Monday, October 3, 2016

Harvest Monday - October 3, 2016


The beginning of October is greeting us with some beautiful weather:


Once again, it looks like our first frost will be well after our average first frost date, which happens to be today.  Hurray!  I still have some crops that could use a few more days of warmth, including squash, tomatoes, peppers and the late planting of beans (for drying).

So on to the harvests, the first of which were carrots:

Mokum carrots

I have several carrot varieties planted but so far have only harvested Mokums.  The carrot bed has a tangle of butternut squash vines running alongside it & the Mokums are the easiest to harvest at this point.  Once all the squash is harvested - which should be within the next couple of weeks - I'll start harvesting from the other varieties.  There are also some volunteer potatoes in that bed which I'm anxious to pull up, especially considering the poor performance in the actual potato bed.

Later in the week, I pulled a few more carrots together with some bunching onions.

Nebuka bunching onions with Mokum carrots

Now that the kids are back in school, I'm using bunching onions quite a bit in my own lunches.  The key, however, is having them washed and ready to go in the fridge.

A handful of raspberries were harvested a couple of times over the past week:

Fall Gold and Heritage

The yellow raspberries are so pretty & plump but they don't seem to be as flavourful as the red raspberries.  We have been having a lot of rain lately and I'm wondering if that waters down their flavour.

More peppers & tomatoes, including the last Brandywine:

Brandywine & Amos Coli tomatoes together with
Anaheim, Orange Blaze & Stocky Red Roaster peppers

Yesterday, I did a once over in the pepper/tomato beds.  These baskets likely represent the 2nd to last harvest for both of them:

From the top right:  Odessa Market, Hungarian Hot Wax, Chervena Chushka,
Lemon Drop, Padron & Pepperoncino in the centre

Aunt Ruby's Yellow Cherry, Juliet, Mountain Magic & Sungold tomatoes
Not the greatest picture as it was raining at the time...

I'm hopeful that this last hit of warm weather will help the remaining fruits bulk up/ripen a bit more before I do my final harvest and pull up the plants.

The last cucumber was picked:

Green Fingers - the last cucumber of the season

I also harvested 4 medium to smallish tromboncino....and just realized that I completely forgot to take a photo...ugh!  All of the necks were sliced up and are in the dehydrator as we speak, while I'm planning to stuff the bulb portions, a suggestion that Michelle made a couple of weeks ago.

And lastly, a few bunches of kale were harvested, most of which ended up in the freezer:

Red Ursa

Also harvested this past week, but not photographed was a lowly Roko potato that was right near the surface of the soil.  I was meaning to harvest the rest of the potatoes but just never got around to it...this week for sure.

My harvest totals this week were:

Carrots – 724 grams (1.60 lbs)
Cucumbers – 790 grams (1.74 lbs)
Kale – 1,758 grams (3.88 lbs)
Sweet Peppers – 556 grams (1.23 lbs)
Hot Peppers – 596 grams (1.31 lbs)
Onions, Bunching - 126 grams (0.28 lbs)
Potatoes – 130 grams (0.29 lbs)
Summer Squash – 2,260 grams (4.98 lbs)
Tomatoes – 1,846 grams (4.07 lbs)
Raspberries – 64 grams (0.14 lbs)

Total for Week – 8,850 grams (19.51 lbs)

Total to Date – 209.28 kg (461.37 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. Beautiful weather here, too. I am enjoying it so much. Night got down to 56F. I am also enjoying your harvest. Heat go most of mine.

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    1. Thanks Jane - I love cool evenings...we've brought in some wood and I have a feeling we'll get the fireplace going very soon.

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  2. I'm hoping your warm weather holds so you can get every last one of those beautiful peppers and tomatoes.

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  3. It's great to be getting such good harvests still at this time of year. Wow, look at your weather. We had our first frost last night and it's turned really cold, I've had the heating on.

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    1. Yikes - heat turned on already. The thing with fall is that there is usually a lot of variability in the weather - I doubt there is another season that sees as much thermostat adjusting!

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  4. How great that the weather is cooperating and staying good for you. It's been swinging hot and cold here, kinda like my mood towards the garden, one minute I want to rip it all out and the next I want to save what I can. It looks like you've had a really good year, I wouldn't be surprised if you pass the 500 pound mark soon.

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    1. I know what you mean - I would love to just get in there and rip out those sad looking tomato plants....but then I see some big green tomatoes and I think if I just hold off for a few days, they may start to ripen. I'm very excited to get to that 500 lb mark and with the carrot/butternut squash harvest just around the corner, it won't be too much longer :)

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  5. It's always a bit sad to see the summer veggies winding down, but I guess it has to happen eventually. I hope you have some more warm autumn weather before the frost hits though!

