Monday, September 26, 2016

Harvest Monday - September 26, 2016


It's the last week of September and we are finally enjoying a bit of cooler weather.  I'm starting to do some end of season cleanup on each bed which involves removing all of the spent plants & weeds and applying a topping of compost.  Then, of course, I stand back and admire that nice clean bed which is full of potential for next year :)

One of the beds that I cleared out was the sickest of the tomato beds - Bed #2.  I didn't actually harvest a lot from that bed as it's production was pretty much done.  Bed #1 is also in rapid decline, but there are a few large tomatoes in it.  I'm waiting just until they start to show a bit of colour, then I'll be picking them and clearing out the bed.

Trail of Tears beans (for drying); Summer Dance cucumbers
Tomatoes:  Amos Coli, Speckled Roman, Juliet, Mystery tomato & Sungold

Most of the tomatoes picked last week were from the third tomato bed, Bed #12 which has also been stricken by blight, but it's progress is not as advanced.

The cucumbers plants are on their last legs - this may have been the last harvest.  I do see a couple of babies so I'm leaving them, although I think it is unlikely they will mature, given the condition of the plants.

An inquisitive tromboncino was picked:


This one was tangled in the bean trellis - hence the question mark shape - and I harvested it when I pulled the bean vines down this past week.  It was a bit past it's prime - you can see that the skin has turned from a light green to a yellowish green - so it needed to be peeled, but it was still delicious in a stir fry with peppers.  Just as a side note, this variety can also be left to mature on the vine and used as a winter squash.  I've not done that yet but maybe one day, I'll give it a go.

The peppers are a VERY bright spot in the garden this year:

Clockwise from the top left:  Feher Ozon, Melrose, Chervena Chushka,
Pepperoncino & Lemon Drop in the center

I also picked a bunch of mint, both regular and chocolate:

Corne de Chevre, Jalapeno & Mint

When  I pick smallish bunches like this, I don't bother to weigh them.  The chocolate mint made it through the winter this past year, likely because of how mild it was compared to normal.  I think I may actually take a few cuttings and overwinter some indoors this time round as I have a feeling we are in for a more typical winter season this year.

I have to remind myself that a bumper pepper harvest is one of the benefits of having a super hot summer.  Which brings me to one crop that did not appreciate the hot weather at all - the potatoes.

Clockwise from the top:  Viking, Linzer, Bintje

I harvested half of the potato bed and the yields are WAY down from last year (full details will be in my end-of-season post).  Certain crops flourish in hot weather while others sulk; the same holds true for cool weather.  When it comes to growing food, you just can't have it all.

I removed the netting from the chard bed a couple of weeks ago and it seems to have appreciated that.  The netting is a necessity for a good chunk of the season, otherwise the chard is under leaf miner attack:

Peppermint & Fordhook Giant chard together with
Packman & Munchkin side-shoots

In the photo, I've given a sneak peak of a new flower bed next to the shed - an idea I've been toying with for some time now.  I'm quite excited about growing a few more flowers next year - maybe even some perennials for the front garden.

The broccoli shoots in the chard basket are the last of them from my Packman and Munchkin plants, both of which were pulled this past weekend.  The Arcadia plants, however, are still standing and there are easily a dozen or more side shoots developing, even after this picking:

Arcadia side-shoots
 Lastly, I harvested a few carrots:

Mokum

The large carrot had some damage near the bottom that was sort of strange - it looked like it split open at some point and there was also a bit that looked nibbled.  I'm wondering if this was caused by vole damage when the carrot was small:


Also harvested but not photographed were a few favas that I picked when I cleaned up the bed, an eggplant and a couple of bunching onions.

My harvest totals this week were:

Fava Beans – 108 grams (0.24 lbs)
Broccoli – 572 grams (1.26 lbs)
Carrots – 495 grams (1.09 lbs)
Cucumbers – 1,050 grams (2.31 lbs)
Eggplant – 140 grams (0.31 lbs)
Bunching Onions – 62 grams (0.14 lbs)
Sweet Peppers – 1,406 grams (3.10 lbs)
Hot Peppers – 840 grams (1.85 lbs)
Potatoes – 6,229 grams (13.73 lbs)
Summer Squash – 994 grams (2.19 lbs)
Swiss Chard = 1,390 grams (3.06 lbs)
Tomatoes – 2,358 grams (5.20 lbs)

Total for Week – 15,644 grams (34.49 lbs)

Total to Date – 200.43 kg (441.86 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

26 comments:

  1. Lovely harvests. The tromboncino looks like an albino cobra...beware! Sorry your potato harvest doesn't meet your expectations, but they still look nice.

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    1. Thanks Will - ha, ha...the tromboncino does look rather snakish, doesn't it? The potatoes themselves actually look better than I expected, as I was half thinking the voles would have got to a lot of them, yet none were nibbled. Hopefully this holds true for the rest of the bed.

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  2. For the time of year, a very nice harvest.

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    1. Thank you - I quite like this time of year, both for the harvests and the slower pace (and the cooler temps don't hurt either!).

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  3. It's clean up time here too, my tomatoes have suffered blight for the first time, they're usually safe in the garden but not this year. It's interesting that your potatoes haven't done as well this year as they haven't here either, it's been my worst tomato and potato year ever I think. I'm interested to hear about your new flower bed, it's always exciting making a new bed, I can't wait to see what flowers you choose to grow.

