Monday, November 2, 2015

Harvest Monday - November 2, 2015


This past week, we finally got around to shelling some of the beans that had been drying in the garage.  My daughter is not a fan of beans, but even she couldn’t keep her hands off of these guys:

Vermont Cranberry
 
Both kids found shelling the beans an additive task.  They should come with a warning, much like Lay’s potato chips…you can’t shell just one ;)

We also shelled the Walcherse White beans, which yielded roughly half of the Vermont Cranberry:

Walcherse White
 
Commenting on how well either of these did is tricky as neither had great germination – the Walcherse White especially having had the biggest issue amongst all of the dried bean varieties.

The only beans left to shell are the Cherokee Trail of Tears – these would also have been done had this weekend not been so hectic.

I had a first this past week – leeks…or should I say “leek” ;)

Lancelot Leek
 
Out of all the ones I sowed, I only ended up with 4 seedlings – 2 of each variety (Jolant & Lancelot).  Each variety resulted in one larger leek & one smaller leek – the Lancelot above is the larger one.

Lancelot leek after trimming
 
Although this would be considered fairly dismal for experienced leek growers, I’m calling it a success.  When I said that this was a first, that wasn’t completely accurate.  I did try to grow leeks once…over 15 years ago.  Those didn’t get any larger than that pencil, so you can see why I would be happy with the size of this guy.

I harvested all of the salvageable bok choy & komatsuna, then cleared the bed.  I kept thinking that a bout of cold weather would get rid of the aphids, but that wasn’t happening.  Thankfully, they were mostly concentrated in the tender, new growth in the center of the plants - there were relatively few on the outer leaves - nothing a good washing couldn't get rid of:

Joi Choi Hybrid (top) & Komatsuna (bottom)
 
I also harvested a couple of bunching onions:

Evergreen Perennial Bunching Onion
 
One of them I used up (although a portion is still in the fridge) while the other I washed, then chopped and froze in a zip lock bag.  I read that green onion can be used straight from frozen in  dishes such as stir frys, dips, etc. – so I thought it was worth a try.

I also harvested a bunch of mizuna:

Mizuna
 
and another tatsoi together with some baby carrots:

Tatsoi & baby carrots
(Chantenay Red Core, Sprint & Amsterdam Maxi)
 
Only thing is, these are not supposed to be baby carrots – they are supposed to be fully grown by now.  Judging by the foliage, I knew they wouldn't be large but I didn't think they would be as tiny as they were.  I think I sowed them at the end of June and a couple of them are 60 day varieties.  I’m kind of scratching my head on this one – one possibility is that the bed they are in receives less sun than I originally thought.  I'll have to look through my notes to see if I can come up with some educated guesses.

And now for the biggest surprise…not a harvest, but the forecast for this week:

Photo source:  The Weather Network
 
We sometimes have a warm spell in the fall, but those numbers are crazy for November.  I had several appointments lined up for this week, but everything is being rescheduled…there is NO way I am missing out on such great weather to finish up my outdoor tasks.  I’m even hoping to get the outdoor Christmas decorations up – I’d much rather do that wearing a t-shirt than a winter coat.

My harvest totals this week were:

Dried Beans – 1,002 grams (2.21 lbs)
Carrots – 64 grams (0.14 lbs – yikes!)
Chinese Greens – 1,314 grams (2.90 lbs)
Leeks (trimmed) – 114 grams (0.25 lbs)
Bunching Onions – 380 grams (0.84 lbs)

Total for Week – 2,874 grams (6.34 lbs)

Total to Date – 201 kg (443 lbs)

To see what everyone else has been harvesting over the past week, head on over to Our Happy Acres where Dave is 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

32 comments:

  1. We're having a warm spell this week as well. To think last year at this time we had snow and now it's sunny and warm.
    Have you been dry? Aphids are usually bad during dry spells.

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    1. It's getting harder and harder to predict the weather, isn't it? I don't think that the weather has been necessarily dry, but my beds have been - I've been very lax on watering this year and with the hot weather, not a good mix. Maybe that has something to do with it?

