Monday, September 12, 2016

Harvest Monday - September 12, 2016


We woke up to a rather chilly 5C/41F morning today - a sure sign that fall is around the corner.  The rest of the week looks perfect, however, with days in the mid 20's (70's ) so I'm hoping to do a lot of catch up.

The tomatoes are still chugging along, although most of the harvests are now coming from the healthier bed in Area #2.

Variety of tomatoes including Juliet, Sungold, Opalka, Amos Coli,
Bloody Butcher and Mountain Magic

I also harvested most of the Trail of Tears beans, which are now drying in the garage.

Tomatoes (Speckled Roman, Opalka) and Trail of Tears

There are a few beans left on the vines, but I'm thinking I'll be pulling them by the end of next week.  In other bean news, I'll be pulling the Garden of Eden and Golden of Bacau plants at the same time - I'm just not seeing any worthwile pods on either of the vines and I'm anxious to start cleaning up the beds.

The pepper parade is continuing...

Clockwise from the top:  Corne de Chevre, Stocky Red Roaster,
Chervena Chushka and Padron in the centre


and we had our first harvest of Feher Ozon:

Clockwise from the top:  Stocky Red Roaster, Lemon Drop,
Melrose, Feher Ozon, Hungarian Hot Wax and
an off-type Chervena Chushka in the centre

Feher Ozon apparently makes a really nice paprika, so these are going into the dehydrator.  Although they are supposed to be an early producer, they were the last to ripen up in my garden.  The peppers in the centre of the above photo were from a Chervena Chushka plant, but they look different, being quite a bit smaller and more uniform.  I'll have to do a side by side taste test to see if the difference is only in it's appearance.

A few cucumbers joined the peppers in this basket:

Jimmy Nardello, Carmen, Suyo Long and Chelsea Prize

The cucumber harvest is almost done as the vines have pretty much succumbed to powdery mildew.  I'll probably get one or two more pickings, but that's about it.

Also on the cucumber trellis is the Tromboncino squash - these guys can get big.  How big you ask?  This big....

Tromboncino with my 9 year old daughter

Normally, I pick them big, but nowhere near that large - usually they are half that size.  But surprisingly, that long stem was still tender, including the skin.  The only difference I found in preparing this squash vs the smaller ones was the seed cavity - it was a bit too "seedy", so I scooped it out & only used the outside flesh.

View of Tromboncino interior, both seed cavity and stem

All in all, not too bad, but I think I'll be picking them at the smaller size (relatively speaking!) from now on.  There are still a couple more maturing on the vines, one of which will get picked this week - it's been a stellar year for Tromboncino, probably the best I've ever had.

And lastly, I harvested the last of the Chinese cabbages:

Kaboko

I peeled back a LOT of leaves to get it to this somewhat clean stage, even though there are still a lot of nibbles on the leaves (I'm thinking earwigs).

There were several other cabbages in the bed, but they were all chucked - they were either bolting, not heading at all, or covered in aphids.  I'm undecided as to whether I'll be growing these again or not - I didn't have great results, but this was also a really bad year for crops that prefer cooler weather.

Now, you may recall that I decided not to do any fall crops this year, other than some lettuce, as I simply didn't have the time.  Well, as it happens, the farm that I volunteer at had a bunch of seedlings left over from transplanting & I was able to take my pick.  Who could resist that?

Goodies from the Farm - aren't they gorgeous?

This was a VERY happy turn of events as, of the 12 lettuce seedlings I transplanted a few weeks ago, only 5 or 6 had survived.  So back at the farm, I chose a bunch of leaf lettuces as well as a few Chinese greens.  Once I brought them home, I plopped them all into the lettuce bed, next to my decidedly sad seedlings - it took all of 10 minutes & I'm excited at the prospect of being supplied with a good quantity of lettuce until November or even later.

