Monday, August 25, 2014

Harvest Monday - August 25, 2014


This week we have onions and then we have more onions – oh yes, and tomatoes!

Rossa di Milano (left) & Copra (right)
 
They seem like a lot, but then again, we use onions in almost every dish.  Many of the Rossa di Milano had already been harvested the week before so this was the balance of those, together with all of the Copras.  All of their stems had fallen over and, even though I would have liked to keep them in the ground for about a week or so afterwards, I ended up harvesting them after only a few days because the forecast called for this:
 
What my husband would call a "deluge".
 
I also harvested any of the Ailsa Craigs whose stems had fallen over.
 
Ailsa Craig Sweet Onions
 
These onions are definitely large.
 
A Two Handed Onion
Excuse my "I was just digging onions" dirty hands
 
And there is an even larger one that has yet to be harvested - they are pretty impressive.

All of the onions are now in the garage curing.  My husband isn’t exactly impressed with the fact that we can’t park in the garage right now.  I'm planning on making some sort of contraption that takes less room and provides the onions with better air circulation – with any luck, I’ll get to that this week.
 
Onions Curing in Garage
 
Once the onions have cured & are cleaned up, I will add them to the tally.  However, any onions that were smaller than 1½” across or where the stem broke off while I was harvesting are included in this week’s tally as these are not being cured & will be used fresh.
 
Onions that will be used fresh
 
The tomato harvests have really started to flow & we have graduated from basket to box when harvesting.  This was the harvest box from August 21st.
 
From the top left - Aunt Ruby Yellow Cherry, Mountain Magic,
Gypsy, Brandywine, Speckled Roman
 
So what to do with all the tomatoes.

I got inspiration from one of Dave’s posts on ways to preserve tomatoes and made some oven roasted cherry tomatoes with fresh oregano & lemon thyme.
 
Tomatoes Ready for the Oven
 
Slow Roasted Goodness
They really are as good as they look!
 
They were AWESOME!  I had to put them in a freezer bag relatively quickly after I made them because I kept grabbing a few every time I walked past the trays - just couldn't help myself.

You may have noticed that I don’t have any red cherry tomato varieties – this was quite by accident.  Believe it or not, I only realized a couple of weeks ago that all the cherry varieties I chose were yellow.  They are all delicious but next year I plan to add some variety to the colour mix.

And then I canned some tomato sauce for the first time.
 
15 lbs. of Tomatoes - Ready for Processing
 
It took me all day yesterday and the kitchen is still a whopping big mess.  BUT there was a lot of trial & error as I was doing things - the learning curve was pretty big.  I’m expecting my next sauce making session to be considerably quicker and a lot less messy.
 
All day & 9 jars of sauce - don't laugh ;)
 
In this basket, tomatoes are joined by a few lemon cucumbers.  I made a refrigerator pickle with the cukes, just to try it out.  Up to now, I had only used the Garden Sweet & Suyo Long in my pickles.

Clockwise - Lemon Cucumbers, Ildi & Siberian Tomatoes
 
The Tyee spinach had started to bolt, so I harvested one last batch.

Last of the Tyee Spinach
 
Also harvested but not pictured was some lettuce, a bit of pak choi & and one big zucchini (yeah!).

My harvest totals this week were:

Chinese Cabbage – 114 grams (0.25 lbs)
Cucumbers – 2,804 grams (6.18 lbs)
Lettuce – 352 grams (0.78 lbs)
Onions – 1,336 grams (2.95 lbs)
Spinach – 328 grams (0.72 lbs)
Summer Squash – 630 grams (1.39 lbs)
Tomatoes – 15,388 grams (33.92 lbs)

Total for Week – 20,952 grams (46.19 lbs)

Total to Date – 89.89 kg (198 lbs)

To see what everyone else has been harvesting over the past week, head on over to Daphne’s Dandelions, our host for Harvest Mondays.

Till next time…

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things” ~~ Robert Brault

33 comments:

  1. Great harvest of onions. I grow Copra and Redwing, but I will have to find some space for a few Ailsa Craigs. I haven't canned sauce in a few years but you reminded me I need to put a batch of tomatoes in the oven for Dave's slow roasted tomatoes.

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    1. I had never roasted cherry tomatoes before - what a revelation!

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  2. I have about 20 or so onions which is a lot for me ... I can't even imagine that many! I hope you have a great storage method. And I love oven-roasted tomatoes. If the tomatoes are sweet enough, they are like candy to me, hard not to eat them all.

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    1. I don't really have a specific storage method in mind other than our basement, which is fairly cool. My shallots stored for over a year & garlic for almost a year down there so I'm crossing my fingers I can do the same with the onions.

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  3. Great harvest!! I'm jealous of the tomatoes, ours just don't seem to be ripening this year. We have yet to have enough to bother canning. :(

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    1. You never know what the season will bring - last year I didn't even have enough for fresh eating!

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  4. Nice haul of onions and tomatoes. I'm sure your husband will be much more appreciative of the temporary loss of garage space as you cook up dish after dish featuring home grown onions. Slow roasted tomatoes are a staple around here, I like to add them to my husband's lunch frittatas through the year.

