Monday, October 5, 2015

Harvest Monday - October 5, 2015


Our weather is a bit warmer than usual for this time of year.  Here we are at the beginning of October and, surprisingly, there are still tomatoes, peppers, eggplant & summer squash to be harvested.  Our first frost date (October 3rd) has come and gone and no sign of frost yet, although our days do usually start off on a rather damp, chilly note.  Here is a screenshot of this week’s forecast from http://www.theweathernetwork.com/:


We have had quite a bit of rain and I was getting worried about the potatoes that were left in the bed.   I dug them all up last week and most were just fine.

Bintje (left); Viking (right)
 
All in all, I harvested 16 kg (35 lbs) of potatoes on top of the 3.5 kg (8 lbs) from last week.  Now that should keep us from having to purchase grocery store potatoes for a few months.  Do I smell Christmas mash with my very own potatoes?  Oh boy!  Now all I have to do is find a nice, cool, dark spot to store them.

Yukon Gold (left) & Roko (right)
 
I gave the bed a good once over with the garden fork to make sure that I found most of the potatoes and unearthed several Yukon Golds that I missed last week.  Judging from others experiences, I'll probably end up finding the odd potato in this bed next year when I prep it for the next crop.

A couple of the potatoes were too chewed up to save, so these were thrown into the compost.  There were also several that had minor chewing damage or were stabbed by my garden fork.  The damaged parts were removed and the potatoes were then cleaned, cut up, placed into quart jars and covered with water.  The jars went into the refrigerator & the potatoes should keep for several two weeks this way.  Update:  As it turns out, they only keep for about two weeks at the most - too much longer and they start to develop a rather unpleasant smell...which I found out the hard way.

Damaged potatoes were cleaned up & covered with water.
 
Even with our warmer than usual weather, the tomatoes are taking their sweet time to develop and/or ripen.  I did harvest a couple of small baskets over the past week, but that was about it.

The end of tomato season is near
 
There are still quite a few tomatoes left on the vines, so we shall see if these warmer temps are enough to get them to the finish line – or at least close enough that they will ripen successfully indoors.

The basil in the tomato beds did very well:

Eleanora Basil
 
I picked a good sized basket of leaves & made a big batch of basil-walnut pesto, some of which I froze in ice cube trays for a taste of summer during the winter.

Walnut basil pesto
ready to whirl in the food processor
 
I had to harvest the turnips – they were growing much too fast.  Not something I often complain about in the garden, that’s for sure!

White Lady Turnips
 
There are a few turnips left in the beds that were still on the small side, although I noticed just yesterday that couple of them are about ready to harvest.

I also harvested, blanched and froze a big basket of mizuna:

Mizuna
 
The mizuna has done very well this fall – it was in a better spot than the spring planting and its quick growth reflects that.  I sheared off a good portion of the leaves & I’m hoping that I get another harvest before it gets too cold.

I harvested the remaining radishes in two batches, this being the first one:

French Breakfast, Cherry Belle & Easter Egg Radishes
 
A few had a bit of slug damage, but all in all not too bad.

A couple of Romanesco zucchini also made it into the harvest basket – this time I actually harvested them when they were a decent size:

Romanesco Zucchini
 
And the first of the winter squash – a Sweet Mama:

Sweet Mama Winter Squash
 
This was the only winter squash I was able to get from the straw bales, but I’m SURE that next year I will have better luck with them.  We haven't tried it yet, so am not sure how sweet it is but I will report back when we eventually do.

More broccoli, of course, but the plants are slowing down.

Arcadia Broccoli
 
And lastly, the Zamboni rapini:

Zamboni Rapini
 
When it comes to crops such as rapini, I trim the tough stems off before weighing as they can account for as much as half the weight of plant.

My harvest totals this week were:

Tomatoes – 1,990 grams (4.39 lbs)
Chinese Greens – 1,114 grams (2.46 lbs)
Radishes – 174 grams (0.38 lbs)
Basil – 166 grams (0.37 lbs)
Turnips - 3,415 grams (7.53 lbs)
Turnip greens – 1,886 grams (4.16 lbs)
Potatoes – 15,994 grams (35.26 lbs)
Summer squash – 152 grams (0.34 lbs)
Winter squash – 622 grams (1.37 lbs)
Broccoli – 750 grams (1.65 lbs)
Rapini – 350 grams (0.77 lbs)

Total for the week - 26,613 grams (58.67 lbs)

Total to date - 150 kg (331 lbs)

To see what everyone else has been harvesting over the past week, head on over to Our Happy Acres, where Dave is our NEW host for Harvest Monday.  A big thank you to Dave for picking up the torch that Daphne has been carrying for the past 8.5 years!

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. Another brilliant harvest. It's wonderful to have all this fresh veg in October, still plenty for lots of different meals. I'm still harvesting my potatoes, they've done really well this year and are so much tastier than those bought in the shops. Have you got a favourite from those you've grown?

