Monday, September 29, 2014

Harvest Monday - September 29, 2014


Yesterday we harvested these:

Freshly Picked Apples
 
To bad they didn't come from my own garden.  That was a bit of tease, wasn't it ;)  My family and I visited a local apple orchard and had a wonderful time picking a load of apples, primarily Empire.  We will likely go back in a couple of weeks when the Ida Reds are available.  Apparently, these can last in cold storage until late spring.

In my garden at home, I barely harvested anything this week.  A couple of harvests here and there but that was it.  My focus has been more on catching up with garden tasks rather than harvesting.  And my husband was in Tennessee for a good part of the week, so that also makes for a busier time on this side of the border.

Our weather in the past week has been truly lovely…highs in the mid-20’s (mid-70’s F) every single day, and it looks to be continuing for at least the next week.  Had the tomatoes not been struck down by blight, they would likely be enjoying this wonderful weather and the harvest would be continuing at a good pace.

On the bright side, I may not be harvesting tomatoes but I am making a good dent in the garden cleanup.   I really don’t like doing garden chores when it’s really cold outside and this year there is a TON of fall maintenance.

So on to the harvest, meagre as it was.

The smallest but most exciting harvest:
 
Memories of June...
 
That’s right – one berry.  Too small to include in the tally but oh so good.  I have found exactly two trusses in the entire strawberry patch – both of them on June bearing plants.  Most of the berries on the trusses are still tiny so I'm not sure whether they will end up producing before the cold weather hits.  But there is one more berry that is a good size and just starting to ripen.  Hopefully I get to it before the birds – I haven’t put the netting back on the bed as it is just too much of a hassle for only one or two berries.

I harvested some chard:
 
Fordhook Giant Swiss Chard
 
I made Susie’s scalloped potatoes with chard and it was really good.  I’m horrible at eyeballing quantities in the kitchen – I measure practically everything! – and on this first attempt at this dish I used too much stock.  Still tasted amazing, but next time I will be cutting the stock back by half.

Next I harvested some kale & the last of the Trail of Tears beans:
 
Kale & Trail of Tears Beans
 
The beans will be added to the other batches drying in the garage as these are destined to be used as dry beans.  Even though there are lots of spots from the bacterial brown spot on the pods, the beans inside should be fine for eating.  I’ll find out for sure once they are all shelled, which is when I will also weigh them & add them to the tally.

And surprise, surprise, I was able to get a few more lemon cucumbers.
 
Lemon Cucumbers
 
Their skins are tougher (so I had to peel them) & they are smaller & seedier (I removed the seed cavity) but I had just enough to make a delicious cucumber salad last week…the lemon cukes have such white, crispy flesh – love them.  The vines are completely devastated by powdery mildew now, but there are so many mini cucumbers on them that I have been hesitant in ripping them out until there is absolutely no hope left.

Also harvested but not photographed was a wee bit of lettuce.

My harvest totals this week were:

Cucumbers – 158 grams (0.35 lbs)
Kale – 206 grams (0.45 lbs)
Lettuce - 49 grams (0.11 lbs)
Swiss Chard – 296 grams (0.65 lbs)

Total for Week – 709 grams (1.56 lbs)

Total to Date – 213 kg (469.68 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

26 comments:

  1. I would be treasuring the one bite of strawberry too if I had it. I miss strawberries.

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    1. It was heaven. I keep checking that other one to see if it is ready & making sure to hide it under the leaves so the birds don't spy it!

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  2. Still a nice harvest! Anything this time of year is a gift, if like me you don't do a lot fall crops (not enough sunlight this time of year).

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    1. You are so right - a true gift. For me it's all about having the time and being a bit more organized. Hopefully I'll be able to do a better job in the years to come.

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  3. That's good looking chard. Mine is looking pretty pin-holed and unappetizing right now. I'm facing the same thing, probably nothing but greens for the next few weeks until it freezes.

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    1. That was definitely the best of the bunch - The patch has been essentially ignored for the past few weeks and I've had to chuck quite a few leaves because of miner damage & simply old age.

