Monday, September 7, 2015

Harvest Monday - September 7, 2015


The only term for the weather of late is sweltering.  Yesterday, the humidex was at 37C/99F and today it’s supposed to get up to 40C/104F…yuck!  I’m about ready for summer to end and am really looking forward to some cool fall breezes.  Still lots to do in the garden, but with temperatures like that, I’m not up for being outside for any length of time.

I did manage to do some harvesting this past week.  The tomatoes have gone from harvest to salvage expedition in the past few days.

Bloody Butcher, Opalka, Aunt Ruby's Yellow Cherry, Brandywine & Yellow Pear
 
Late blight is now spreading throughout the beds & I am harvesting anything that shows some colour.

Amish Paste, Taxi, Opalka & Yellow Pear


Mountain Magic, Aunt Ruby's Yellow Cherry & Bloody Butcher
 
So much for my end of the month prediction.  I’ll get into more details on my September update in a few days.
 
Brandywines together with a bowl of Yellow Pear, Juliet, Sungold & Opalka
 
And remember my other rather bold statement last week where I said that the Speckled Roman’s didn’t have any blossom end rot vs. all the other paste varieties that had either some (Amish Paste) or a lot (Opalka).  Well, I’m eating my words this week:

Blossom end rot on two Speckled Romans &
a third with the beginnings of late blight
 
And yes, late blight has crept into some of the tomatoes too.  I was able to harvest a few Speckled Romans that were ok, so at least that was good:

Speckled Romans
 
I harvested the last of the pitiful cucumbers:

A few Lemons and one misshapen Garden Sweet
 
The vines were pulled and that is that.  Next year will be better, right?

Let’s turn to some of the good harvest news.  The eggplants are still chugging along, despite the wilt issues.  The worst of the plants, the Slim Jim, has finally given me an eggplant:

Looks huge, but it was only 5" long, a perfect size for this variety.
 
There are a few more on the plants, but most are very tiny.  I’m not sure if they will have time to size up before the frost…that is if the plants survive the wilt.

The biggest surprise this week were the zucchini.  Yes….zucchini!

Romanesco Zucchini
 
Two of the zucchini came from the straw bale plants & one from the late planting in one of the beds.  Not the best of specimens & I did let a couple of them grow a bit large, but that’s ok.  We thoroughly enjoyed a couple of them as a grilled side dish.  I can’t believe we actually got some zucchini this summer – it was touch and go there for a while.  Looks like I may get a few more too.  Hopefully I’m not jinxing things by saying that ;)

I harvested a bunch of small broccoli side shoots and then another surprise.  One of my plants is going crazy giving me huge side shoots.  I harvested all 4 of these – a total of 410 grams (14.5 oz) – from one plant:

Arcadia broccoli & Just Right turnips
 
And I saw one more on there that is sizing up quickly.  I have no idea why that particular plant is giving me shoots that are so much larger than the others.

The turnips I harvested this time round tasted more or less the same as the larger ones I harvested last week - good, but not as sweet as the White Lady variety I grew in the spring.  It's not the size as they were roughly the same size as those from the spring harvest.  The question still remains - is the reduced sweetness due to the variety or the hot weather we have been having.

The last 2 baby bok choy were harvested:

Baby Choy; most likely Green Fortune

I’m loving the choy & am really looking forward to getting some more from my fall sowing, which is sizing up nicely.

I finally harvested the first of the Jimmy Nardello peppers:

Jimmy Nardello Sweet Peppers


And a few hot peppers from the other varieties as well:

Clockwise from the top right:
Melrose, Padron, Ostra Cyklon, Tam Jalapeno, Pepperoncino
 
And lastly, I harvested the majority of the Trail of Tears beans.  I don’t let them dry on the vine, but harvest the mature pods and then spread them out on newspaper in the garage.

Trail of Tears
 
Since I use these as dried beans, I’ll wait until they are dried & shelled before weighing them.  There are a few beans left on the vine, but just from the looks of it, it seems like I may not have harvested as much as last year.  The final numbers will tell the tale.

My harvest totals this week were:

Broccoli – 792 grams (1.75 lbs)
Chinese Greens – 1,002 grams (2.21 lbs)
Cucumbers – 300 grams (0.66 lbs)
Eggplant – 114 grams (0.25 lbs)
Sweet Peppers – 740 grams (1.63 lbs)
Hot Peppers – 362 grams (0.80 lbs)
Summer Squash – 1,556 grams (3.43 lbs)
Tomatoes – 10,930 grams (24.10 lbs)
Turnips – 310 grams (0.68 lbs)
Turnip Greens – 180 grams (0.40 lbs)

Total for Week – 16,286 grams (35.90 lbs)

Total to Date – 101.57 kg (223.91 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

34 comments:

  1. Too bad about your tomatoes but you still got a pretty good harvest. Looks like your peppers are doing better, as are mine I tried growing Striped Roman two years in a row and they did poorly for me with lots of BER.

