Monday, October 27, 2014

Harvest Monday - October 27, 2014


Green, green and green – well, purplish green actually.  Not exactly that much variety in colour.  But pretty soon the fresh produce will be all done and so I am savoring every bit of green that comes out of the garden right now.

First up this week is the Mei Qing choi.
 
Mei Qing Choi
 
I quite like this variety, taste wise, and it is very pretty as well.  But I’m not the only one that finds it appetizing.  The Mei Qing attracted quite the hoard of red aphids in late summer and now the slugs can’t seem to get enough.  I’m going to try growing this variety in the spring next year to see if it has fewer issues with pests.  But to be fair, the slugs have been out of control this year with our cool damp summer creating a veritable slug paradise.  I was thinking that with the very cool weather lately, together with a couple of light frosts, they would be all gone by now, but I am still seeing them around.

Of course I harvested more kale.
 
Russian Kale and Not Curly Kale
 
The Russian kale is also suffering with the slugs, but the NCK is relatively unscathed.  The NCK is in a new bed that's in a completely different area of the garden, so maybe that is a factor.

I harvested the last of the chard.  It didn’t seem like quite as much in the bed as it did in the harvest basket.  Although we have not had a hard frost yet – only a couple of light frosts – the chard was not growing very much at this point.  Temperatures are going to really start to dip by the end of the week so I figured this was as good a time as any to give the chard the old chop.
 
Last of the Chard
"Fordhook Giant"
 
The chard has not grown very quickly since mid-summer which could be due to lack of light in that particular section of the bed.  But I’m thinking that the most likely cause is inadequate fertilization.  The chard has been in this bed since late spring and giving it a good soak with some fish emulsion a few times would likely have boosted its growth quite a bit.

Also harvested but not photographed were a couple of small kohlrabi.  Last week I harvested what I thought were the last of the kohlrabi.  I left several in the bed, however, as the stems did not seem to have swollen very much and I figured I would pull them out later.  Well, this week I noticed that a couple of the ones I left did form small bulbs, so they were promptly harvested.

I was hoping to get some dill seeds this year but the plants have been afflicted with some sort of mold or mildew.  The stems and seed heads have these black striations while the leaves simply turned brown.
Dill Stem with Unknown Mold/Mildew
 
I have no idea what it is but will venture a guess that it was caused by our very wet weather this year.  Since the seeds are brown and it’s hard to tell whether they have been affected, I have decided not to harvest any seeds and pull the plants.

My harvest totals this week were:

Chinese Cabbage – 748 grams (1.65 lbs)
Kale – 866 grams (1.91 lbs)
Kohlrabi – 94 grams (0.21 lbs)
Chard – 1,372 grams (3.02 lbs)

Total for Week – 3,080 grams (6.79lbs)

Total to Date – 219.87 kg (484.73 lbs)

Will I break the 500 lb. mark?  It’s going to be close!  All that’s left in the garden now is Chinese cabbage, kale, spring onions and a couple of small broccoli heads.

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. Margaret, your photos are beautiful. Your late season harvests are what I am looking forward to for the winter.

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    1. Thanks! And I will definitely be envious when I'm looking at those green harvests coming out of your garden while the snow flies around here.

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  2. Green is good! The Mei Qing choi is really pretty, and fun to say, too! Your chard seems remarkably slug-free, I wonder why they haven't targeted it.

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    1. The slugs have gotten to the Russian kale, but they are sticking to one or two of the older outer leaves on each plant for some reason...I'm not complaining, that's for sure!

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  3. What a gorgeous selection of greens! Looks like you're going to have very tasty meal.

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    1. You said it - and with quite a bit left over for the freezer too!

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  4. Nice looking greens. I too found slugs are more winter hardy than you would think. And the cabbage moths are as well. Fortunately, the caterpillars don't like the Siberian kale and prefer my collards and Lacinato kale.