My harvest totals this week were:

Chinese Cabbage - 604 grams (1.33 lbs)
Cucumbers - 1,136 grams (2.50 lbs)
Sweet Peppers - 1,982 grams (4.37 lbs)
Hot Peppers - 996 grams (2.2 lbs)
Summer Squash - 1,660 grams (3.66 lbs)
Tomatoes - 6,122 grams (13.50 lbs)

Total for Week – 12,500 grams...on the nose! (27.56 lbs)

Total to Date – 176.77 kg (389.71 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.

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

34 comments:

  1. That is a mega squash! Volunteering on a farm as well as working on your own garden!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The farm is a wonderful place to volunteer, both for the good it does (contributing to food banks) and the people that you work with. And then there is the added benefit of free seedlings when you just don't have the time to seed them yourself :) I'm hoping to get both kids involved once they get old enough.

      Delete
  2. Beautiful harvests. The Mountain Magic is supposed to be blight-resistant, right? How would you rate its performance and taste? Is the Tromboncino superior to other summer squashes, or do you grow it just for fun?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did a detailed review when I first grew Mountain Magic back in 2014 - https://homegrown-adventuresinmygarden.blogspot.ca/2014/11/end-of-season-review-tomatoes-part-2.html. In short, I really like it - it tastes great and it does have blight resistance. Now, it is not "blight proof", so my plants do usually end up getting infected, but much later in the season than the heirlooms.

      And as for the Tromboncino - if I could only grow one summer squash, this would be it. It tastes amazing and is nowhere near as watery as typical zucchini. And it's also vine borer resistant - I've never covered it and have yet to have an issue. I would suggest you definitely give this one a go - most everyone who's tried it (including Michelle) gives it very high marks.

      Delete
  3. I love that photo of your daughter and the squash!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jane - she was pretty shocked when she saw that squash!

      Delete
  4. Wow, what a fantastic collection of red tomatoes and peppers, the sheen on them is amazing and that tromboncino is a tall fella. I tried to grow it once in a greenhouse and sadly failed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shaheen! Tromboncino are so delicious, maybe worth another go at some point?

      Delete
  5. That is one giant tromboncino! My one little plant got choked out a rampant pumpkin vine. And only I could have vine borers that take out tromboncino too. Despite that, I need to give it another chance next year. That's fabulous to get some great looking and free lettuce seedlings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no! You must have very determined borers! I'm thrilled about the seedlings, especially as those of mine that survived were looking very sorry.

      Delete
  6. Wow, that squash is huge. My cucumbers are still producing, I took another four off the plant yesterday and there's still more on the way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, your cucumbers are doing much better than mine! My vines are now in rapid decline, which unfortunately happens every year, so it's not a huge surprise. I'll be lucky if I get 4 more off of them.

      Delete
  7. My gosh-your year total is amazing, Margaret. What a source of pride that should be. My gosh, when you figure what that saves at the store!!!

    And I love the term "pepper parade". That made me smile!
    Have a terrific week. And great score on the lettuce seedlings....
    :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sue - I was more than happy to take home some of their compost bound seedlings. Gotta remember that for next year!

      It's amazing how much you can haul in from a relatively small space - and there are still some big harvests left to go including the butternuts, potatoes & carrots (if the voles didn't have an undergound party early on that is!)

      Have a wonderful week too - hope you are enjoying the cooler weather!

      Delete
  8. Such a lovely array of peppers! And I am having Tromboncino envy as my only vine died early when the squash bugs got it. It is an amazing squash for sure, and not nearly as watery as most summer squash. And what a deal on the lettuce plants! Sounds like a win-win situation all around.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Argh...squash bugs! I've messed up with the tromboncino planting for a couple of years in a row, so am happy that I finally got it right! I'm very grateful for the seedlings - I didn't bother to find out the varieties so I'll be calling it "mixed lettuce" :)

      Delete
  9. Used to grow tromboncino but the plant took up too much of my garden space so dropped it. Yes, volunteering at a public garden is very rewarding, I volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Veg Garden and meet the nicest people and yes, extra seedlings when available to take home is always a bonus.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tromboncino is a bit of a monster isn't it? It's now going across the trellis in the next bed - good thing the bean harvest is basically done.

