Monday, September 8, 2014

Harvest Monday - September 8, 2014


This past week was all about tomatoes.
 
Clockwise from the top:
Aunt Ruby's Yellow Cherry, Genovese & Gypsy
 
And then there were the tomatoes.....and more tomatoes.....all 67 lbs of them – in one week.  This was my kitchen table this past weekend:
 
Boatload of Tomatoes
 
I canned about half of the harvest (and it definitely was easier the 2nd & 3rd time round!) and I’m hoping to can some salsa this week.  I also roasted 4 trays of cherry tomatoes (which then go in the freezer) and I have about 4 more to go.

But it wasn’t all sunshine & roses on the vines:
 
Blight on the tomato to the left & center
and some type of fungus on the right
 
Many of the vines show evidence of late blight, some much more than others.  Thankfully, the blight has been limited to the leaves & stems for the most part - at this stage, I have had to toss less than 10 infected tomatoes.  Surprisingly, the first plant to come down with late blight – Gypsy – is still pumping out tomatoes & none of them have been infected.  I will be cleaning up the beds in the next day or so & will likely rip out several of the plants.

I had a nice harvest of peppers, both hot & sweet.
 
Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers
 
In a post a few weeks ago, I talked about how the pepper plants in the bean bed were doing significantly better than those in the tomato bed.  Well, not surprisingly, the smaller peppers on the left were from the 9 plants in the tomato bed (11 peppers totaling 256 grams) and the larger ones on the right were from the 2 plants in the bean bed (also 11 peppers but this time totaling 476 grams).

There was one hot pepper in the tomato bed that ripened to a lovely red:
 
Beautifully Ripened Hot Wax Pepper
 
But unfortunately, it went into the garbage because the other side looked like this:
 
Other side reveals what I believe is blight.
 
But we were not without red peppers this week.  The two sweet pepper plants in the bean bed gave us these huge red peppers (FINALLY!):
 
King of the North Sweet Peppers
 
The largest pepper was 208 grams (7 ounces) – That’s a pretty big pepper!  Still, I doubt that I will be growing this variety again.  There are simply too many good varieties out there to try, many of which are more prolific than this one.

Another humongous zucchetta tromboncino was harvested together with some cucumbers and another tiny Gold Nugget winter squash - the second (and unfortunately last) winter squash for the year.
 
Zucchetta Tromboncino, Gold Nugget Squash,
Lemon & Garden Sweet Cucumbers
 
I think that the powdery mildew is really affecting the tromboncino plants as I have had a lot of immature squash turn yellow and drop off before the flower even opened.   Boo hoo – this one is my favourite and I really would have loved many more squash from it.  The cucumbers have also slowed way down, likely due to the powdery mildew as well.

I harvested a bit of Russian kale & had my first taste of it in a salad with cranberries & pumpkin seeds – I quite liked it!
 
Russian Kale
 
The last of the potato onions were harvested.  They were not falling over, but the leaves had really died back & were getting very mildewy from all the wet weather we have been having, so I decided to pull them.  These will not be included in the tally until they are cured.  I did find one tiny Copra in the soil that was used up in the kitchen, so this did make it into this week’s tally.
 
Last of the Potato Onions
 
I decided to harvest most of the Trail of Tears beans.
 
Trail of Tears Beans
 
I know you are supposed to let them dry on the vine but the bacterial brown spot is getting worse & we’ve been getting a ton of wet weather which doesn’t help when you are trying to harvest dried beans.
 
I decided to harvest all of the dry pods as well as those that were mature but not yet dried.  I think (but am not certain) that I did this last year and the beans dried out fine in the garage.  I also recall that surface damage from the bacterial brown spot did not affect the beans inside.  We shall see.  Of course, I would not use these for planting, but they will be fine for eating so long as the brown spot hasn’t progressed to the beans.  The beans will not be included in the tally until they are dried, shelled & weighed.

Also harvested but not photographed were a few leaves of the Mei Qing Chinese cabbage.

My harvest totals this week were:

Chinese Cabbage – 352 grams (0.78 lbs)
Kale – 128 grams (0.28 lbs)
Cucumbers – 806 grams (1.78 lbs)
Onions – 32 grams (0.07 lbs)
Sweet Peppers – 756 grams (1.67 lbs)
Hot Peppers – 732 grams (1.61)
Summer Squash – 906 grams (2 lbs)
Winter Squash – 206 grams (0.45 lbs)
Tomatoes – 30,512 grams (67.27 lbs)

Total for Week – 34,430 grams (75.90 lbs)

Total to Date – 150.43 kg (331.63 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

24 comments:

  1. I can almost hear the table groaning under the weight of all those lovely tomatoes! I do hope they keep on coming despite the disease issues. I am so thankful that blight is not (yet) a big issue here in our area.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are indeed lucky - I'm loving the harvest but at the same time I am looking forward to removing all those disease ridden vines.

