Monday, August 8, 2016

Harvest Monday - August 8, 2016


This week, I finally harvested the 1st of the larger tomatoes – here it is, surrounded by all his friends:

Taxi surrounded by (from the top):
Super Sweet 100, Bloody Butcher, Sungold, Juliet
 
The summer crops are picking up the pace – not surprising as this is the beginning of August!

More tomatoes and a Garden Sweet cucumber
 
The first “Summer Dance” cucumber was harvested – this was my daughters pick and it looks to be a winner!

Summer Dance cucumber taking the spotlight
on top of 3 Garden Sweet cucumbers
 
The first eggplant was harvested – with tomatoes of course :)

First of the Pingtung eggplant
 
Another first this week were the Oceanis filet beans:

Oceanis Filet Beans
 
These are quite small and it took a long time to pick a basket of them.  I actually kept waiting for them to get a bit bigger and finally decided that I had better harvest them before they started to get woody.  Haven’t tasted them yet, so the jury is still out as to whether the fiddly picking is worth it.

More Tromboncino squash & peppers.  There is another one that will be ready to pick this week as well – looks like I won’t be short of Tromboncino this year!

Tromboncino squash together with
Anaheim, Pepperoncino & Padron peppers
 
These guys are delicious – firm yet tender and the few seeds that they do have are concentrated in the small bulb portion.  It’s a favourite!

I harvested a whole bunch of kale.  Some will be kept in the fridge to add to salads but most will be frozen for winter use.

White & Red Russian Kale
 
It’s my first harvest of Starbor kale and it’s a rather small leaved plant.

Red Ursa & Starbor Kale
 
However, none of the kale is producing particularly large leaves this year and Starbor is also being partly shaded by the Red Ursa, so I'm not deducting marks for that at this point.

I harvested a few broccoli side shoots and the remaining kohlrabi, two of which are in this photo op:

Packman side shoots & Kossak Kohlrabi
 
It hasn’t been a great summer for kohlrabi because of the relentless heat – it’s not as tender as it was last year so I’ve been using it primarily grated in salads instead of as veggie sticks.  It was a big harvest, but thankfully, it stores very well so I have a few weeks to use it up.

And lastly, the plums – this was the total harvest of Shiro plums:

Shiro Plums
 
The other variety that came in at this time last year was Burbank – this year, we harvested exactly zero of those.  So that’s it – just over ½ lb. compared to last year’s 14+ lbs.  Oh well – I’ve heard that these things often go in cycles, so I’m thankful that we’ve at least experienced one good year so far.

My harvest totals this week were:

Snap Beans – 678 grams (1.49 lbs)
Broccoli – 378 grams (0.83 lbs)
Cucumbers – 1,630 grams (3.59 lbs)
Eggplant – 144 grams (0.32 lbs)
Kale – 2,464 grams (5.43 lbs)
Kohlrabi – 3,902 grams (8.60 lbs)
Hot Peppers – 604 grams (1.33 lbs)
Summer Squash – 2,156 grams (4.75 lbs)
Tomatoes – 1,594 grams (3.51 lbs)
Plums – 264 grams (0.58 lbs)

Total for Week – 13,814 grams (30.45 lbs)

Total to Date – 66.14 kg (145.80 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.

This past weekend, my daughter and I went to the Royal Botanical Gardens, so I thought I would cap of this harvest post with photos of a couple of interesting things I saw in their veggie patch:

Cowpea 'Lady Pea'

Lima Bean 'Dixie Speckled Butterpea'

This "Broom Corn" is easily the tallest corn I've ever seen

Look down and you soon find out where it got its name

Obviously, the Botanical Garden's have their own issues with corn munchers!

Thick plastic netting surrounds the corn bed - an idea to keep in mind
 
I could have really given my camera a workout, but this weekend was more about enjoying the gardens with my daughter than taking photos.  I’ve renewed my membership and am hoping to take full advantage of that this coming year, so there will be lots of opportunities for photos in the months to come.

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

28 comments:

  1. Congratulations on all the "firsts"; I'm sure they taste as good as they look.

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    1. Thanks Will - nothing better than freshly picked veggies!

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  2. Really nice, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and a Ping Tung eggplant. Hope you like Summer Dance, a favorite of mine back when I could actually grow cucumbers.

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    1. Summer Dance is wonderful - I should let my daughter pick more varieties as she seems to have a knack for it :)

      That's so strange about your cucumber issues. I'm wondering if others on the plot have the same problem.

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  3. Your harvests are looking nice and summery! The little filet beans are certainly fiddly to harvest and then you have to trim all of them, but I do love them. Tromboncino are a favorite of mine also, the necks stay nice and firm even when they get big and they are perfect for making the preserved zucchini we love and are great dried also. It's such a versatile squash and I like that I can train it up a trellis so it doesn't hog a lot of garden space. I've got some kohlrabi started, gonna give it another try and see if I can come up with a good way to use it.

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    1. I really wish I had that dehydrator already - I'm anxious to try drying the tromboncino - and so many other things. I have a feeling you'll have huge kohlrabi before you know it - I would think that it would love your climate - much better than the 90+ temps we have been having, that's for sure! The filet beans are on the menu for tonight - oh yes, trimming...I think some child labour is in order :)

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  4. Yay for those summer veggies! And you got your first Pingtung before I did. I am able to get two crops of kohlrabi here (early and late) and avoid the summer heat, at least while they are sizing up. I love visiting botanical gardens. I wish we had one closer.

