Monday, August 17, 2015

Harvest Monday - August 17, 2015


This week there was one new, surprise crop that I didn’t expect to enjoy at all this season.  Corn.  That’s right – I actually picked a cob of corn.  Of the ground.  Because my corn muncher had severed a mini-cob right off one of the stalks.  And then left it there in the path – untouched.  I’m thinking this rules out a raccoon.

The miracle cob
It wasn’t a big cob, by any means – I actually didn’t think there would be much under those leaves as it certainly didn’t feel all that plump.  But when I pulled back the husk, I found some small, but plump kernels:

Shucked
With the corn patch in total chaos, I honestly can't believe that this cob was pollinated as evenly as it was.  Pretty amazing.  I picked off a couple of kernels and did a bit of a taste test right there and then, just to see.  Mmm, mmm good – it was so sweet!  So off to the kitchen I went, plopped it into some boiling water for a couple of minutes, then cut it up so we all could have a piece…no butter needed.  And everyone loved their little taste of heaven.

Ok, back to earth and the less exciting but nonetheless delicious harvests for the week.

The 2nd pepper variety to be harvested this year (after Hungarian Hot Wax) were the pepperoncino peppers:

Pepperoncino Peppers
These are going to be pickled – I really like them tossed into a salad with an Italian vinaigrette (homemade of course!).

A few more Hungarian Hot Wax peppers were also harvested, together with more Bloody Butcher & Sungold tomatoes:

Tomatoes & Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers
Juliet & Yellow Pear tomatoes have now joined Bloody Butcher and Sungold in the harvest basket, pictured here with a couple of broccoli side shoots:

More tomatoes & broccoli side-shoots

I shelled the fresh favas that were picked last week & these were frozen:

Shelled favas (Ianto's & Extra Precoce Violetto)
The ones that were black or turning black were left on some newspaper in the basement with a fan running and they are drying nicely.  They should be ready to shell this week sometime.

The last of the Copra and Rossa di Milano onions were harvested as well as all of the Ailsa Craigs and Red Wings.  I forgot to get a photo of the onions as they were drying in the sun, but here are the Red Wings on the way to the curing rack in the garage:

Red Wing Onions
I don’t include the onions in the tally until they are cured & ready for storage.  Very small onions, however, head to the kitchen right away.  I also cleaned up the potato onions that had bolted – all of them were quite small, about the size of shallots – and those were included in the tally as well since they are also for immediate use.

Onion runts (left) & bolted potato onions (right)
The Contender plants had developed some sort of blight and I pulled them out, harvesting the rest of the beans.

Contender Beans - Final disappointing harvest
This was a dismal year for green beans - I’ll give some more details on this in my mid-month update (I’ll be posting Part 1 tomorrow).

A huge quantity of Gold Marie beans were harvested – over 7 pounds.  This will be the last harvest from the vines, which I’ll be pulling this week.

Gold Marie Yellow Romano Beans
More cucumbers & tomatoes:


Tomatoes:  Bloody Butcher, Juliet, Yellow Pear, Sungold
Cucumbers:  Lemon, Chelsea Prize, Garden Sweet
More plums.  The Shiros are basically done but there are a quite a lot of Burbank plums to pick.  The Japanese beetles are really going at them now - I guess they can tell when they are ready too:


Plums in basket are ok or only have minimal damage;
plums on the right are too damaged to eat
That single tiny plum in front of the basket is a French Prune, my favourite variety on the tree.  Unfortunately, it is also the variety with the smallest & fewest plums.  That was the first one to ripen and it is quite a bit smaller than the handful left on the tree, which are still green.

And lastly, the harvest from Bed #8.  This is the super shady bed where everything seems to stand still as of early summer when the trees leaf out.  I harvested whatever I could from this bed over the weekend and a paltry harvest it was, especially for the Beira Tronchuda as it was my ONLY harvest this year.

Kale from left to right:  Red Russian, Siberian, White Russian

Barely worth harvesting Joi Choi
together with Beira Tronchuda
I will be reseeding this bed with spinach and lettuce today, just to see if I can get some sort of fall crop from it.