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  2. I'm with your daughter...beans are fun to shell and run your fingers through. Yours look great! Happy about your leek success too, really! Enjoy the fine November weather while you can.

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    1. Thanks Will! I've just changed the last appt. so I am all set to go for the week. I'm going to enjoy this last blast of summer!

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  3. Beautiful greens, and i love the color on those beans. so much fun to play with them.

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    1. They are fun to play with, aren't they? We shelled them on baking trays and even my husband couldn't resist running his hands over them as he walked by.

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  4. Lots of lovely produce there!
    I use green onions right out of the freezer into stir frys or rice dishes or throw them into quinoa. I also use chopped frozen peppers and corn this way. They thaw so fast, it doesn't take much heat and they are good to go.
    I saw your temp chart and first thought oh my that is cold.. but then I saw it is C not F lol.
    I have not planted a lot of beans here. I plan to do a couple kinds of pole beans this coming spring. A yellow one from Franchi which I cannot think of the name of off the top of my head and some Chinese long beans they do well here. :

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    1. Thanks for the advice on the green onions - it will be nice not to have to purchase those over the winter and be able to use our own. I have some frozen peppers tucked away too, but unfortunately no corn this year - we only harvested one small cob as our patch kept getting damaged by what we believe was a skunk.

      Yeah, the whole Celsius/Fahrenheit thing can get confusing - I keep a conversion chart right near my computer so that I know what temp people are talking about ;)

      There are so many wonderful bean varieties that it's hard to choose only a few. I've never planted (nor eaten) Chinese long beans but they are on my future list - I'll be interested to hear what you think of them.

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  5. Beans are so tactile, it's hard to resist running your hands through them. It looks like a good harvest. You may have few leeks but that's a great specimen, it's a veg we like here but mine haven't done so well this year. You're having some great weather for November, the fog hasn't lifted here all day.

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    1. I'm quite happy with my leek and it was delicious, which is really what counts. I have three more in the garden - one about the same size as this one and then two more that are much smaller. They will all end up on the plate & be savoured regardless, as I'm sure yours will!

      Beans are so lovely, aren't they - another veg where we can easily get lost in all the varieties there are out there to try. Hopefully one day my daughter will enjoy eating them as much as she does playing with them.

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  6. I love dried beans, they're so pretty, and you can't shell just one... Now I'm hooked on the beauty of dried corn as well, the colors can be even more amazing than dried beans. I'm happy to leave growing sweet corn to the local farmers, it's almost impossible to find interesting dried corn - like beans - you have to grow your own.

    Enjoy your last blast of summer!

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    1. Your corn was incredible - I would be hard pressed to eat it instead of leaving it on display on my kitchen counter! One day I'm sure I will try dried corn - if I can figure out how to keep critters out of the corn patch, that is.

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  7. Those cranberry beans are sure lovely! It looks like you got a good amount of them and the white beans. And I have to agree that shelling the beans is fun, and addictive (in a good way). I finished the last of my shelling yesterday while watching TV. The weather is supposed to be nice here all week too. I was working outside in shorts today with the temps hitting 21C at the moment.

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    1. The beans did ok, considering what a rough start they had - every variety had germination issues (although some more than others), which leads me to think it was likely an issue on my end, such as inconsistent watering...something I really struggled with this year.

      Our nice weather is supposed to start tomorrow - I'm already planning to enjoy my morning coffee on the back deck. It's strange but after a few cooler weeks, these warm days make me nostalgic for spring.

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  8. Ditto with a whole week of gorgeous weather, hope I have the energy to get all the outdoor tasks completed, I am at the stage of my life where the mind is willing but the body is not. Do you save your leek greens? I cut them into shorter lengths and freeze for later use in flavoring broth.

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    1. I didn't save my leek greens - never even occurred to me - you always have such great ideas for using every single part of each veg! I'll definitely be doing that with the remaining leeks in my garden.

      I'm with you on the energy - sometimes my mind & body are just not in sync.

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  9. What a great variety you still have!! That's a terrific picture of your girl's hands in the beans - seems like a poster for teaching kids how fun gardening can be!!

    I love the look of the tatsoi but not really convinced I will like it ...