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    1. That's interesting about the kale - I thought that cabbage moths liked all brassicas regardless of variety. I haven't seen any flying around in the last few weeks, I did pick a large caterpillar off the broccoli last week.

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  5. That Mei Qing choi sure is some pretty greens!
    I'm having a ton of troubles with slugs as well this year---something I'd never thought I'd have , as we are quite dry here-normally!
    There's something every year. And for every fail, there are plenty of positives as well. Hope you reach your 500 mark--you're so close!!
    :)

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    1. Thanks Sue! I don't remember slugs being this bad before but since I've only had the vegetable garden for a few years, I wasn't sure if they were in fact worse this year or if it was just my bad memory.

      And you are so right - when it comes to gardening, the successes always outweigh the failures - and nothing is really ever an absolute fail as there is always something to learn!

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  6. I'm with Will - green is good at any season! The Not Curly Kale sure looks a lot like the Beedy's Camden that I grow. It is a selection of True Siberian Kale (not the dwarf kind). And it's definitely not like the curly types.

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    1. You are right - I just looked at an old 2012 post where you had a picture of the Beedy's Camden and it does look very much like it. So based on the name, I'm wondering if it will winter over and give me an early harvest next year? I think I will leave it over the winter just to see.

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  7. Oh yes, the critters love Mei Qing choi, they are pretty with great flavor. I too have major slug issues this year and they are still hanging around.

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    1. I'm getting happier and happier each and every time I hear seasoned gardeners say that this is a bad slug year - gives me hope that next year will not be as bad!

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  8. All your greens are very appetizing. I'm very fortunate to not have to deal with slugs and snails, it's simply too dry here. But the birds more than make up for the lack of slugs. My dill was a dismal failure this year too, between birds and powdery mildew it just didn't stand a chance. What little did grow I left for the anise swallowtail caterpillars, and those got picked off as well. :-(

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    1. Just like Sue said, if it's not one thing it's another. Birds are not much of an issue around here other than for strawberries. Oh yes, and pooping on the crops - next year, I need to find a way to keep them off my trellises.

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  9. Sorry about your dill. The choi looks very good. The kale also. Enjoy every last morsel from the garden. Sure will be missed. Hoping to get a little from my cold frame but not home this week so hope we don't get a frost! Nancy

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    1. Thanks Nancy - You are so lucky to have a cold frame! I would love to have one and get a few extra weeks on either end of the growing season. Hopefully that' another project that I can squeeze in for next years garden!

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  10. A nice decent harvest of greens! I love bok choy - especially sautéing it in some olive oil, garlic, ginger, onions, sweet peppers,some chicken, and hoisin sauce and you have a good meal! Those pests are a pain- for slugs I like to use crushed up eggshells and sprinkle it around the plants. Helps fend off slugs from crawling and an added bonus of nutrition for the plants too! And you seaweed is pretty good too. Also, I make a natural pesticide remedy - water, a few drops of neem oil, some cayenne pepper, and a few drops of soap in a spray bottle.
    http://LivingItUpAlternatively.blogspot.com

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    1. Great tips - thanks! I did try crushed eggshells last year but I didn't have very many of them and so I think my application was too skimpy to be effective. I have since been collecting them religiously and will be giving that method another try next year if the slugs get out of control again.

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  11. Your greens look lovely. I grew kale for the first time this year and found that the cabbage butterflies left it alone until there are no other brassicas in the garden to lay their eggs on.

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    1. Thank you Jan! Around here, cabbage butterflies don't seem to have too much of a preference - they just love everything in that family. Or maybe they aren't being that picky because I'm not growing enough of their favourites.

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  12. Green does seem to be the color of the season at least if you are lacking root crops. It is interesting. I have aphids attacking my kale, but not my bok choy. You seem to be the other way around.

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    1. I think it may be the particular variety - the Mei Qing had a ton of aphids but the Joi Choi hybrid had none & their beds were practically next to each other. And so far I have never seen aphids on the kale...hopefully it stays that way.

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