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  4. You had me fooled with those apples! Empire is a really tasty apple and nearly impossible to find here unless you know someone with a tree, which I don't. :( Lucky you to have a nearby source. What a treat that berry must have been!

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    1. Hee hee...I do hope to eventually harvest my own apples but as the trees have yet to be planted (crossing my fingers for next year!), I am still years away from picking my first apple.

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  5. Freshly-picked apples are so much nicer than the stale ones, kept for months in cold storage and sold by the supermarkets!

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    1. Are they ever! My kids - who like apples but don't normally consider them a big deal - can't get enough of them.

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  6. What gorgeous apples. Nothing better than a freshly picked apple!
    Those lemon cukes look great, and what a nice bunch of beans. Are they fresh eating beans or storage beans?

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    1. This particular variety can be used as both fresh beans or dried black beans. They are yummy both ways but I am going to use them as dried beans - they are so good!

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  7. I am down to very little in the garden here as well .. if it weren't for that darn frost a couple of weeks ago!! And the weather is so beautiful now! Amazing to see a strawberry at this time of the year in our neck of the woods.

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    1. You would think that it was August now - well, August felt more like September so I suppose it all evens out in the end - except for your darn frost - that's just plain unfair!

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  8. I get a few strawberries each day, would be more but some critters get to them before I do. Sure hope to get my garden chores completed before it gets too cold as I too dislike doing garden chores when it is too cold outside..

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    1. You are so lucky to get those few berries. I'm giving my so called "everbearing" variety one more chance next year, but if it doesn't deliver I will be kicking it to the curb!

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  9. Definitely miss strawberries. Sadly we'll have to plant some more next year as we lost a few. Do miss them though :(

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    1. They are truly one of summers great pleasures...nothing beats a just picked, homegrown strawberry!

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  10. Things are definitely slowing down!! Sorry to here about your tomatoes. We are lucky in our area to not have much problem with blight! It looks like your fall greens are kicking in though!!

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    1. You are sooo lucky to have been spared the devastation of blight. I have had early blight in the past but it only affected the plants, not the tomatoes themselves. This was the first time I experienced late blight and it is so much worse. Hopefully it will be a very long time before I see it in my garden again.

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  11. I picked one beautiful strawberry today too! Those apple look so pretty! Too pretty to eat! LOL My cucumber vine has powdery mill due also. Time to tear it out I guess and dream of next years! Nancy

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    1. There is one more small Suyo Long cucumber on the vines and I'm hoping it will grow a bit more before I finally yank them up. The days are supposed to cool down in the next little while, so we shall see.

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  12. Hi Margaret, Do you know if you can grate zucchini and freeze it and then thaw it to use for zucchini bread? If I do that would I drain any of the water when it thaws? Seems to me I read somewhere that you can do this and I am running out of room in my freezer!!!! Thanks. Nancy

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    1. I have heard that you can do this and it works quite well, although I have not done it before either - I do have some zucchini that I grated & froze for just this purpose.

      I would think that you don't drain the zucchini - only thaw it - because it still contains the same amount of moisture that it did when it was fresh, and the zucchini bread would likely end up being too dry if it was left it out. If you do end up baking a batch with the frozen zucchini before me, let me know how it turns out!

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  13. Ah, you did get me on the apples! What a tub-ful! Hope they do keep well (if you have many left after tucking in with your kids! ).
    I'm doing the same with my lemon cukes, leaving them just in case the last little fruits get bigger. I need to decide where to plant garlic, which ,ight be where the cukes are now so may clear them soon. We're busy every weekend through to the middle of November now, so I'll have to try and do some plot work in my lunch breaks and straight after work before it gets dark and cold. It's tough on the fingers in the cold, brrr!

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    1. I'll tell you, there is no better way to get kids begging to eat apples than to go pick them yourself! It has cooled off a lot in the last couple of days, so I think the lemon cukes are officially done. And like you, I have to figure out where to put the garlic - only a couple of weeks before it has to be planted!

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