Monday, July 31, 2017

Harvest Monday - July 31, 2017


The harvests have picked up since my last Harvest Monday post three weeks ago.  Still no sign of a mature cucumber but there was one pleasant surprise yesterday - the first Sungold tomatoes!

Sungold

Bloody Butcher, a salad type tomato, is right on the heels of Sungold and I'll likely be picking the first one today:

Bloody Butcher


Notice the spots on the leaves at the top left and bottom right of the photo.  Yup..early blight is already starting to spread.  I'm not surprised considering our wet weather in the past few weeks.

We are finally enjoying a nice haul of snap beans:

Provider Snap Beans

For the past couple of years, my snap bean harvests have been rather pathetic, for one reason or another, so this is a welcome change.  Unfortunately, once the bush beans are done, that will be it.  The only other fresh bean that I sowed (Golden of Bacau) were ravaged by the rabbits early on.  The vines are making a comeback but are still so small that it's unlikely I'll end up getting a harvest.

The first peppers have been harvested and have since been pickled (using the quick/no heat refrigerator method):

Hungarian Wax (left) and Pepperoncino (right)

The pepper bed was also devastated by rabbits early in the season with some plants completely chewed to the ground while others were defoliated.  The bed looks decidedly bare:

Pepper  Bed

I had a couple of extra pepper plants this year which I plonked into a grow bag:

Odessa Market Pepper Plants

These are doing ok, but slugs are getting to both the leaves and peppers.  I've picked off several immature peppers with holes in them and found one of our "friends" inside.  I've since placed crushed eggshells on the soil and I'm hoping that will deter further damage.

I harvested a bunch of favas, mainly the Aquadulce, together with the first eggplant:

Aquadulce fava beans with a Ping Tung eggplant

I'm quite happy with the fava harvest as the plants were infested with aphids early on.  I debated pulling them, but then decided to leave them be.  The strange bit was that the aphids disappeared almost as quickly as they came.  Our plum tree was loaded with ladybug larva in the spring, so I'm thinking that had something to do with it.

The plants did suffer a lot and the harvest was significantly reduced, but I'm glad I didn't pull them as they provided ample food for the ladybugs and a few beans for us too.  In fact, there are some more pods on the plants that are ready to pick.

Shelled Favas

A few more kohlrabi were harvested:

Kolibri Kohlrabi

They are still delicious, although the heat is starting to make them a bit fibrous so I'm grating them into salads or slaws.

I pulled the last of the salad turnips which were hiding underneath the broccoli foliage:

White Lady salad turnips

With all the heat we've been having, I was expecting a lot of bite or woodiness and was prepared to plonk them into the compost pile.  Thankfully, I had a taste first and, although they were not much to look at, their flesh was mild, tender and delicious.  I also love turnip leaves but so do the sowbugs - there was too much damage on the few leaves that were left so those, unfortunately, did make the trip to the compost heap.

Up next, broccoli and wow...we have had some epic heads this year.  The three heads in the basket below weighed in at 1.68kg/3.7 lbs!

Arcadia Broccoli

Unfortunately, most of the heads have been afflicted with brown bud (or brown bead), likely due to the excessive heat.  The discolouration isn't a big deal for me and a bit of trimming is all that's needed.

The last of the lettuce was harvested:

Tropicana Lettuce

I've already transplanted another batch - this time using a shade cloth over the bed to keep it a bit cooler - and I'm hoping to start picking in a couple of weeks.

Remember those volunteer potato plants I spoke about in my last Harvest Monday post?  Well, they are giving me a lovely bonus harvest:

Volunteer potatoes - I'm thinking these are Viking (left) and Linzer (right)

Anytime I need potatoes, I'm pulling one of the volunteers as the "real" potato bed is just now starting to die back and I want to leave those as long as possible so that they hold up in storage.  Yes, I know I said I would pull up the volunteers a couple of weeks ago, but once I saw the lovely fresh tubers I decided to dig them up on an as-needed basis.  The good news is that I haven't seen a potato beetle on any of the plants since their bubble bath.

A batch of basil was harvested, both regular basil (Eleanora) and Lemon basil, which is just a delight - it truly is lemony!

Eleanora Basil

I gave our small patch of lavender a really good trim last summer and they rewarded us with lots of blooms this year:

Lavender and calendula

I've always wanted to do something with lavender - not sure what yet, perhaps a sachet or something along those lines - so I'm very happy to finally have a few bundles drying in the basement, all ready for a crafty session in the fall.

And lastly, I harvested all of the remaining peas but not for eating.  I was running low on seed for all the types I grow (snap, snow and shelling) so I decided to leave the pods on the plants to mature.  All of the plants have since been pulled and the pods are drying in the basement - I should be in really good shape, seed-wise, for peas next year.

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

29 comments:

  1. Lovely harvests, Margaret. Nice to see your summer stuff coming in. Are eggshells useful in slug control? I did not know this.

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    1. I've used them a few times and they seem to work quite well, so long as they are not finely crushed. Slugs must not like all those pointy bits!

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  2. Our Sungold will be the first to ripen too. Slugs called friends even through gritted teeth are two words that definitely do not belong together.

