Monday, July 25, 2016

Harvest Monday - July 25, 2016


The Fling has flung and it was fabulous!  I reconnected with old friends from last year and made a lot of new friends as well – some were bloggers that I had only briefly met last time while others were brand new faces.  And the gardens and inspiration….wow!  The Minnesota climate & growing season is very much like our own, so everything we saw could easily be applied to an Ontario garden.  More on the Minnesota sights in another post - today is Harvest Monday!

Since I missed last Monday, I’ll be covering 2 weeks of harvests.  First up is my favourite photo from the past couple of weeks:

Arcadia Broccoli - Pretty in Pink
 
This is the first head of Arcadia broccoli and, as you can see, a right nice size it is too!  Not exactly the most uniform shape, but considering the heat it’s had to endure, I’m actually surprised it got to this size without flowering.

Now on to 1st harvests.  One of these just sneaked in under the wire as I spotted them yesterday evening as I was mulching the pathways:

Sungold wins the 1st tomato harvest race this year
 
Pick, photo, scale, munch…1 minute and they were all gone.

The other exciting 1st harvest were the snap beans.

Provider Snap Beans
 
We were really looking forward to the beans as last year we had some germination issues so our snap bean harvest was mediocre.

Another very exciting and rather unexpected harvest - Yukon Gold potatoes:

Yukon Gold
 
A few of the Yukon gold plants had died off and I moved the straw on top of them to take a look at the base of the plants and saw a potato peaking out.  I brushed the soil aside, only going down an inch or two, and unearthed a few more.  YUM!  I'll be leaving the rest to harvest with the other varieties although now I know where to go should I need a few to add to a meal :)

The pepper harvest has also begun starting with, not surprisingly, those that are picked while still at the green stage.  The very first harvest consisted of a few Padron peppers and a handful of Pepperoncinos:

Padron (left); Pepperoncino (right)
 
A few days later I harvested an Anaheim and some Melrose peppers:

One Anaheim together with a few Melrose
 
I harvested my first ever Kossak kohlrabi.  This particular variety is new to the garden, but not new to the table as I received several of them last fall from the farm.

Kossak Kohlrabi
 
Kossak gets HUGE – this one weighed in at a hefty 1.2 kg/2.69 lbs – and it was still tender and sweet.

There were a few Kolibri left in the bed and all but one of those were also harvested:

Kolibri Kohlrabi
 
In the face of all the heat we’ve been getting, I probably should have pulled them earlier.  But they’ve actually held up remarkably well and are only now starting to get a bit fibrous.  They do just fine, however, when peeled and grated into salads.

I harvested quite a few favas once I returned from my trip.  The Extra Precoce Violetto variety are almost done and many of the beans were either starting to dry out or fully dried.  These are used much like dried beans and I also set some aside to use for seed.  The other variety I'm growing, Ianto, matures slightly later.

Ianto Fava Beans
 
As you can see, Ianto has decidedly small pods with only 2 beans per pod on average, but the pods have little padding, so the beans inside are a good size:

Ianto fava bean reveal
 
Also, each plant contains numerous pods and most were properly pollinated, so that makes up for their small size.

The cucumbers are starting to trickle in:

Garden Sweet (left); Green Finger (right)
 
And one rather pathetic zucchini was harvested as well:

Romanesco zucchini (left); Chelsea Prize & Garden Sweet cucumbers (middle & right)
 
This is from a plant in one of last year’s straw bales that didn’t get properly conditioned.  As a side note, the squash plants in the properly conditioned bales are MILES ahead of those in the old bales and now that everything is on a drip system, I’m hoping to see even better growth in the weeks to come.

The snow peas were pulled out and I was able to get a nice final harvest from the vines:

Oregon Sugar Pod Snow Peas
 
I'm so glad that I sowed snow peas this year especially as they made up for the lackluster performance of the sugar snaps.

And lastly, before I left for Minneapolis, I decided to harvest all of the lettuce.

Sierra MI
 
A good chunk of the bed was ripped out and composted as it was bolting, but the Sierra MI lettuce and a few the Sweetie Baby heads were still perfect, so those were harvested, cleaned and are packed away in the refrigerator.  Lettuce lasts a good 2-3 weeks when freshly harvested and properly packed.  I haven't started a succession yet, but with tomatoes and cucumbers rolling in now, that becomes less of a priority.

