Monday, September 15, 2014

Harvest Monday - September 14, 2014


Our weather this month has been cooler than usual – what’s new? – and the garden is really starting to show it.  Most of the tomato plants are on their last legs & I have ripped out three quarters of the vines.  The only plant that is still doing relatively well is Mountain Magic – a blight resistant hybrid.

Before I ripped out each vine, the last of the ripening tomatoes were picked:
Tomato Season is Almost Over :(
I also harvested a basketful of green tomatoes.  Some of these I could have left on longer, hoping that they would get bigger or start to ripen before the first frost, but I had noticed that late blight was getting to many of the tomatoes now, so I decided to play it safe.  Which is just fine by me as I had been planning to make some green tomato salsa this year.
Green Tomatoes
I harvested the last Sure Thing zucchini:
This monster made it into zucchini fritters last night
And the last Garden Sweet and Lemon cucumbers:
Last of the Garden Sweet & Lemon Cucumbers
Another bunch of mature Trail of Tears beans were harvested to be dried in the garage:
Trail of Tears
There was one vine that produced some odd beans – they certainly don’t look like Trail of Tears. Instead of purple blotches they have pinkish streaks.
Odd "Beans" Out
All of the beans looked the same when I planted them – it will be interesting to see what is inside these pods once they are dried.

I did have one first in the garden this past week.  And one first for me as I had never grown nor tasted it before - kohlrabi.
Early White Vienna Kohlrabi
We have been having so much rain lately, that I actually harvested these earlier than I was planning because I noticed that one of the kohlrabi – and not even a large one – had split:
This kohlrabi split, likely due to too much rain
They were peeled, cut up & eaten raw – like veggie sticks – with some dip.  They were ok but a bit too straight up cabbagy for me.  I’m thinking I may like them grated in a slaw better or perhaps roasted.

I cleaned up the bed with the lettuce & pak choi and harvested a good basket of Chinese cabbage.

Joi Choi Hybrid
Our weather has been so wet lately, raining at least every couple of days, that the slugs have been having a grand old time in the bed.  I have been using diatomaceous earth but it has only somewhat helped the problem since it loses its effectiveness when wet.

Unfortunately, the Simpson Elite & Pinares lettuce in that bed had both bolted so they were tossed.  With all of the tomato frenzy in the past weeks, I have not paid much attention to the lettuce.  The Sierra MI lettuce is still chugging along & I have harvested a few leaves here & there.

I harvested one of the huge perennial bunching onions - another first:
He-Shi-Ko Bunching Onion
I noticed that a few of the leaves looked a bit chewed up & then I saw this bugger:
Leek Moth Larva*
Looks huge but was actually less than 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) long
This was such a huge onion that, even after removing the damaged portion, it still weighed an impressive 194 grams (6.8 ounces).
I have also started to clean up the onions that have been curing in the garage.  As I was doing this, I noticed some holes in them too…ugh.  I will get into more detail when I do my mid-September update – hopefully later this week.  Most of the damage seems to be minor, from what I can see, so I am dividing the onions into 2 groups.  Those without damage will be braided & hung.  Those with damage will be set aside so that I can chop them up (and in the process make sure they are still good) & freeze them.

I have cleaned up about one third of the onions so far and these are included in the tally.  The rest will get done this coming week.
Copra & Rossa di Milano Onions
And lastly, another mystery bug surfaced around the beans.  A quick search told me that it was the Buffalo Treehopper.

Buffalo Treehopper - Side View

Buffalo Treehopper - Top View
From what I read, it doesn’t normally damage vegetables, although it can be troublesome if you have apple trees.  Something to keep in mind once I get some planted, hopefully in the next year or two.

Also harvested but not photographed was some Mei Qing Chinese cabbage – the aphids are more or less gone, but the slugs are a problem in this bed as well, just like with the pak choi.

My harvest totals this week were:

Chinese Cabbage – 2,112 grams (4.66 lbs)
Cucumbers – 2,543 grams (5.61 lbs)
Kohlrabi – 164 grams (0.36 lbs)
Lettuce – 148 grams (0.33 lbs)
Globe Onions – 7,226 grams (15.93 lbs)
Bunching Onions – 194 grams (0.43 lbs)
Sweet Peppers – 628 grams (1.38 lbs)
Hot Peppers – 3,22 grams (0.71 lbs)
Tomatoes – 14,597 grams (32.18 lbs)

Total for Week – 27,934 grams (61.58 lbs)

Total to Date – 178 kg (393 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…

*I originally thought that the alliums were being attacked by onion maggots but have subsequently realized that, in fact, I was dealing with leek moths so have adjusted this post accordingly.