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    1. I'm harvesting before you? Now that's a first! I think my kohlrabi took a while to get going as I wasn't watering the bed enough. It will be interesting to see how quickly they size up next spring now that the drip is installed.

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  5. You and another blogger harvested Taxi this week. It must be a good tomato. Nice harvest of peppers.

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    1. Taxi is pretty awesome - not only is it a gorgeous, florescent yellow, but it actually has a wonderful tangy taste, unlike many other yellow tomatoes which are rather bland.

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  6. Hooray for the first big tomato! I recall the novelty of the first tomato and now they are going crazy. I really need to try Tromboncino again. I did plant one this year but it got overgrown by Seminole pumpkin vines that appear to be very aggressive (my first time growing them). I love going to botanical gardens too. Maybe if I show my corn the picture of that
    Broom corn, they will be inspired to grow taller!

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    1. It really doesn't take long to go from famine to feast to overload where tomatoes are concerned, does it? I'm growing Seminole too, but all the squash in the bales are starting to run into each other - I have a couple of varieties that haven't set a squash and I think that's one of them.

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  7. Great harvests, Margaret. I'm so jealous of your first BIG tomato. My cherry ones are still just trickling in..no glut, yet. And the hornworms have already "victimized" a few of the unripe Brandywines.
    Do you blanch your kale before freezing? I've never thought of freezing it, but yea, it would be a great addition to winter soups.
    Have a great week in the garden!

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    1. Oh no and a Brandywine too - they obviously go for the good stuff! I've never seen a "real-life" hornworm yet...and I'm not too bothered by that ;)

      I do blanch the kale for about 2 minutes before freezing & bag it into approx. 2 cup portions, which is how much I typically use in a recipe. I also chop it before bagging, which means there is no prep at all when adding it to recipes, just plop it in. Have a wonderful week too, Sue - looks like it's going to be another scorcher!

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  8. Our plums tend to crop well every other year and this year is a lean year I'm afraid. Those cow peas look weird.

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    1. The cowpeas do look strange, don't they, which is why I took a photo. I actually didn't think you could grow them here as I thought they needed a much longer growing season.

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  9. An impressive harvest. Love the Tromboncino squash. Perhaps more fun to play with than to eat?

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    1. Thanks Jason - And the tromboncino is AMAZING! Really! You eat it just as you would zucchini - the skin is super tender - and the flesh is creamy white & not as watery as zucchini, so most people that try it actually like it more than zucchini. Wish you were closer so you could give it a try - you'd be impressed!

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  10. Some lovely veggies to get your teeth in to there. Your tomatoes are doing well, I think it's going to be a bad year here, the total opposite to last year. I've heard that plums have a good year followed by a bad year so you'll probably get a bumper crop again next year. My little plum tree has got Plum Leaf Curl, I'm looking in to giving the tree a winter wash and hoping that will cure it. I've never come across broom corn before, what a funny way to anchor itself in to the ground, I bet it's a really sturdy plant.

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    1. I suppose the broom corn has to be anchored down well to support that height! Oh, not good news on your plum tree - I hope that your wash takes care of the Leaf Curl. I have similar plum woes in that mine looks to have black knot, which is not curable as far as I can tell. Since fruit trees take a while to get going, I'm planning on adding a couple more plum trees next year (hopefully resistant ones) as a bit of insurance should this one not make it.

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  11. shining like pearls your tomatoes are look so delicious

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  12. Lovely harvest! But should I expect anything less from your garden! Nice. Nancy

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    1. Thanks Nancy! Hope you are doing well and enjoying your rest in the new apartment :)

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  13. Visiting a Botanical Garden is good for getting ideas and inspiration, isn't it? But it's still nice in a funny way to see that even they have "issues" like we private gardeners have! I wish I could give you some of my kale. I have four big plants of it and they are at the perfect stage for picking - but Jane doesn't like kale so we don't have it... :( I hope you enjoy the Ping Tung eggplant. I'm not keen on eggplant normally, but I enjoyed that type when I grew it a couple of years back. We still call the long ones "brinjals" from our time in the Far East.

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    1. I love visiting the Botanical Gardens - I had a membership a couple of years ago and didn't go anywhere near often enough....I'm hoping to change that this year and give the membership card a real workout! And you are so right - even with their team of gardeners, they too have to rely on "ugly" netting to keep the critters at bay - it is indeed comforting to see that.

      That's too bad about the kale - I would gladly take it off your hands...no need to ask me twice :) And like you, I've never been a fan of those large Italian eggplants - I find the Asian eggplants much nicer, all the way around.

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  14. Here comes the piles of cucumbers and tomatoes, summer is just a grand time of year. And your peppers have been doing really well. I was just looking at your numbers, that is a lot of kale and kohlrabi you harvested this week. Amazing.

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    1. Thanks Phuong - it was a lot of kale in one go, but I've not been harvesting it for a while as it just seemed to take a while to size up. In a "normal" year (do we even have any of those any more??), I'm fairly sure that I would have harvested a lot more it by this point.

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