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    1. Ha - yes, that was rather pushing it, wasn't it? :)

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  3. First cherry tomatoes are finally ripening for me too, but the snap beans are still at least a couple of weeks in the future and the peppers even later. I really blew it this year not getting beans planted earlier. Critter damage seems to be the theme this summer. I've got rats, mice, and rabbits to contend with. There's so much hardware cloth in the garden it's starting to look like I'm imprisoning my veggies. I occasionally get brown buds on broccoli too, but I just ignore it.

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    1. It's been so long since we've had a decent harvest of snap beans - I really should have sown a 2nd round but it's too late now.

      At this point, I am just giving a resigned sigh ever time I see another critter or the damage they leave in their wake. I'm now adding stripped cucumber beetles to my list - another newcomer to the garden that I found among the squash blossoms about a week ago. Lots of squishing going on... :(

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  4. Lovely and varied harvests. I too am having major issue with rabbit, hope the crushed egg shells keep the slugs away. How finely do you crush the shells?

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    1. Rabbits are certainly making the rounds this year, aren't they? They obviously know where the good eats are! As for the eggshells, I place them in a zip lock bag and crush them with my hands - they stay quite coarse, which I think is the trick as it's all the pointy bits that the slugs don't like.

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    2. Thanks, I thought one had to crush the shells fine.

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  5. For the rocky start you've had, that's a nice harvest. I've grown Provider beans for years, it is the best bush bean I've ever grown.

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    1. That's one of the great things about gardening - even when a lot goes wrong, there are usually quite a few things that go right. I'm loving Provider - they're a permanent addition to the lineup.

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  6. Such great broccoli Margaret! I still keep trying but never end up with much. And Linzer potato volunteers? I couldn't get purposeful Linzer this year, just couldn't find the seed potatoes from my usual sources. How lucky!

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    1. Thanks Susie :) The Linzer's are a stroke of luck as I didn't order any either - where I originally purchased them increased their shipping cost from "high" to "outrageous" and I just couldn't justify purchasing seed potato from them this year.

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  7. Sungold tomatoes! Love them! Nice looking beans. No luck with mine this year. Not sure why. Sorry about the lost to the critters. No bunnies in my courtyard this year but my lettuce still has not done well. Yours look so good. Nancy

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    1. Thanks Nancy - sometimes why a veg does/doesn't do well is a mystery. I hope you give the beans another try next year...they are so good!

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  8. That is so sad about the rabbit damage, and the tomato blight. not to mention the slug damage. Those heads of broccoli are truly worth celebrating though! Mine get the brown beads a lot, especially those that mature in the heat or rain.

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    1. Yes - it's one of THOSE years! It can only get better next year, right? And we have, in fact, had a lot of heat and a lot of rain so I suppose the brown bead is no surprise.

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  9. Bloody Butcher--wow, what a name! I'll have to try to grow that one. It looks delish! What Dave said about the garden pests! I have those issues, too, but only the rabbit damage on a large scale--you know how I feel about them! ;-)

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    1. Yes - that name sort of threw me when I first came across it too. But they are SO good and usually the earliest of the non-cherry types to ripen so they have a permanent spot in my garden...despite the name! Ha, when it comes to rabbits, I'm beginning to side with Elmer Fudd ;)

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  10. Fantastic harvest Margaret.
    Your vegetables are coming along nicely. Lovely sungold tomatoes! We are still waiting for the first tomatoes!

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    1. Thank you Shaheen - those first (and 2nd, and 3rd...) tomatoes are always so good! I'm sure you won't be waiting too much longer.

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  11. I never heard of volunteer potatoes! Who knew they were so civic-minded? I thought the Fava beans looked like limas. Is the taste similar. So far we've had three ripe 'Juliet' cherry tomatoes.

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    1. Yum - Juliet are a favourite around here! Fava beans and limas are quite different both in texture and flavour, with favas being a bit firmer and having a distinct taste that is hard to describe. I can't really give a fair comparison as I've not grown lima beans so have never had a fresh one, only canned...I'm sure that will change at some point :)

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  12. "Sungold" is a tomato variety that EVERYONE seems to like! I have grown it a couple of times in the past and always found the skins very tough. I have tried it again this year and thankfully the skins are not tough this time, and because of this I agree it is a lovely variety - very tasty. Your post certainly emphasises the sheer variety of vegetables that you raise. I'm sure this is the right thing to do because if something is attacked by pests or just doesn't grow very enthusiastically, then something else will.

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    1. Right you are - this year has been an exceptionally trying one when it comes to pests with some repeat offenders as well as a couple of new ones. The garden is never without it's challenges!

      I do sometimes find that Sungolds have a bit of a tough skin, but we love them regardless as they just taste so darn good!

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  13. I think the first ripe tomato is what we all wait for each year. I've come home from holiday to find my first ones ready, what a treat. I'm envying your Bloody Butchers now I've seen them, I decided not to grow them this year, I've just got four plants of Maskotka but it will be enough for us as there's only me in our house who eats tomatoes.

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    1. What a treat indeed! Whenever I go away I'm always worried about how the veg will do, especially if there are some that are approaching harvest. That's such a shame that you are the only tomato lover in your family - my husband and son are not huge fans but my daughter shares my love of them which doubles the excitement :)

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  14. We are still awaiting our first ripe tomato, so am pleased you have a couple now ... maybe next week, here!

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    1. I am feeling the same way about cucumbers - they are so late this year! Fingers crossed that your tomatoes and my cucumbers make an appearance in our harvest baskets very soon!

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