      Delete
  2. Despite the rain giving you some problems, you have some very impressive harvests. You seem to take the few disappointments in stride--you have a great attitude.
    And I don't know how you keep up with it all!
    Have a wonderful week

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am definitely struggling to keep up with things - the pathways that were supposed to be mulched back in May? Most of the mulch is still sitting there - on my driveway. And every time I see it I think "I really must get to that...." and then I just walk by to do another more pressing task - there's never a shortage of those! Have a wonderful week too!

      Delete
  3. That is an amazing amount of tomatoes. You have your work cut out for you getting them all canned up. And I've dried beans that weren't dried in the pod yet. They dry better out of the pod I found. But we tend to be pretty humid here and the pods can mildew instead of dry if you leave them in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our humidity goes way down as of the beginning of September, so I'm thinking that they should be fine left in the pods. But it's good to know that taking them out is an option - I didn't realize they would still dry well if you did that.

      Delete
  4. A boatload is exactly how I would describe that tomato harvest ... wow! And big numbers for the amount of harvest, very well done! I've been harvesting my beans before they are ready as well since we have similar weather ... they seem to dry fine on newspaper inside but I keep them well spread apart to avoid mildew spreading as Daphne mentioned. Beautiful peppers - I am still searching for the right variety after many years. I tend to have low yield and small fruit, so I just keep trying new ones!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I happened to have the chicken wire rack out from drying the shallots, so I just plopped them on that. And it's right in front of our garage stairs so I can give it a cursory glance as I walk in and out to check for any developing mildew. And I'm definitely trying some more varieties of both kinds of peppers in the coming years - they are one of those addictive crops!

      Delete
  5. That is a nice large harvest! A lot of tomatoes! What do you use the roasted tomatoes for after freezing them? Your Kale looks lovely. Mine is eaten by the cabbage butterflies. Nancy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm planning to use the frozen roasted cherry toms on pizza, tossed into pasta, to add some "umph" to pasta sauce...I'm sure there are tons more ideas out there but that is where I am starting. And the cabbage butterflies are going crazy this fall - I have netting on my brassicas and the other day I had to "rescue" one from underneath the netting - argh!

      Delete
  6. Awesome harvest! That's a lot of tomatoes. I didn't grow enough cherries this year. Next year, I will definitely have to roast some. I grew trail of tears as well but they never did anything growing amongst the corn stalks. Next year, I'm gonna switch to bush type shell beans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Thomas! I'm really looking forward to the dried beans - next year I will hopefully be able to get some more beds going so that I can grow a lot more of them.

      Delete
  7. Blogger is <%# these days, it just ate my comment, again, I really get tired of recreating them...

    My Tromboncino squash does the same thing, lots of tiny female blossoms turn yellow and fall off. I don't think it's PM, I'm speculating that the vines can't support too many squash at one time or perhaps it's a temperature issue, we get wide swings from warm days to cold nights. At least I get enough to keep me happy.

    I love that shot of the boatload of tomatoes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have been having hot days and cool nights recently, so that very well may be it. I guess I had better plant more vines next year to make up for it. And I hear you on blogger - whenever I get the sense that it is being finicky, I have actually started copying my comment before clicking on submit...just in case.

      Delete
  8. My word that's a lot of tomatoes! It take us three days to can all of those. Never tried Trail of Tears beans. We are sort of stuck on straight Kentucky Blue Lakes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm just going to try canning salsa today so it will likely be another long, learning curve type of day - although likely nowhere near as bad as the fist time. Hearing that it would take you guys a few days to can this amount actually makes me feel better about how long it is taking me - I basically consider you canning experts from all the food you put up!

      Delete
  9. The load of tomatoes is amazing--twice what we got this week. To reduce the workload, the "Kitchen Goddess" likes to make smaller batches of sauce to keep in the fridge until "canning day."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a great idea - I am quickly learning that splitting the work up, instead of trying to get it done all in one day, is much less stressful.

      Delete
  10. What are you going to do with all those gorgeous tomatoes? Last year I experimented with oven drying since I do not own a dehydrator and was happy with the results.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great idea for the salad tomatoes, which I have a ton of - I have slow roasted a few, but I think I will try oven drying some as well to see how they do. As for the larger tomatoes, I am canning them either as pureed tomatoes or salsa.

      Delete
  11. Fab tomatoes! All my squash / courgette plants have slowed right down with the cold nights but am hoping one or two more might get squeezed out especially as we have sandy soil which retains the heat a bit I think. I've never tried dried beans for eating. I did borlotti beans last year but ate them fresh. This year they didn't grow or got eaten just after germination so I've had blauhilde purple French beans, Lady Di runners and a couple of varieties of dwarf French beans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our garden has slowed down as well - jacket weather has started! Dried beans are really yummy but they do take up a lot of space for what you get. I hope that your soil maintains that heat so that you get your few more squash!

      Delete
  12. Those tomatoes are things to be envied, that's for sure! I normally muster a table-load too, but not this year! :( By the way, I love the way you present your crops in those baskets. It really enhances them. (Did I mention this before??)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mark! And although you may not have gotten all the tomatoes you normally do, I think you did exceptionally well considering the contaminated compost issue.

      Delete

I appreciate and thoroughly enjoy all of your lovely comments :) Please note that in order to foil those pesky spammers, comment moderation has been enabled for older comments.