Monday, August 4, 2014

Harvest Monday - August 4, 2014


Carrots were the big harvest this past week.  The total harvest was not too bad, but I think they really should have stayed in the ground for another week or two.  I didn’t want to delay any longer however, as my fall carrots are going into the same bed and I am already pushing the limit on sowing them this late.
 
I’ve only grown Scarlet Nantes carrots (successfully) once before and I vaguely recalled them being quite a bit larger.   When I looked back over my records, I was right – back in 2012, the average weight of a typical Scarlet Nantes was 71 grams, while this year it was 31 – almost ½ the size.  Next year I really do have to get them into the ground earlier – not only would they be larger, but then I could also get my fall planting in the ground sooner which would give them a better chance of reaching full size.
 
"Little Finger" Carrots
 
"Chantenay Red Core" Carrots
 
"Scarlet Nantes" Carrots
 
When I pulled the Chantenay Red Core, I was a bit surprised.  They were a lot shorter than I would have thought – around 4” on average.  But then again, if the Scarlet Nantes are any indication, these are probably not full sized either.

As for taste, both the Chantenay Red Core & Scarlet Nantes were really good – much better than I expected.  I have a feeling the cool weather we have been having has allowed them to stay relatively sweet.  I’ll probably grow different varieties in the spring next year, however, as this coolish summer weather is really not typical.  I’m not loving the Little Finger variety, however.  They don't seem to be as sweet and also have a bit of a strange aftertaste.  I don’t think I will be growing these again.

One of the wonderful things about homegrown carrots is that the skin is so beautiful & thin that you don’t have to peel them.  Just give them a good scrub and they are ready to eat.
 
Freshly Scrubbed "Scarlet Nantes" Carrot
 
I harvested a whole whack of cilantro as the leaves on a few of the plants were starting to appear a bit “feathery”, which is a telltale sign that the plant is about to bolt.  I am very impressed with the variety I grew this year.  I remember growing cilantro in the distant past and harvesting only a small handful of leaves before they bolted.  This variety is called “Slo Bolt” and I purchased it from Baker Creek Seeds.  Mind you, the unseasonably cool weather we have had in the past few weeks likely helped as well.

Cilantro
 
I really need to get my fall peas in (hopefully today) so I finally got around to pulling the spring planted pea vines.  I have been waiting for most of the peas that were left on the vine to dry out so that I can save them for seed, but it has been taking a very long time.  In fact, the vines were still flowering sporadically right up to the day I pulled them.
 
I harvested all of the pods that were starting to dry & placed these on newspaper in the garage to continue to dry out.  I was able to harvest quite a few fresh pods for eating as well – the final harvest.  They are so good – especially after going a couple of weeks without.
 
Sugar Snaps - Last of the Season
 
The Contender beans are coming in well – So far, I’ve only had to throw a handful away because of the bacterial brown spot.  A few more cucumbers were harvested, including another Suyo Long, and we have been getting one or two Bloody Butcher tomatoes each day.

Bloody Butcher Tomatoes, Suyo Long Cucumber & Contender Green Beans
 
A few more tomato varieties are ripening – finally!  Siberian and Aunt Ruby’s Yellow Cherry joined Bloody Butcher in the harvest basket this week along with a few more hot peppers:


Hot Peppers with a Trio of Tomatoes
Tomatoes Left to Right:  Bloody Butcher, Aunt Ruby's Yellow Cherry, Siberian
 
Also harvested but not photographed this week were a couple of lettuce pickings.

My harvest totals this week were:

Beans – 1,084 grams (2.39 lbs)
Carrots – 4,681 grams (10.32 lbs)
Cucumbers – 970 grams (2.14 lbs)
Lettuce – 350 grams (0.77 lbs)
Peas – 796 grams (1.75 lbs)
Hot Peppers – 226 grams (0.50 lbs)
Tomatoes – 880 grams (1.94 lbs)
Herbs – 100 grams (0.22 lbs)

Total for Week – 9,087 grams (20.03 lbs)

Total to Date – 44.03 kg (97.06 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.

Today is a “civic holiday” in most parts of Canada.  It has different names in different parts of the country and, although it is used in some areas to celebrate local culture or history, around here it is simply a day off for no specific reason.
 
We had some hot weather yesterday, being almost 30°C with the humidity (86°F), so we decided to spend the day at the beach...
 
My Family Heading to the Beach for some Fun in the Sun
 
So for any Canadians enjoying this extra day of relaxation – have a wonderful holiday!

Till next time…

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

34 comments:

  1. Happy Civic Holiday (LOL, not sure what the celebration is about either, but happy to have the day off work). Are you storing the carrots, or do they all just get eaten up? I pick mine as I eat them, but then I can't reuse the space (another few weeks for sure). Wondering if I should pick mine as well.

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    1. I do store the carrots in the cold cellar - although our cold cellar is anything but cold at the moment...gotta look into that at some point.

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  2. Nice carrot harvest. I had no space for spring carrots but now that the onions are pulled, I will be planting carrots there. It has been a funny year for everything so I can believe your carrots are feeling it. And I actually look forward to the cilantro bolting so I can harvest the green seeds. They freeze well and can be used in cooking, pickling, and I even use them to infuse a bottle of vodka every year for martinis.

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    1. Cilantro is such a wonderful dual purpose herb/spice. I do love the seeds as well and often use them (and the leaves) when cooking Indian curries. I'm hoping to get a few more rounds of leaves harvested before the plants go to seed.

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  3. Lovely carrot harvest. I always seem to pull my spring carrots a bit too early sometimes too. This year it went a bit better than usual. Though it is the fall carrots I really look forward to as they are so sweet.