My harvest totals over the past 2 weeks were:

Fava Beans (shelled) – 764 grams (1.69 lbs)
Snap Beans – 592 grams (1.31 lbs)
Broccoli – 608 grams (1.34 lbs)
Cucumber – 796 grams (1.75 lbs)
Kohlrabi – 2,144 grams (4.73 lbs)
Lettuce – 2,780 grams (6.13 lbs)
Snap Peas – 154 grams (0.34 lbs)
Snow Peas – 276 grams (0.61 lbs)
Potatoes – 602 grams (1.33 lbs)
Summer Squash – 74 grams (0.16 lbs)
Tomatoes – 26 grams (0.06 lbs)

Total for last 2 weeks – 9,258 grams (20.41 lbs)

Total to Date – 45.10 kg (99.42 lbs)

To see what everyone else has been harvesting, head on over to Our Happy Acres where Dave is our host for Harvest Mondays.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things” ~~ Robert Brault

33 comments:

  1. You're back and you had a good time! And your garden looks great. Wonderful! Superb harvest, the last of the spring crops and the first of the summer crops. Lettuce does keep surprisingly well, doesn't it? I wash mine, shake it and lay it out on tea towels, roll them up and put in a plastic bag. Crisp washed lettuce any time I want it.

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    1. Yes, thank you Jane, it was fantastic! Your method of storing lettuce is very similar to mine - I was so surprised when I first grew homegrown lettuce and found out that it kept for weeks. I've always thought of lettuce as one of the most underrated crops.

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  2. Great harvest for being away a week. Really impressed with the size of the broccoli, if only I could do that.

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    1. Thanks David - I think it all comes down to variety and, this year anyhow, how much heat they can take. The other 2 I grew (Packman & Munchkin) produced very small main heads - whether or not they stay in the rotation will now depend on those side shoots.

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  3. That's a lovely head of broccoli! Sounds like the fling was lots of fun, I look forward to hearing all about it and seeing photos of all the amazing gardens you visited. Congrats on the first tomatoes! Sun golds are a delicious way to start tomato season.

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    1. Thanks Julie - you are so right, those Sungolds are truly a taste of summer!

      I'm hoping to get at least one post up about the fling by the end of the week. At this point, I'm still in the process of going through all of the photos - a challenge in itself as I took over 1800!!

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  4. That is a huge Kossak for sure! And you have more restraint with those early tomatoes than I did. I just went 'pick, munch' with many of them. I am loving my Pinetree pepperoncinos here. They have just the right amount of heat, and I am glad you pointed me to there version of the pepper. In my garden they are really early, and prolific too.

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    1. I'm so glad that you are enjoying the pepperoncinos - they are definitely early and prolific in my garden too. I sliced some up the other day and added them to a vinaigrette before dressing the salad and they were quite mild, in spite of all our heat this year - even my 10 year old loved them!

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  5. You've got some really nice harvests coming in. The broccoli is beautiful! I don't know how commercial growers get those perfect looking heads, they must use varieties bred for uniformity and they must cull a lot of imperfect heads. I still think fresh homegrown broccoli tastes better than any you can buy, no matter what it looks like. Kossak sure is an amazing kohlrabi. I succumbed to temptation and bought a packet of kohlrabi seeds which has Kolibri and a green one, I'm going to give it another chance. And you are far ahead of me so far as peppers go, not even my green ones are ready to harvest yet.

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    1. I'm with you on the homegrown broccoli - and it's SO tender too! The first time I cooked some it turned to mush as I made the mistake of cooking it for the same length of time as I had for grocery store broccoli.

      Oh, can't wait to see how the kohlrabi does for you - I'm thinking it will quite enjoy your cool winter season. And the pepper plants are doing very well this year, I think in part to your recommendation on using the beneficial fungi. Most of the plants are literally dripping with peppers :)

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  6. Ahh, love that kohlrabi! And envious, I'm not sure any are going to size up for me this year (but there is still lots of time yet). And 20 lbs of harvest in two weeks - fantastic!

    Glad you enjoyed the fling again ... I keep forgetting about it, sounds like a lot of fun.

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    1. Thanks Susie - the fling is a LOT of fun and something I think every blogger should consider going to (hint hint)!