      I had never even thought about all those extra seedlings at the farm going into the compost - from now on, I'm going to make sure to ask, especially when it comes to the fall garden as that's the one I find the most difficult to get going.

      Delete
  10. My feher ozon (my first year growing these) are in the dehydrator right now. I actually find the fresh pepper rather bland and hope the dehydration intensifies the flavour a bit. Should know by tomorrow ...

    Crazy big tromboncino!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, so funny - mine have been in the dehydrator all night too and they are due to come out this afternoon. We'll compare notes!

      Delete
  11. Yum, yum. Gosh, you did have a chilly night. That squash is ginormous! And the peppers and tomatoes ... very impressive!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Beth - that was supposed to be the coldest night this this week. Our first frost is generally not until early October, so I'm hoping to have a few more weeks before the big die back :)

      Delete
  12. That giant trombocino is astonishing. I'm not familiar with trombocino squash at all. What is it similar to? Your pepper variety is pretty amazing, and they make lovely photos. Do you dry most of them? I'm just full of questions today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tromboncino is usually eaten as a summer squash (although if you let it mature on the vine, you can treat it as a winter squash too. It's like zucchini, except nowhere near as watery. The flesh is tender, but firm - I would compare it to the flesh of a pattypan squash. You definitely should try it - it's also vine borer resistant, so that's a big plus for those of us with borer issues.

      I use several different methods when it comes to preserving the pepper harvest, depending on the variety of pepper. What I do is see how the pepper is "normally" used and then go from there.

      Some varieties are supposed to make good paprika/chili flakes (Feher Ozon, Corne de Chevre, Lemon Drop) so those I'm drying, others I'm roasting and then freezing (Anaheim & sweet roasting peppers), still others are simply washed and frozen raw, either whole (Jalapenos) or seeded & chopped up (sweet peppers, pepperoncinos, hot wax). Some varieties are also good pickled such as Hot Wax and Jalapenos. Whew!

      At this point, I'm still at the trial and error stage when it comes to deciding which methods work best for me. For example, I pickled the pepperoncinos last year, but found that they became too mushy in the canning process, so this time, I'm freezing them instead.

      Delete
  13. Once again, very impressive. Your tomatoes are making me feel quite inadequate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha....the feeling is mutual when I take a look at your borders overflowing with beautiful blooms :)

      Delete
  14. Love the photo of your daughter with the Tromboncino squash. It's so big and straight, like a huge club. I generally just cut the bulbous end off and compost it, although if there's a few of them at one time I might split them in half, scoop out the seedy bit and then stuff and roast them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great idea! I had never thought to remove the seeds and stuff the cavity. Your so creative in the kitchen...not surprised at all that you thought of that :)

      Delete
  15. Your peppers all look amazing Margaret! Ours here (UK) are lagging behind a bit this year and are only just starting to change colour.I always like seeing what you grow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kathy! I think this will definitely be marked down a stellar pepper year as the summer has been SO incredibly hot. Hopefully I remember that and am not too disappointed when I don't get the same harvests during a "normal" season.

      Delete
  16. Wow on that squash! You are still getting quite a bit. Are you dreading the garden coming to an end or looking forward to the break? Nancy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am definitely looking forward to the break, Nancy - I love the garden, but I also really enjoy the rest over the winter months and the opportunity it gives me to do non-garden related tasks without the guilt :)

      Delete
  17. WOW, look at that squash!!! And congratulations on your fall seedlings.

    I wasn't going to do a fall garden either, but then somehow made it happen. I've got broccoli, lettuce, and swiss chard all planted up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jennifer - got another tromboncino to harvest and I better do it today before it gets out of hand too :) Yes, the fall seedlings were a great surprise - I do love getting the harvest but I'm often so tired out when it's time to get them going that I don't get as many things sown as I had originally planned.

      Delete

I appreciate and thoroughly enjoy all of your lovely comments :) Please note that in order to foil those pesky spammers, comment moderation has been enabled for older comments.