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    1. Thanks Susie! Tatsoi is wonderful & it's quite mild. I would say that if you like bok choy, you would like tatsoi as well.

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  10. I'm doing a bit of mental math, with my trick of anything above 20C is comfortable weather without a jacket. We had a high of 73F (23C?) here today. When I went outside to check on some plants around the middle of the day, I realized I needed to turn off the furnace and open the windows! It was much warmer outside than inside! Yes, perfect weather for last-minute garden chores! I know what you mean about shucking the beans--I grow Hyacinth Beans as ornamentals, and it's so fun to strip the pods and pop out the healthy seeds. You know, I might add a couple of trellises next year to grow edible beans. If I can grow Hyacinth Beans, maybe I have enough sun for other types of beans. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. My "perfect" temp to work outdoors is from around 18-24C...I have a very small window of comfort, I guess ;) What's funny is that I think of 18C as a great temp, but when I hear of temps in the mid-60's(F), that sounds rather cold to me!

      Beans are one of the easiest veg to grow - although you would never know it by my experience with them this year! The great thing about the climbers is that they produce such a great harvest using relatively little space and they keep going all summer long (so long as it doesn't get too hot). You can easily harvest a few pounds of fresh beans from a 2 or 3' long trellis. And I agree - if your hyacinth bean produced, chances are that an edible bean would do equally well. I hope that you decide to go for it - I would enjoy reading about your beany experiment ;)

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  11. You did a great job on the winter greens. The freeze a couple weeks ago got everything in my garden that wasn't under row cover. Of course, now it's warm and beautiful. And those are nice looking leeks, congratulations.

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    1. Thanks David - I'm pleased with the leeks, even though I only managed to get 3 good sized ones. I wish I had some kale in the garden - it's the one green that I am really missing right now. Hopefully I do a better job on that next year.

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  12. Hi! We have had a few lovely days also but not harvesting things like you have! It is suppose to be more normal fall weather soon. How lucky that you have your kids to help you shell the beans! Nancy

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    1. We did have a lot of fun with those beans...hopefully they have the same enthusiasm next year!

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  13. You got a great harvest of leafy vegetables and your beans and leeks look great. You're giant bunching onion made me smile.

    I've tried to grow leeks, onions, and shallots from seed this year but had a terrible time. Only a handful of green onions lived.

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    1. I know you've had some challenges with the weather this year so I wouldn't give up on those alliums quite yet! Yes, the bunching onion is HUGE. You may want to try a perennial bunching onion patch - I'm not sure if they actually "need" a cold, dormant period in the winter or whether you can grow them year round in a milder climate. The great thing about them is that you only sow the seeds once - the theory is that once established, they will multiply from the base (like chives) and you pull out what you need and leave the rest to continue multiplying. My challenge is trying to find a variety that can both withstand our winters and multiply while it is still relatively small - I prefer to harvest and use up an entire onion than have leftovers in the fridge to deal with :)

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  14. My experience with Leeks is much the same as yours - tried them many years ago and failed; tried them again recently and did much better. I think this may be to do with the increasing fertility of my well-established raised beds. I agree about he attractiveness of the beans. They seem almost too pretty to eat!

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    1. it was a bit touch and go in the spring when so many of the leek seedlings died off - I started to wonder whether any of them would make it. I've learned a lot and am hoping that this will translate into a few more fat leeks next year. And yes, the beans are *almost* too pretty to eat :)

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  15. I love the idea of growing your own beans to dry. That is just so cool. I'd have my hands in them, too. :o)

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    1. I first grew dried beans two years ago and I was hooked. I love crops like this - with relatively little effort you can have a ready supply of homegrown goodness until the next growing season...or I would if I could only find the space to grow more of them!

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  16. That's a nice looking leek. Yep definitely eat the green bit too, it just needs cooking slightly longer.
    The beans are lovely, I wouldn't be able to keep my hands off them either!

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    1. Thanks Lou - the leek was delicious, that's for sure! The Vermont Cranberry beans are such a beautiful colour. I've actually not cooked with them before so I'm curious to see how they will look & taste.

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