      I still have a few tiny kohlrabi waiting to size up, but I think I'll be pulling them and starting again for a fall harvest as soon as the garlic bed frees up.

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  7. That is a beautiful head of broccoli. And you've got potatoes, snap beans, and tomatoes and peppers, too. You're getting tons of variety.

    The Kossak kohlrabi is pretty amazing. We're growing Kolibri as well and they've just reached a nice size, hopefully I haven't left them too long.

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    1. Oh, thanks so much Phuong! Kolibri does get to a good size without going woody but I think it's the heat that's getting to mine. I know you guys are hot there too, so perhaps pulling one up to see how it's doing is in order :)

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  8. Yum! It's so interesting: When I see your harvests I either see things I've just received in my vegetable share box, or what I can expect to receive next. Our growing seasons must be so similar. I'm looking forward to sauteed green beans in tomorrow's dinner. ;-)

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    1. That's so interesting! And you are right, I think our seasons are VERY similar. In fact, Joanne kept remarking as we drove around on the bus how the vegetation and landscape in Minnesota looked just like home. I hope you thoroughly enjoy those yummy beans!

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  9. Yay for Yukons--I'm glad to see those coming in for ya--I'm anxiously awaiting their delicious arrival as well. And beans? Mine are just flowering (like crazy I might add!). Should be a good bean year with all this heat.
    Glad you had a good time. Looking forward to seeing some pics. Enjoy that beautiful broccoli!

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    1. Thanks Sue - the potatoes were such a nice surprise. The fact that they were so close to the surface makes me think that my deep planting method this year worked well as last year, I had to dig down a good 6 inches or so before I found any potatoes. Always learning something new which is half the fun of gardening!

      And it does look to be a good bean year all around, especially if I get some extras to freeze for the winter :)

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  10. Great an varied harvest. My broccoli did not size up like yours may be due to the relentless heat, but many side shoots are appearing so there is hope.

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    1. Last year, side shoots were the best part of the harvest...they just kept providing us with a steady supply of broccoli for a few months.

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  11. Everything's coming thick and fast now, I love it when there's a selection of things to harvest. Great news that your tomatoes are starting to ripen, I've got my first one turning red but the plants aren't all that great this year so I'm not expecting great things from them. That broccoli is brilliant, what a good size. Glad you had a good time at The Fling, looking forward to hearing more about it.

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    1. Thanks Jo. This is the time of year when the harvests really start to ramp up and I often have trouble keeping up. But each year I learn a few more things and get a bit more organized, so I'm hoping that things run a bit more smoothly and I end up with a freezer full of good food without too much stress.

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  12. Our courgette/zucchini glut has begun.

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  13. Glad you had a good time! That is one huge broccoli plant! We prefer the sungold tomatoes over the cherry and have harvested a few to eat. So many yummy things harvested since you got home. Nancy

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    1. Thanks Nancy - I was quite happy with the broccoli - I think that's my best head so far. Loving the sungolds too - very glad I decided to add them to the garden last year. I hope your move is going well!

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  14. What a great varied harvest! I am particularly interested in those Ianto Broad Beans - never seen any that short before. Very impressive potatoes too - lovely and clean, by the look of it. I'm looking carefully at your peppers too. Hopefully it won't be long before I can pick some of my own. Have fun with editing your 1800 photos of the Fling!

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    1. The Ianto's are a bit deceiving in being so stubby yet still giving you some good sized beans. I think this will not be the greatest year for broad beans though, because of all the heat. At least I was able to harvest enough for a couple of meals. And hopefully the potatoes further down in the bed are as good as those near the top...I cringe every time I think of what I may find with the vole issues I've been having.

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  15. Your broccoli looks fantastic, mine all failed. I'm rather jealous :)

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    1. Well Andy, all I can say is don't give up! My first time growing broccoli was 3 years ago and let me tell you, the "heads" I harvested weren't even 3" wide.

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    2. Both my Broccoli and Cauliflower heads are a lot smaller than 3 inch :) I've read that it is probably caused by being pot bound before planting out...which was certainly true of mine. I've been eating my broccoli as sprouting broccoli, 1 or 2 cm wide. I was waiting for them to get bigger but they bolted and turned into flowers :)

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  16. You need to open a salad bar with all those veggies! :o)

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    1. Go figure that my favourite part of a buffet IS the salad bar :)

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