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    1. I think that this is the best fall harvest I've ever had. So far we have tried the Yukon Golds and Linzers. I must say that the Linzer potatoes are a definite favourite as a boiling potato - so much buttery flavour. The Yukon Golds are supposed to be an "all purpose" type of potato but I think they are definitely better for mash, baking or frying. I haven't tried any of the others yet - I should have a side-by-side potato taste test.

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  2. Super harvest. You should be proud of your potato yield. How many pounds of seed potato did you start with?

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    1. I planted half of the bed up with seed potatoes I purchased form Eagle Creek - 4 varieties, 4 seed potatoes each with a total weight of 1.5 lbs. The other half of the bed was planted up with the Yukon Golds & Vikings that I purchased from a local hardware store - each bag weighed 4.4 lbs and I would guess I used around 1/2 to 3/4 of each bag. So my guess would be that I planted around 7 lbs. of seed potatoes. I really should keep better track of these things ;)

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  3. Those are some beautiful greens. And that is a great way to store those cut up potatoes! I never would have thought of that. Looking at your pesto reminds me I need to make some more before the basil is gone. And freeze some as well. I don't know about you, but I feel I am in the home stretch now with the garden and I just need to hang on a bit longer!

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    1. I completely feel the same way! I'm looking forward to cleaning up the warm weather crop beds & getting them put away for the winter. And every time I look at my parsley I think that I had better pick some and get some chimichurri for the freezer made up - that was my absolute favourite this past winter, all thanks to one of your posts!

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  4. Nice bunch of potatoes. I've never seen the potatoes in water trick before, they will really keep for weeks? Lovely end of season harvests. It's hard to believe winter is just around the corner.

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    1. Thanks Michelle! When it comes to the potatoes, that is the theory...this will be the first time I've tried it myself, so I'll make sure to let everyone know how it works out!

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  5. Beautiful harvest, especially mizuna and broccoli. Love those potatoes too.

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  6. That *is* a neat idea for the potatoes - we'll need to give that a try.

    We've been having unusual weather too. Today it's in the 70s. (About 22C.) The cool-season greens aren't digging it. Hopefully it's not too late to start another "succession"!

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    1. I guess the weather is just like everything else - you can't please every veg ;) And the one good thing about warm weather spurts is cleanup - I do hate cleaning up the garden in a winter jacket!

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  7. Great potato harvest, I had no idea one could store potato that way in water, do you change the water? If yes, how often?

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    1. I was not planning on changing the water; I'm assuming that since they are in the fridge, there will be little bacterial growth, so it won't be necessary. I'll make sure to let everyone know how long my little water potatoes last under these conditions.

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  8. If I recall correctly, this is one of your first potato harvests?? Well done, and I sure hope you enjoy them as much as I do. And yes, volunteers can pop up everywhere next year. And your basil looks so great ... mine has gone brown and I've tossed most of it in the compost. Fingers crossed for a late frost for us!!

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    1. Yup - first time ever growing potatoes & SO much fun! A late frost would be great - I have some butternut squash that are so close to being fully ripe but are just not quite there yet.

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  9. Hi! Wow! You sure are doing well for this time of year! Our predicted frost date that we could get is Oct. 17th I believe and I don't have hardly anything this coming week to harvest! Thanks for the tip about storing the damaged potatoes cleaned and cut up in the water. I did not know that! Nancy

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    1. Well, a first frost date is supposed to indicate that you have a 50% chance of getting a frost by that date, although it seems like every year we would have it before that date. Finally, the 50% is going our way this time!

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  10. Wow, look at all those Tomatoes! We're having the same type of weather. It was cold today, but summer weather will return for the next few days. No frost in the forecast--wow! I hope I'll get a few more cut flowers and Tomatoes out of the garden. Don't you just love those white salad Turnips?! Yum!

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    1. I tell you, Beth, the salad turnips were a revelation this year. I had never had them before & when I harvested those first ones in the spring, I couldn't stop eating them!

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  11. We have had some late summary weather too. I think it is time for us to go looking to see how many winter squash as we have this year.

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    1. Can't wait to see what you find in the squash patch - if your other harvests are any indication, your car will likely be a few inches closer to the ground ;)

      No need for me to look for my squash - all of the vines are pretty much done in from powdery mildew and the squash are all sitting there waiting for me to pick them. Now if only those skins would hurry and toughen up so I could do just that.

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  12. I never want to grow my own veggies til I read your posts and then I'm like, "Damn! I wanna grow that, too!!" :o) Looking good!!

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    1. Thanks Tammy! A few herbs tucked in here and there in the garden would practically take care of themselves & nothing beats grabbing a handful of fresh parsley or thyme to season up a meal. It may even inspire you to plop in a tomato plant at some point ;)

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  13. What a beautiful harvest! I love how you are storing the potatoes. Warm greetings from Montreal! :)

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    1. Thanks Linda! This is the first time I'm trying to store potatoes in this way, but so far so good - I'll be sure to update everyone in a few weeks. I love Montreal - been there several times, but the most memorable was when I was 17 and went there for my first ever solo trip over a long weekend. What a wonderful time I had & such great memories.

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