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    1. The funny thing is that last year, I had a pretty good harvest of the Striped Roman with no BER at all. I'm thinking that, out of all the "possible" BER causes, inconsistent watering on my part may be to blame. Our summer was very hot and dry compared to last year when it was cool and wet.

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  2. Beautiful harvests. I love arcadia broccoli. I often get large side shoots. Though like you, not always. I haven't a clue what makes them put out big ones.

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    1. It's a mystery all right as that particular plant isn't in any better location than any of the other ones. I'll enjoy it while it lasts and am definitely going to grow this variety again next year.

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  3. Holy cow--look at those tomatoes!! Beautiful! Shame about the blight, but I'm really beginning to wonder if that isn't just something that always comes along to end our harvests at the peak of glory. Well, NEXT YEAR we won't have it.
    Ha.
    Have a wonderful week, Margaret

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    1. That's right Sue...no blight next year, for sure!

      I actually had thought that last year was my first with blight, but in fact, I had it the year before when I grew mostly Brandywines. The only year I didn't have it is when I grew only standard hybrids that I purchased from a local garden center....and we all know that's not going to happen again. I do love variety in my tomato beds!

      Have a great week too Sue & stay cool!

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    2. Me again----I just plucked my FIRST BRANDYWINE!!!!! Hooray. I didn't think we were gonna get one this year and there it was! It must have turned overnight because I sure didn't spy that bugger yesterday. All is right with the world!
      :)

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    3. Hip Hip Hurray!! Sometimes they do sneak up on you don't they? I bet it already landed on your plate tonight and was completely savoured!

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  4. Your harvests are just shining right now! When all else failed, I could always count on a tomato glut, but not this year. Glad you have plenty, even if they are winding down.

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    1. If I were to have a slow tomato year, I'm glad it was this one - there definitely has been no shortage of other things to do with the garden expansion happening, so a tomato glut would definitely have added to the stress. And like you said, I'll still have enough to do some canning, etc., so it definitely could have been worse.

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  5. The Jimmy Nardello look good - we may need to try those next year if we can find starts.

    I think our cucumbers are in the same boat. We've already pulled ours after a "meh" summer.

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    1. We haven't eaten the Jimmy Nardellos yet but several of them are slated for a pan fry session in the next day or so - I'm really looking forward to it!

      I don't know what it is with cucumbers this year - seems like quite a few people were having issues. Although you don't wish a bad harvest on anyone, it's always comforting to know that you are not alone when it does happen.

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  6. Bad news about your tomatoes but at least some are salvageable. I've had about three cucumbers off my Crystal Lemon plant, plenty off the Mini Munch but the plants are just about giving up now, they never really recovered from our cool spring. You're ready for summer to end and I'm still waiting for it to begin here, it looks as though we're going to go straight to autumn here, though today has turned out sunny for a change.

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    1. What's funny is that I had the opposite situation with our cucumber varieties. Of the several that I grew, the Lemon was the most prolific. Unlike in your situation, I'm not exactly sure why my cucumbers did so poorly this year.

      Looks like you had the same summer we had last year - come August, the papers had started calling it "Augtober".

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  7. It looks like a lot of tomatoes despite the blight. And next year will definitely be better for all our gardens!

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    1. I think I am getting a good amount on the tomato front. Just enough so that there is some for the winter and not so much that my stress levels are going up ;)

      That's right...next year will be the best year yet....we are such an optimistic bunch!

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  8. I love the look of the speckled Romans. What a great harvest of tomatoes! And so happy to see you have a good bunch of jimmy nardellos ... I have become a super fan this year of those peppers. The heat is becoming a bit overwhelming isn't it???

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    1. Ugh...this heat & humidity. I was in the garage for only a few minutes and was already sweating....thank God for a/c! From what everyone is saying, I have a feeling we'll really like the Jimmy Nardello's when we cook them up in a day or two.

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  9. You've done great with your veg garden. Great to see and glad I joined in on Harvest Monday.

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    1. Thank you Kelli! We are a very enthusiastic bunch of veg gardening folk, that's for sure, & it's always nice when someone new joins in the fun.