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    1. I am so looking forward to the fall carrots too. I was supposed to get them sowed on the weekend, but didn't get around to it. Another task for today.

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  4. I'll take these beautiful carrots! They are far better than mine this year. I do find that fall harvest is better than spring for some reason on carrots (we seeded ours last week)

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    1. We eat a LOT of carrots, so I am definitely hoping that this fall brings a good harvest.

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  5. I didn't manage to get any spring carrots going this year. I hope to get some sown pretty soon, they should keep well in the ground here into the winter so it would be nice to be able to pull them as needed. Have fun at the beach! The beach here is foggy and cold at this time of year, I'll stay in my garden for now.

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    1. You are so lucky to be able to keep carrots in the ground over winter. I would probably need to cover them with a boatload of straw (and then some!) to accomplish that here.

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  6. I'm with you on not peeling the homegrown carrots. I just give them a quick scrub and they're ready to eat. I do think the heat makes cilantro bolt faster. I have some supposedly bolt-resistant types and they still go to seed quickly this time of year.

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    1. That's the problem with weather - what's good for some crops is bad for others. Just can't please them all ;)

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    2. Beautiful carrots Margaret!!

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  7. Nice carrot harvest and hooray for more tomatoes! I still haven't pulled all my carrots because they didn't seem very large, but it doesn't seem that they want to grow any bigger. Plus with our hot weather, the spring planted carrots aren't very sweet. Can't believe it's already time to plant for fall. I need to get moving on that!

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    1. I know what you mean - it seems like summer just started the other day and here we are planning & sowing our fall crops.

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  8. I grew the Scarlet Nantes and the Chantenay Red Core carrots this year too. I will probably grow the Scarlet Nantes again in the spring, but if I try the Chantenay a second time, I will grow them in the fall since they were too bitter as spring carrots. Seeing your peppers makes me all the more eager for mine to start ripening. Next year I need to select peppers that have fewer days to maturity.

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    1. That's good to know about the Scarlet Nantes - I wasn't sure if their flavour would still be as good if we were having a typical summer. The hot peppers are doing really well - I'm not sure if I'm growing a quick maturing variety, but I did start them super early (in February), so that probably helped with how quickly I started getting peppers from them.

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  9. Carrots sure are the star this week for you. I do not do much spring carrots due to storage and garden space limitations, prefer to do more fall planting where I can leave most of them in the ground to over winter.

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    1. It would be so nice to be able to leave our carrots in the ground over winter & just pick them as we need them. I'm sure they stay fresher for much longer stored this way then in my cold cellar (even though the cellar is definitely cold during the winter, unlike in the summer).

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  10. Great that you have carrots even if you would have liked them bigger. Have not pulled mine yet. Too much to do! Your chocolate zucchini bread in the oven. Hope it turns out well. I didn't have unsalted butter so used sweetened butter and cut down on the salt just a teeny bit. Nancy

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    1. Oh - yummy! I hope it turns out well for you - I'm sure the change in butter will not affect it very much. Just as an FYI, the bread does not rise a huge amount, especially around the edges (the center rises more). So don't worry when you take it out and it seems as if it should have risen more - that's how it's supposed to be!

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  11. Well, Margaret, it tastes good but is crumbly. Was yours? I wondered if I should have baked it a mite longer or if it was just moist? I did drain the zucchini. It didn't raise very high and I think a little smaller pan may have worked better. Nancy

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    1. Hmm...mine wasn't crumbly at all - it had the texture of moist cake & sliced cleanly. Did you take it out of the pan after the 10 minutes & let it cool completely on a wire rack? I drained the zucchini for about 15 minutes or so, but then I also squeezed it to get more moisture out of it. Maybe that made the difference? As soon as I get more zucchini, I'm going to make it again paying special attention to what I am doing - sometimes the smallest detail can make all the difference. I think I smell a post...

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  12. Beautiful carrots you have there, I don't have space for spring carrots, I grow small amount of carrots in containers for fall harvest, nothing keeps well in our climate unless they are canned or frozen.

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    1. Oh that's too bad - at least you are able to grow a few for fall eating. It's such a shame that so many people have never tasted a homegrown carrot.

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  13. Wow, so many carrots! I never get good spring-sown carrots, so I'm envious of yours. Beautiful harvests!

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    1. Thank you Jennifer! There are so many different varieties out there, maybe you just haven't found the one that works in your garden yet...

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  14. I am growing Scarlet Nantes too. I have pulled a few and they are taking their sweet time to fill out. Way too skinny for harvesting yet. Your Slo Bolt Cilantro impresses me too as I also have the same issue with Cilantro bolting very easily early in the season. Love your harvest photos.

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    1. I really do wish that I could have left the carrots in the ground longer, but I have nowhere else to sow the fall crop, so out they came. I have another sowing of cilantro just starting to germinate (where the basil was previously planted) so I'm hoping that the current batch lasts until the new one sizes up.

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  15. Your carrots look really good! Much better than mine this year. I have yet to get my winter carrots in the ground. I really need to get them in this week.

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    1. I pulled the carrots because I had to sow the fall carrots. And each day since then I say to myself that I have to get those carrots sowed - and then something comes up and another day goes by...but tomorrow for sure!! ;)

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  16. I have not grown carrots successfully for years. The last attempt got eaten by some very happy voles. I have talked about growing carrots in a busted garden cart full of dirt. That might keep them away from the furry critters.

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    1. Last year I had a horrible carrot year that resulted in zero carrot harvest due to slugs and/or earwigs. Using an old cart to foil the voles is a great idea - I would definitely give it another go. Thankfully no voles in our yard - just pesky rabbits. Of course, now that I say that, one will probably make it's presence known.

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