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    1. I'm sure you are right - He may roll his eyes on occasion when I do these things, but then I overhear him telling others about the latest harvest with a note of pride in his voice ;)

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  5. Fantastic harvest of onions and I'm really jealous of that haul! I can only wish for them as mine was a total bust (just like everything else this year) due to the bugs that at the roots on 90% of them. Don't feel bad about full day of sauce work - first time I did home made sauce my kitchen looked like something exploded in it.

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    1. That's too bad about your onions. As with all things gardening - there is always next year. And your sauce comment - now that just made me laugh out loud!

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  6. I am sure envious of those lovely onions! We use them all the time here too, along with garlic. It's good you got them in before the rains came. And I am glad you enjoyed the slow-roasted tomatoes. A friend told me about them several years ago, and I've been making them ever since. They went in a pasta dish here last night.

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    1. They are just lovely - we had some takeout pizza last night and I topped the leftovers with some for lunch - yum!

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  7. Very nice onions. And it is funny that you still have Ailsa Craigs in the ground. I found mine fell over long before my other varieties. And yours got a lot bigger than mine. The poor things don't get the best spot in the garden (the Copras get that honor).

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    1. Because onions are not a tall crop, I didn't really think about that but they were right at the end of the bed so they probably got the most amount of sun.

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  8. Nice crop of onions. Mine did not do well this year. I like to chop in my little cusinart and package in 1/2 or 1 cup packages for the freezer all ready to use in soups! Nancy

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    1. That's too bad about your onions - but there is always next year! That's a great idea about freezing them. We are going to get another freezer soon as our current one is pretty small & already packed to the gills.

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  9. Wow nice haul of tomatoes and onions. Too bad I don't have the space or proper storage climate for onions and garlics.

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  10. Your harvests are drop dead GORGEOUS. I love the variety of tomatoes--so pretty.
    The onions this year have been very good. Most of mine were baseball-softball size-which I typically don't get with Copras. I hang my onions to cure on a wire shelf unit in the garage. Takes up a lot less space--especially if hubbies object to garden projects taking over that space-LOL!
    Have a wonderful weekend and again--beautiful harvests!!

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    1. Thanks so much Sue! I'm definitely loving the onions. When I put them in the ground this spring and they were just wispy little things I had my doubts. I've purchased a bunch of wood and bamboo to see if I can rig up a "shelf" that I can take apart & hang up when I'm not using it. It may work out, it may not. I never even thought of a wire shelf - the gaps are just big enough to slip the stems through - what a great idea!

      BTW that sidewalk border of yours - stunning. Have a wonderful week too!!

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  11. Awesome harvest! Those onions look spectacular! I'm very jealous. The tomatoes look great as well. I will have to try the oven roasted method. It seems like a wonderful way to preserve cherry tomatoes.

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    1. Thanks Thomas! Roasting & freezing sure does make quick work when dealing with a boatload of ripe cherry tomatoes. And the fact that the results are absolutely delicious doesn't hurt either ;)

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  12. Sheesh. I know where to go if I need an onion... ;-) THey look fantastic, too. Huge! The roasted tomatoes really make me want to do this soon!

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    1. They sure didn't seem like a lot when I transplanted them & the seedlings were the size of a blade of grass. I guess I will find out this winter if I planted too many....or not enough - did I mention we love onions around here? ;)

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  13. Awesome harvests! A couple of years ago I roasted and froze many quarts of cherry tomatoes. When we finally finished them off that winter, our soups just didn’t taste the same without them.

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    1. I'm thrilled to have found such an easy and delicious way to preserve them. I was actually thinking a few weeks ago that I planted too many cherry tomatoes - silly me.

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  14. Wow, a fantastic harvest! Really amazing onions and toms. I'm never v good at onions, they don't turn out v big but have had a reasonable crop...should last into winter anyway. I have a small shed on the allot and suspended some chicken wire between 4 hooks to dry them on. The mesh is quite large though and the smaller ones drop through. I've avoided being hit on the head by one so far.
    Seems you do very well for toms even without a greenhouse! Love the yellow ones.

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    1. Using some sort of wire mesh is another great idea for curing the onions. This year my tomatoes have been pretty good - it definitely makes up for last year when I didn't even harvest enough for fresh eating.

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    2. Sorry you had a bad year last year for toms, makes it all the more special you've got such a good one this time round :) might have to try the oven method if I get another couple more good pickings.

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  15. I love the onions, and especially the picture of you with the 2 handed onion. I posted that one to my Pinterest, because I like it so much. :)

    In S. Alabama, we have to plant our onions in September for overwintering. I am working to be ready for it. Here's hoping I have "anywhere near as nice a harvest" as you have.

    I love all the tomatoes, too, and your post is the 2nd one I have read in the last 2 days advising us to dry our cherry tomatoes. I had almost decided to give up on cherry tomatoes, because I don't know how to cook with them. Maybe I'll try again with the plan of dehydrating the extras.

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    1. Thanks so much Cristy! I definitely wouldn't mind being able to plant the onions in the fall, like we do with our garlic. It's a much slower time of year and then there would also be one less thing to do in the spring, when there never seems to be enough time.

      Do try the slow roasted cherry tomatoes - I now find myself saving them (instead of eating them fresh) so that I can make another trayful. And happy onion planting - I'm sure they will turn out great!

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  16. Beautiful onions! I will have to try Copra and Ailsa Craig onions in the future.

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    1. Thanks! Both of those are definitely worth a try.

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