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

24 comments:

  1. Yes, farewell to tomatoes. You had a great run, and 32 lbs. is a great last haul. Good to know about Mountain Magic being blight-resistant. Blight is just getting worse and worse around here. Is it a tasty tomato too? I'd like to know how your green tomato salsa turns out. I've been less-than-happy with ours in the past--it just tastes like unripe tomatoes.

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    1. I actually did a taste test a couple of weeks ago on the tomatoes - haven't had time to write about it but I will as soon as things slow down a bit. For the Mountain Magic I noted that they had a really great flavour with a nice acid balance and the skin was just a tad thick. Not bad at all for a hybrid! Haven't made the green tomato salsa yet, but I am planning to get to it within the next couple of days.

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  2. Oh such lovely harvests as the season closes. Oh for some of your rain.

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    1. Thanks! And the thing with rain is it always seems to be either too much or too little - a happy balance is a rare phenomenon.

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  3. That is a nice haul of tomatoes you have! Mt Magic has done here as well. We are fortunate that the tomato and potato blights have not hit us too bad. I love green tomato salsa too!

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    1. Mountain Magic is definitely a keeper - I am so impressed with it!

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  4. Well, there is one significant advantage to gardening in a drought, no slugs to be found here! I agree with you about Kohlrabi, I've never found a preparation that makes me want to eat it on a regular basis, I don't hate it, but I don't love it either.

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    1. That is so true about the slugs - and at least with a drought you can choose when to water. When it's raining all the time, you have very little say in the matter.

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  5. Your onion braids are so pretty. Nice harvest this week even with the extra challenges of pests, disease, and cooler than normal weather.

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    1. Thanks Rachel - I think that every year in the garden presents challenges, some years more than others. And of course the learning (and adjusting) never stops either!

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  6. I hear you on the weather, it's been a miserable week in our area and getting very cool. You say your garden is showing it, but it is still a wonderful harvest. The joi choi looks great as do those green tomatoes - they should be perfect for a salsa.

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    1. Yum can't wait for that salsa! I've made two batches of regular (red) salsa from a couple of different recipes - I'm trying to figure out which recipe(s) I like best - but can't wait to get to the green tomatoes.

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  7. That is a nice clean-up harvest!! I have been away so not sure if there is much left in my garden. Enjoy! Nancy

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    1. Thanks Nancy - I hope you find lots of yummy treasures in your garden. And I was wondering where you were ;)

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  8. Beautiful harvest! Interesting bugs too :)

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    1. I'm always hoping that these new bugs I keep finding are one of the good guys, but so far no luck on that front!

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  9. Thinly slice your peeled kohlrabi and stir-fry alone or combine with other veggies (Chinese cabbage, bok choy, onion ...) cooking brings out the sweetness. You can add meat, poultry or seafood too.

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion Norma - I have many more to harvest and I will definitely give that method a try.

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  10. Lovely harvests. I have onion maggots here too. I'd never seen them before I moved to this house. Now I cover my storage onions with netting so the onions will store well. Sadly if they get in it lets the rot in too.

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    1. It definitely looks like I will have to start covering the onion beds as of next year. And here I thought that they would be one of the few veg not bothered by pests.

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  11. My mother used to cook Kohlrabi and then put a nice pat of butter on it with salt and pepper. That's how I grew up eating it. Hubby loves it raw. I agree with you--it's "cabbage-y".

    You might want to start using crushed eggshells around your plants. Those don't lose their effectiveness in the rain---always crunchy and gritty and miserable for those slugs. I had good results with them this year.

    Your harvests look terrific. Despite the weather challenges, it looks like a great gardening year for you.
    Happy Fall!

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    1. That's really good to know about the eggshells - I did try them last year with limited success but I think I was way too skimpy with them as I didn't have that much at the time. I have been stockpiling them since then with the intention of putting them in the compost but since you have had such good results using them with the slugs, I think I will give them another go - only being much more liberal when I apply them.

      I so love the gardening season but you know what I like just as much? The break you get at the end of the gardening season! Your moment of relaxation by the lake sounded HEAVENLY as does your hunkering down for the winter routine - flannel, soup, books - what could be better? Have a wonderful fall too!

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  12. A nice range of veggies there Margaret! Shame about the onion maggot (yuk), I had leek moth caterpillar damage for two or three years in a row before deciding to cover my onions. Now also with my leeks I plant them out after I've dug up some potatoes, to use the space and avoid the leek moth season. It does mean that my leeks are teeny though!
    One year, to save my leeks I went through them all squishing the maggots. It was not v pleasant! And those maggots can really get in deep, urgh.

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    1. I was quite surprised - I had never grown onions before but this was my 3rd year growing shallots & they had never been attacked by onion maggots until now. Maybe the onions attracted them & they started to scout the other beds? I will have to cover them all up next year for sure especially as I believe there are 3 generations of onion maggot flys. Using netting is so tedious, especially when you have to weed - but I guess you just gotta do what you gotta do.

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