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    1. So far so good with warm weather - I'm hoping that I get a few more tomatoes, peppers and butternut squash to ripen before we get hit by frost. Last year, we didn't have our first frost until Oct. 17 and it looks like this year will be pretty much the same (hurray!)

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  6. Hooray for the growing season lasting a little bit longer! It's always so sad to be forced to say goodbye to all the summer crops. It looks like you've had a good season. I'm impressed that you can harvest kale at the same time as tomatoes and peppers. Those don't seem to overlap here.

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    1. Kale seems to do well all summer here - perhaps as our summers are not as long and hot as yours. This year, however, I made the mistake of planting the kale behind the kohlrabi, so they were shaded & didn't get going until after the kohlrabi was pulled back in mid-summer. Another lesson learned!

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  7. I am counting on this warm weather lasting another week or two as my cherry tomatoes are taking forever to ripen!! I had never thought about dehydrating zucchini, I'll have to try that next year.

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    1. That idea came from Michelle...the tromboncino dehydrate really well and then I pack them into freezer bags and pop them into the freezer. My plan is to use them in stews and soups over the winter - yum!

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  8. So glad to hear that your weather is holding out! This is such a fun time of year, bringing in the last of the Summer crops and filling up the freezer and pantry.Enjoy these Indian Summer days and have a great week!

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    1. Thanks Lexa - I couldn't agree more! My freezer is basically full, so the timing is perfect!

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  9. Oh, isn't that great to have a late frost?! I volunteer at a food pantry garden and we harvested an impressive batch of hot peppers tonight. I was dreaming of homemade salsa! (Actually, I made some earlier this summer and it was sooo tasty.) That Red Ursa kale looks yummy! You've probably already posted about it, but how do you freeze it? I'm curious about the taste and consistency after defrosting.

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    1. Kale is a very sturdy green so it holds up incredibly well in the freezer - the texture and taste when it's cooked is, to me, pretty much the same as fresh kale. In fact, I think you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between fresh and frozen kale when you use it in soups or stews.

      To freeze it, I trim off the tough stalks and wash the leaves (some people trim off every last bit of the stalk, but I usually leave the thinner parts that are in the leaf). Then I blanch the leaves for 2 minutes. Once time is up, I use tongs to get it out of the pot and place it in a bowl of ice water to cool down. Then I drain it and either leave it in the strainer or spread it out on a cookie sheet (if I need the strainer for kale) for about an hour so that it dries off a bit more. At this point, I chop it up and bag it into portions. I find it's much easier to chop up after it's cooked than fiddling with shedded kale in the boiling water. Also, when I bag it up, I flatten it out in the bag and eliminate as much air as I can before I seal it. When I need some for a dish, especially if it's a liquidy dish, I don't even bother defrosting it but simply plop it into the pot frozen. Of course, it's already partly cooked, so the cooking time in whatever dish you use it in has to take that into account.

      And yum on the salsa! I should put some on the list for the last of the tomatoes & peppers. Thanks for the reminder!

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  10. Our remaining yellow raspberries are mostly spoiling in the canes now. It's starting to feel very autumnal here.

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    1. Yes, I've had a few raspberries turn over on the canes as well and I think all the rain we've been having is contributing to that.

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  11. I'm hoping for a late frost over here, as well! Great harvest and enjoy the nice weather!

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    1. Thanks! Fingers crossed that we both have an extended fall season!

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  12. I am always so impressed with your harvest. Such an inspiration! I am envious you are getting rain. We are so dry here and the drought is finally taking its toll on the plants. Lots of trees are dropping leaves early.

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    1. Thanks Karen. Oh...it is so worrisome when a drought gets bad enough to impact on mature trees. That's happened to us a couple of times over the years and we've had to drag the hose around to give some of them supplemental water. Unfortunately, it's not practical to do that for every tree. Hopefully the coming weeks bring you some much needed moisture.

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  13. It's nice you're getting some extra warm days to get a few more tomatoes ripened. I've got a few more weeks before our average first frost, but I'm already thinking about how many green ones I may have to pick. I just hate letting them go in the fall. That kale is really beautiful. It almost looks like the ones they sell as ornamentals.

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    1. Sometimes this late in the game, I get impatient with all of the dead leaves and diseased plants and end up ripping them out, even if I could get a few more tomatoes. We'll have to wait and see if I can hold off this year.

      And that's Red Ursa kale - it's not only beautiful but delicious too. I would definitely recommend it if you are looking to try a new variety.

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