My harvest totals this week were:

Fresh Snap/Romano Beans – 3,528 grams (7.78 lbs)
Fava Beans – 554 grams (1.22 lbs)
Chinese Greens – 110 grams (0.24 lbs)
Collards – 228 grams (0.50 lbs)
Corn (shucked) – 42 grams (0.09 lbs)
Cucumbers – 2,068 grams (4.56 lbs)
Kale – 722 grams (1.59 lbs)
Onions – 2,205 grams (4.86 lbs)
Peppers (hot) – 380 grams (0.84 lbs)
Tomatoes – 1,510 grams (3.33 lbs)
Plums – 828 grams (1.83 lbs)

Total for Week – 12,175 grams (26.84 lbs)

Total to Date – 56.50 kg (124.56 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

40 comments:

  1. Twenty seven pounds in the week, that's great! Very nice that you were able to enjoy the corn, even if it was just one ear. And those plums ... I ripped out my plum trees as they never produced (they were in a bad spot, my fault) so I'm quite envious of those.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's that time of year when the harvests really start to ramp up, which is nice. I'll have to go pick the rest of the Burbanks today as they seem to be attracting more Japanese beetles. Now I have to figure out what to do with them all!

      Delete
  2. I do love home grown corn but I didn't get round to sowing any again this year, I even bought the seeds, just ran out of time. You can really taste the difference when it's cooked straight after picking rather than sitting in a shop for days before it's bought. My beans have just started producing, they're much later this year but I sowed them later than usual.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That happens to me every year, with one veg or another. Last year, I had planned on putting in some overwintering spinach, which didn't happen and this year I wanted to get in a 2nd sowing of peas - ran out of time on that one as well. Next year we'll do better, right? ;)

      Delete
  3. Congratulations on getting an ear of corn. Looks like a great harvest. Seems like a bad bean year for almost everyone, but those Gold Marie are outstanding. Mine never really got off the ground due to some disease I have't identified.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks David! I'm not sure if I have some sort of disease on the Gold Marie vines or not - I've had a couple of leaves get almost black with what looks like some sort of mold, but it doesn't seem to be spreading.

      Delete
  4. Excellent variety and quantity of harvests. Looks like it won't be long before you get to enjoy fully-matured corn. What variety is that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The corn is Dorinny Sweet from Baker Creek - It's obviously one tough variety as well as being delicious, so I'll definitely be growing it again.

      Delete
  5. YUM! Love the harvests. Are you doing jelly out of plums or just for eating? Nice find with corn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wasn't actually sure what to do with all the plums and I was tossing around the idea of sorbet, but jelly sounds like a great way to use them up also. I'll have to dig up a recipe as I've never made jelly before, only jam.

      Delete
  6. Your tomatoes and peppers look so beautiful and perfect. And you're getting such an amazing variety of foodstuff from your garden.

    That's awful about the critter that keeps tearing up your corn, makes me wonder what it is. Maybe a badger or maybe juvenile raccoons that don't know enough about corn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are actually thinking it may be a skunk - our lawn has been torn up quite a bit recently & when we looked up what could have caused all those small dug up patches, skunks came up. I think I read that they do like corn as well - but really, who doesn't ;) - so they are a definite suspect.

      Delete
  7. Impressive!!
    I am so so so so so jealous of your tomatoes! We've still not gotten anything yet. The plants are loaded. We've had HOT weather. And still---they just sit there GREEN. ARGH!!
    Maddening. About as maddening as your corn patch this year. Still no clue what it was??
    Hubby set a trap for a coon in ours and baited it with marshmallows. No takers. That must have been a fluke last year with the big one he caught. Still never figured out what knocked down a bunch of mine and chewed the ends. "IT" never came back.
    Have a good week, Margaret!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ugh...how frustrating with the tomatoes! I had a super late tomato season a couple of years ago & I think I didn't get a ripe tomato until September, so I can totally sympathize.

      I was just commenting to Phuong that we now think it may have been a skunk - we do have one of those live traps that we have used for a squirrel that got into the attic, but I'm thinking I'll pass on trying to trap a skunk.....phew!

      I hope you get that ripe tomato in your hands VERY soon!

      Delete
  8. Congratulations on your corn! And what an amazing selection of harvests this week! My garden is just dismal this year, so I'm super impressed and jealous of yours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jennifer. And I would NOT say your garden is anywhere near dismal - quite frankly, I can't believe all you accomplished!

      Delete
  9. Nice harvests. I had trouble with my beans this year too. Some disease took them down this year, but not the typical rust that we always have. In fact I didn't see any rust at all. I think the other disease killed them too fast.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm also seeing some sort of yellowing/moldy kind of thing on the Gold Marie Bean leaves, which is yet another reason why I'm pulling down the vines. It seems to be the year of the bean (in a bad way)!

      Delete
  10. We'd love to have corn, but I think the space vs output doesn't justify growing it, at least for us, given that we're working with 36 square feet of soil...

