboretum

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

2016 Garden Plan

One of my favourite garden tasks is completed in the middle of winter, while the garden is fast asleep - Planning.

Each year, the garden provides us with a fresh start and seemingly limitless potential – pests, diseases, and wacky weather are optimistically thought of as “possibilities”, not certainties.  In my plan, the weather is perfect, not too cold/hot/wet/dry/windy, all my sowings are perfectly timed & every seed comes up, my netting keeps out all of the cabbage white butterflies, the slugs are kept at bay by my liberal and consistent applications of diatomaceous earth, and I am able to pick off every single Japanese beetle from the plum tree.   As the snow flies and the temperatures outside are well below zero, such is the optimism that I feel while working on my plan for the coming season, .

Old plans, new plans & current seed listing

Monday, February 29, 2016

End of Season Review - Tomatoes

When it comes to tomatoes, the quintessential home garden vegetable, there is always a lot to say.  To finish off the month of February, I decided to post my tomato review all in one go, instead of breaking it up into a couple of posts like I normally I suggest you get comfortable ;)

As with a lot of veg I grew this year, we had an ok tomato year, but not phenomenal.  This bothered me quite a bit as we had some prime tomato growing weather this past summer & I feel as if I failed to take advantage of it.

Mid-August tomato harvest