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    1. Each year there are always winners and losers in veg patch. Many things did well, while many others didn't - no such thing as a perfect year in the garden, is there? Sometimes there's little you can do, such as when the weather is the culprit, but other times it's a learning experience and next year we strive to do better.

      I'm very excited about adding a few flowers to the shopping cart next year - and deciding what to get will be half the fun!

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  4. Is the tromboncino a trombone, a question mark, or perhaps a swan? I'm surprised that your broccoli could tolerate the hot weather.

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    1. Ah, a swan...now I see that too! You guys are much more creative than I, apparently :)

      Broccoli definitely prefers much cooler weather than what we received this year. That may be why Packman and Munchkin didn't perform very well. Arcadia, on the other hand, still shone which means that it's a definite keeper in my garden.

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  5. Your harvest is the archetypical "Win some - lose some" result! love the chillis / peppers! I think the tromboncino looks like a sickle. It seems to be this year's special vegetable. Lots of people have grown it, whereas previously it was not well known at all.

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    1. Yes...a sickle too! Very true about the harvest cycle - I've yet to see any gardener have success with everything they grow in one season.

      The tromboncino is getting very popular isn't it? I first grew it for the first time 3 years ago because of an article in an old magazine from the 70's or 80's. I get quite a lot of inspiration from those old mags.

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  6. Your Arcadia harvest is sick. One of your shoots is the size of my broccoli heads. You are going to make me want to try it again when I need to swear off growing broccoli entirely. The drought here affected a lot of crops, including potatoes, and the heat did not help.

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    1. Oh, you are too funny! Perhaps another try at broccoli wouldn't hurt ;)

      Yes, I think the potato's suffered right from the start. I do recall thinking that the foliage wasn't anywhere near as lush as it had been last year, so that should have tipped me off right there.

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  7. You are still hauling in the goodies! Other than the potatoes it looks like a very satisfying harvest. The peppers are so very colorful and the broccoli is vibrant. I almost envy you being able to start cleaning out some beds, I'm so ready to put the worst of this year behind me. Egads, it just occurred to me that the worst may not be over yet!

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    1. Oh, I truly hope that it is behind you, Michelle! And I have to say, at the end of the season, I do quite enjoy clearing out all of the diseased, pest ridden, dying plants and getting back to clean, bare soil. It's an "ahhh" moment :)

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  8. You certainly have a knack for the broccoli in our climate - I can't seem to get much of anything and you have fabulous harvests!!

    A shame about the potatoes. As you said, "you can't have it all" - one of the keys to growing organically is growing a diversity so you have at least something each season!

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    1. That so very true Susie - you do increase your odds of a good harvest dramatically the more diversity you have. And then there is the compensation factor - while the results for one crop may be depressing, the successes in others more than make up for it.

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  9. I love the shape of that tromboncino. It looks like you are still getting lots of lovely harvests. That's unfortunate about the potatoes. I had complete potato failure this year- I tried this overwintering method that did not work at all.

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    1. Oh, that's too bad Julie - but I'm totally with you on experimenting, even if it's risky. Everyone's garden varies so much that I think these types of experiments are well worth it as every once in a while, you hit on a real winner.

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  10. Your pepper/potato performance pretty much mirrors mine. i think I tried letting tromboncino mature one time and didn't much like them as a winter squash, but then your experience might be different. I'm impressed with those broccoli side shoots - again!

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    1. Thanks Dave - it's always nice to know that we have company when it comes to garden experiences that are less then stellar!

      I love the tromboncino so much as a summer squash that I think it will be some time before I let it mature into a winter squash (especially as my attempts with other summer squash varieties have been pretty dismal).

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  11. Hi! I looks so nice when we get a bed cleaned out, doesn't it! Don't you wish that next year the weeds would stay away! Lucky you to still be harvesting produce. Nancy

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    1. I certainly do wish that, Nancy! Weeding is an odd thing because I have the tendency to think once I get it done, that's it, especially in the mulched beds...but a month or so later, there they are again!

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  12. Hi Margaret! I've been away for blogging for much of the summer as my garden has been taking all my time. Hopefully I can visit more often and see all your beautiful harvest. I am impressed how much your garden is still producing. I've recently planted cool season crop and hope I can harvest before the first frost. It'll be close.

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    1. Oh, thanks Karin. Summer is always so hectic, especially for us gardeners. It's sort of ironic that it's when there's the most to write & read about but also when we have the least amount of time to do so! It's hard to keep up - and I often don't :).

      I actually decided to forgo planting additional fall crops this year as we are further behind than usual because of our super hot summer - it was just too hot to work outside for very long most of the time. The only fall crop I got around to planting was some lettuce, mainly thanks to extra seedlings that the farm generously gave me. I have my fingers crossed that your first frost comes later rather than sooner!

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  13. Oh gosh, your harvest looks so tasty again! I'm hoping we'll get some potatoes from our vegetable share this week--I've had such a taste for them lately! Even if the potato harvest is down from last summer, your potatoes look healthy and yummy!

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    1. Thanks Beth - freshly dug potatoes are such a revelation, compared to those in the grocery store. They are on the menu for tonight along with some beef stew...it's pretty chilly today so perfect stew weather!

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