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  10. Hi! Your harvest is stretching longer than mine. I think with the heat and Lymes I am losing interest! I have some green tomatoes out there but it seems like it is taking forever to ripen. Glad you got to pick some zucchini! I have grated some for the freezer for zucchini bread. Hope you are lucky and get some more. Nancy

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    1. Thanks Nancy - it definitely is hard to get outside and do anything with all this heat. It will be cooling down later this week, so hopefully we will be able to once again enjoy being outside for more than a few minutes!

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  11. Funny: I was glad to have a last blast of summer heat so we wouldn't feel cheated out of a nice end to summer! We're just coming out of the heat wave now, so I suppose it will be headed your way in a couple of days. Yummy, yummy harvest you have there! I'm salivating over the Tomatoes!

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    1. Thanks Beth - it definitely is tomato season & they end up on the dinner table in one form or another every day right now.

      Oh, I am a true heat wimp and it has been hot, hot, hot all summer - I'm sure we must have broken some sort of record. I'm wondering what this coming year will bring - it seems that Mother Nature is always throwing curve balls, no matter where you live!

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  12. Sweltering is not a word that we have had to use this summer. We are still waiting for summer to start

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    1. We had your weather last year, so I know how you feel. Summer never did end up showing up. Hopefully you guys get a bit of warm weather before winter hits...which isn't too far off. Can't believe it's September already!

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  13. It's getting hot here too, 36C/97F forecast for the next few days, thankfully we don't get the nasty humidity too. BER seems to be brought on by various conditions. I haven't had many problems with it this summer in spite of a warmer season than usual. One thing that I think may have helped prevent it, just a theory on my part, is that I started trimming off leaves early in the season for better air circulation and my guess is that fewer leaves on the plant made more calcium available for the fruits. I noticed less wilting on the plants on hot days after I pulled a lot of leaves and excess shoots, which probably meant more water & calcium was going to the developing fruits. Other than trimming and trellising rather than caging, I didn't do anything significantly different - same soil prep, food, watering schedule, etc. Now the plants have hardly any leaves because of fungal infections, mostly powdery mildew, but that doesn't seem to be inducing BER. If it isn't one thing it's another... Stay cool!

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    1. What an interesting theory; it totally makes sense. You know, last year my plants were huge and I trimmed a lot of leaves in early summer to improve air circulation as well whereas this year, they were nowhere near as lush so I didn't bother. One thing is for sure - I won't be repeating this years mistakes. I'm going back to how I grew them last year, with maybe a tweak or two.

      And when it comes to the weather, I really do think that it's the humidity that kills you & unfortunately, the two are usually hand in hand around here. I hope that you still get a good supply of tomatoes happening, in spite of the PM!

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  14. Wish I had more space for veggies. Mine is 100% a container veggie garden. My poor little 'Black Cherry' tomato is at the end of its production. T'was delicious while it lasted. 'Costata Romanesco' is my favourite zucchini.

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    1. The tomato season this year was much too short. I started my tomato seed sooner last year and the larger transplants gave me tomatoes a couple of weeks earlier than this year. When you are talking only 5 or 6 weeks in total, a couple of weeks makes a big difference! I hope your cherry tomato gives a few more treats before it calls it quits!

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  15. I have blight in some of my tomatoes too. When you pick them they look ok, but then before you can eat them brown patches appear... You have already picked more chillis than I am likely to get from my entire set of plants. Due to poor weather mine are very behind schedule this year. Why is it you pick the Trail of Tears beans before they are fully ripe and dry them in the garage?

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    1. Since our weather is often wet in September, my feeling is that the beans are less likely to mold (and they will just dry better overall) if they are dried in the garage rather than left to hang on the vines. I left the bean harvest rather late this year, but last year I was harvesting them sooner in that none had actually dried on the vines yet. My impression was that this may have prolonged the harvest, although that's just a feeling on my part, so not exactly a scientific conclusion!

      The weather is so strange lately that you really never know - you may just get a couple of good hot weeks that get your chili plants producing.

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  16. I'm impressed by everything you harvest! I broke up with my tomatoes last year after fighting off disease all summer. Now I go to the farmer's market. Love that zucchini! Very cool stripes. :o)

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    1. That's the biggest problem with tomatoes - they really are disease magnets. There are a few good disease resistant hybrids out there (the Mountain Magic I'm growing is one of them), so if you ever decide to give it a go again, I would give one of those a try. And the Romanesco is definitely a keeper in my squash challenged garden!

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