    What do you think of the taste and texture of the Bloody Butchers?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree on the corn - it's a great crop, but only if you have the space, which is why I waited until this year to grow it (I added 5 new beds).

      I really like the Bloody Butchers, both taste and texture - I did a comparison last year between all the varieties I grew, including Bloody Butcher: http://homegrown-adventuresinmygarden.blogspot.ca/2014/11/end-of-season-review-tomatoes-part-2.html. They have almost everything going for them and I will definitely continue to grow them.

      Delete
  11. That ear of corn is just perfect. Great varied harvest and those plums I am envious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Norma. The plums are a definite treat - one we have been waiting on for a long time, especially in this quantity.

      Delete
  12. Congrats on your first corn, it looks juicy and tender. I'll have to give corn a go someday, love those Hungarian Wax, I remember reading the peppers on your two HW were growing at opposite directions, do they taste the same or one is spicier?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't tasted the peppers raw as we normally eat those as pickled peppers. I actually just got around to canning a batch of them yesterday & I did remember to keep the two varieties separate (which I didn't do the first time I picked them - they all got mixed together in the fridge).

      So now I have several jars of each variety plus a couple of "mixed" ones. We probably won't be cracking open a jar for a while, but now that you asked, I'll make sure to give them a taste the next time I have some ripe ones & report back.

      Delete
  13. That ear of corn was a sweet find. I hope you get to enjoy more. Gold Marie certainly produced well for you, over 7 pounds, fantastic. I do love this time of year in the garden, although it can be a bit overwhelming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right when you say that it can get overwhelming, as it's not just the harvesting but what really takes the work is the prep afterwards. I spent all afternoon/evening yesterday canning, blanching & freezing and was exhausted afterwards.

      I'm determined not to fall behind like I did last year and then have a mountain of veg to deal with. Although technically I am behind as I was also supposed to seed a bed yesterday which I didn't get to do. My "to do" list is always bigger than the number of hours in a day.

      Delete
  14. Those are some lovely Pepperoncinos! I never found a variety that looked like the pickled ones I got at the pizza parlor. Yours look exactly like them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, thank you very much, Dave - I was equally happy when I saw them on the plant; they are exactly what I was looking for and they are VERY prolific I purchased the seed from Pinetree - as an fyi for your seed order next year ;)

      Delete
  15. Hi Margaret, At least one ear of corn must be encouraging when it was so tasty! Maybe next year you will have better luck. I am considering growing a little corn in a plastic tote. I wonder how that would do! Your harvest pictures are so pretty in the baskets! So colorful that it makes you want to eat them. Nancy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Nancy! I do love baskets & can't pass by a thrift store without checking their basket section! And the corn was amazing, Nancy - I had pretty much given up on the patch, even though I saw those mini-ears developing on some of the stalks.

      Delete
  16. I love surprise crops and it sounds like the corn was a real treat. Your onion look wonderful and your tomatoes and peppers too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rachel! Some things seem to be doing really well this year, which always makes up for those that are not.

      Delete
  17. You sure do get an impressive harvest from your garden each week, Margaret! Do you ever grow Italian green beans? We received some in our vegetable share, and I'm looking for recipe ideas. I might simply sautee them in butter and garlic, and maybe add some chopped onions. Yum!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Beth! The Gold Marie are a yellow Romano bean, so they are basically the same as Italian green beans (which are also Romano beans), other than the colour. I usually blanch them for a couple of minutes before using them in a dish - your butter/garlic idea sound delicious!

      One of my favourites is to sauté onion & garlic, then add diagonally cut beans & chopped tomatoes & let this simmer away until the beans are cooked (I use either raw or blanched beans for this one). I added one of my spicy blistered Padrons the last time I made this and it was amazing.

      Delete
  18. Hurrah that you got at least one ear of corn! I gave up planting corn my self because the raccoons always harvested it right before I was ready to. It just became too frustrating.You certainly are getting an amazing and diverse harvest from your garden right now. Enjoy it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Lexa - I can definitely see giving up on corn because of the racoons. The only sure-fire way of protecting corn, from what I've read, is an electric fence & that's something I'll likely never put up.

      Delete
  19. It really is all about the small victories, isn't it? Congrats on your cob...there's nothing like homegrown corn!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very true - I harvested a boatload of beans, but it was the tiny cob of corn that took center stage ;)

      Delete
  20. Wow homegrown corn. Love the names of the tomatoes, some of them are proper whoppers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right about that - I shudder to think what kind of person would have come up with a name like Bloody Butcher...yikes!

      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.