Monday, September 5, 2016

Harvest Monday - September 5, 2016


Well, we had quite the unexpected treat come out of the garden last week.

First ever fig...

That’s right – an honest to goodness, ripe from the tree fig.  It was small, but it was perfectly ripe and oh soooooo good!

All I can say is...gimme!

Each of us had a quarter of it.  Amazing.  It was a chance discovery as I was taking up the compost one day – and another dance-worthy moment :)

I actually forgot to weigh it in all the excitement, so the weight is an estimate of about an ounce (28grams) – in this case, it’s not so much about the weight but keeping track of when I harvested, which I do in the tables that detail how much was harvested.

There are more figs developing on the trees, but they are all still teeny tiny.  We are supposed to have a warm fall, so there is a chance they may reach maturity before they have to come inside.  Worse comes to worse, I may have to leave them in front of the patio door for a few weeks before I move them to the basement.

The other, long awaited harvest this past week was the chard:

From the left:  Bright Lights, Fordhook Giant & Peppermint Chard

And no, this was not from a fall planting.  I transplanted the seedlings back in May and they just sat there for the longest time as they were being shaded by the lettuce.  The lettuce was pulled over a month ago and the chard has finally had an opportunity to flourish.  I really enjoy having chard on hand for winter use, so it was all frozen as I don’t know how much more I will end up harvesting.  The same goes for the kale, which was shaded out by the kohlrabi for a good chunk of the summer – it’s now attained a good size and I’ll be harvesting it this coming week.

And more tomatoes...of course.

Box of tomatoes including Sungold, Speckled Roman, Opalka, Amish Paste, Juliet
and the mystery large cherry.  Also in the box are a couple of Orange Blaze bell peppers.

The paste tomatoes are picking up the pace and I’ve only had 2 more surface with BER.

Amos Coli (which is very susceptible to stem end cracking apparently)
& Opalka paste tomatoes together with the last Orange Blossom

I was out over the weekend, picking off most of the diseased leaves from the tomato plants in area #1 & they are looking rather bare – it took me several hours of trimming.  I think it was a darn good idea to split up the tomato beds into the two areas of the garden instead of having them all together as the bed in area #2 is still looking really good.  I will definitely be doing that from now on.

The peppers are also doing great & we had a first harvest for a couple of the varieties:

Chervena Chushka and Lemon Drop (aka Aji Limon)

Isn't that yellow vibrant??  Love it!  Those are destined for the dehydrator - I'm just waiting for a few more to ripen up, which shouldn't be long as the plant is simply loaded with fruit.  My frozen pepper stores are increasing every week with a variety of raw, roasted and blistered (in the case of the Padrons) peppers.  I think that this will be another crop that I can tick off in my "no longer need to buy" list.

Stocky Red Roaster, Jimmy Nardello & Anaheim

The eggplants are trudging along - they are now quite shaded by the tomatoes on one side and the Trail of Tears vines in the bed next door, so things are slow going.  On the plus side, since I reduced the amount of watering, they have completely recovered from their early summer decline - so I would say that this is one mystery that's been solved.

Long Green Thai Eggplant & more Chervena Chushka

More cucumbers and broccoli side shoots were harvested:

Summer Dance cucumbers & Arcadia side-shoots

All of the shoots above are from Arcadia – once again it's pulling its weight in side-shoot production, and then some.

Also harvested but not photographed (or included in the tally) were more Trail of Tears and Speckled Cranberry beans, that are currently drying out in the garage.

In other news, we had a fatality in the squash patch.  My husband decided to run the mower on the hill – even though I have told him not to – and he ran over one of the vines that had a fully formed Zao Feng winter squash on it…argh!!  And yes – I made him feel guilty about it for the rest of the day, especially as that was one of only 3 squash I’ll likely harvest from the bales.  BTW – the bale plants are actually doing great – they are huge – the only issue is that they have been very late in setting fruit, which is likely my fault as they had a rough start to the season.

My harvest totals this week were:

Broccoli - 644 grams (1.42 lbs)
Cucumbers - 750 grams (1.65 lbs)
Eggplant - 458 grams (1.01 lbs)
Figs - 28 grams (0.06 lbs)
Sweet Peppers - 1,528 grams (3.37 lbs)
Hot Peppers - 408 grams (0.90 lbs)
Swiss Chard - 2,380 grams (5.25 lbs)
Tomatoes - 12,767 grams (28.15 lbs)

Total for Week – 18.9 kg (41.81 lbs)

Total to Date – 164.27 kg (362.16 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. Hurrah on the fig!! Next year will be even better! So wonderful to have so much organic produce! I wish I could learn to like swiss chard and kale more! Nancy

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    1. Thanks Nancy - it certainly was an exciting moment in the garden! You may want to try using chard leaves as a substitute for spinach in dishes that are highly flavoured - I made a "spinach" dip with chard and noone knew the difference.

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  2. Such a great harvest. Those tomatoes look so good, it hasn't been a good year here, the Maskotkas haven't really got going but I've had a steady supply from the Bloody Butchers. Brilliant that you got a ripe fig, and that you managed to share it. Fingers crossed that you get a few more next year.

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    1. Thanks Jo! I don't know what it is with tomatoes and their finickiness - some years they are great and others, not so much. But one basket of your homegrown tomatoes, no matter how small, is worth buckets of those tasteless things at the grocery store.

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  3. I live in hope that one day my Fig tree will produce some fruit and enable me to have one of those dance-worthy moments! And you've got Aji Limon chillis too = double joy. They are one of my favourite chillis, for taste, heat-level and looks. Putting your toms in two areas was definitely a good plan - you know the saying "don't put all your eggs in one basket"?

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    1. Ha ha...I can just imagine you dancing with a fig in hand :) Fingers crossed for next year!

      Yup, splitting up the tomato plants has worked out well. I also tried to minimize the risk when it came to variety - when I had more than one plant of particular variety, I split them up and placed them in different beds, just in case - looks like that paid off too.

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  4. Ooh, what a shame about losing your squash that way! But at least it wasn't the only one. And what a beautiful box of tomatoes.

    I tried growing crystal apple cukes this year for something different, but I don't like them at all. Your summer dance cukes look just about perfect.

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    1. Thanks Susie - you know, now that I've grown so many different varieties of cucumbers, the Lemon cucumber (which is pretty much the same as Crystal Apple) is pretty far down on the list. I do love that it flowers so prolifically though, so will likely keep growing them for that reason - the pollinators love them!

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  5. Anyone that can grow figs impresses me :) I had one fig tree, died. Just been given another one in a pot, about 5 yr old, which has never fruited. That's my goal, getting fruit from it :)

    Looks like a fantastic harvest. Do you keep track of overall weight compared to the growing space (size of the beds) used?

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    1. Ah, thanks Andy! I'm hoping that my initial success in getting a fig is not primarily due to our abnormally hot summer. It will be interesting to see if they produce during "normal" summer weather (if we ever get that again!)

      As for the weight, you are quite right to realize that how much is harvested doesn't mean much if you don't take into account how much you planted. Depending on the crop, I track that based on how much space is used (i.e. for beans) or how many plants I grew (i.e. for tomatoes). You can take a look at my End of Season Reviews (which I posted back in Jan/Feb this year) to see how I track things.

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  6. Congratulations on the fig, looked like a good one and you even shared. My Lemon Drop has set some fruit but not ripened yet. That bright color is wonderful. Have you tasted them for heat yet? I read heat just this side of a habanero.

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    1. Thanks David - No, I haven't tasted the Lemon Drop yet, but you have me a bit freaked out by the heat now! When I looked it up, one site stated that it had anywhere from 2x to 12x the heat of a jalapeno...that's quite the range! I wanted to make a seasoning with them, so was planning on dehydrating them, but I think I'll also try them in salsa. Hopefully mine are on the lower end of that scale.

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  7. Those are some great looking tomatoes and peppers! Your Lemon Drop has beaten mine for the first ripe fruit. For that matter I'm still waiting on my first Stocky Red Roaster. It's been a funny year here, for sure. And yay on that fig! Chard is an amazing veggie, waiting patiently for its time in the sun. I wish I could learn to like the flavor...

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    1. Thanks Dave! That is strange about your peppers - every year, the garden throws us a curve ball and it's always a surprise. Keeps us on our toes, that's for sure!

      You know, we veg gardeners enjoy more variety of veg than most people but I also think we tend to be too hard on ourselves when we don't like one or two veg. Sort of like me and beets - they are so pretty, I wish I liked them.

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  8. I'm pretty jealous of all of your tomatoes. Mine are ripening slowly this year. That's very good news about the BER. In years past, I've had it bad, but am also enjoying an almost rot-free year this year. Congratulations on the fig. I have never tasted a fresh one, but by all accounts they are delicious. I hope you are able to harvest some more.

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    1. It's funny how the BER comes and goes - last year was particularly bad for that around here.

      Oh, a fresh fig is a revelation, especially if you've only had dried before - it's a totally different taste experience. They are moist, tender and only slightly sweet. I have my fingers crossed that a few more ripen this year :)

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  9. It's good to make men squirm for a little while. I'm sure it was an accident, but maddening just the same, isn't it?
    So , are you keeping up with the tomato glut? Looks so impressive, Margaret.
    Have a great week
    :)

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    1. Yup - it sure is maddening especially when I SPECIFICALLY said not to run the mower on the hill. You should have seen the look on my face when I saw it up there...not happy!

      And I am keeping up with the glut...just about. Several more tubs of roasted tomato sauce went into the freezer yesterday and I *only* have one large bowl of tomatoes on the counter to deal with. My counters will likely be tomato free by the end of September and I know that will be a sad moment. Have a wonderful week too!

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  10. I too say yay for the fig, isn't that the best tasting fig? Mighty generous of you to share :) I hope the remainder ripens before cold weather sets in.

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    1. Oh, it was the best fig I EVER tasted! And yes - I will agree that my generousity in sharing that heavenly morsel even impressed me ;)

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  11. Figs--yay! Yes, it's tomato time here, too. I must make more salsa...

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    1. YES! I still haven't made any salsa this year...this week for sure!

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  12. Oh wow, congrats on your first fig! Those are one of my favorite fruits. And you are still using a box for your tomato harvests. My tomatoes haven't hit that stage, yet, hope they will one of these days...

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    1. Thanks Michelle! I think the box harvests will be ending this week, especially with the decline in 2 of the beds. But it's been a good run, so I'm happy. I'm sure that there will be a LOT of tomato envy on my end as I'm pulling my plants and your tomato harvests are rolling in :)

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  13. No figsfor us this year. Martyn decided to repot our two fig plants against my better judgement. I think now they are too happy to bother about producing any fruit.

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    1. Let's hope they are just settling in to their new home - and next year they reward you with a bountiful harvest :)

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