October tends to be a big harvest month in my garden which keeps me busy both gardening and cooking/preserving. This October I harvested 82 pounds of vegetables in spite of being out of town for the first two weeks of the month. The harvest would have been larger had I been here to deal with it. Last year I harvested 89 pounds of produce in October and I was out of town for the first 12 days of that month. I announced to my husband while we were away from home this October that in the future I would prefer that we travel at some other time of the year. I just go crazy before a trip trying to get the fall/winter garden in while at the same time I'm trying trying to bring in and preserve the harvest (121 pounds this September and 101 pounds in three weeks I was home last September) and at the same time I'm trying to prepare to be away from the home/garden for an extended period of time. All that at the time when the garden is reaching the peak of production for the entire year. When I'm away I know that there are vegetables going to waste because they are getting overgrown, spoiling on the vine, or being munched by critters. It's stupid that I put so much effort into the garden and then abandon it for 2 or 3 weeks when it's at the peak. Bleah - no more! And on top of all that, we get our absolute best weather of the year in September and October - that's summertime here and I want to be here to enjoy it. We can get beautiful weather in November as well, but it can change seemingly overnight, like it did last week. Check it out, the graph below shows the hourly temperatures from last Monday through today. We were enjoying highs near 80F for a nice extended period and the garden (and I) was loving it. And then, whammo, winter (coastal California style) is here!
The warm weather in September and October, combined with the fairly cool weather that we have in summer means that I harvest the bulk of my tomatoes in September and October, and weather permitting I can generally even harvest some in November. The bottom of this basket is full of Amish Paste tomatoes (about 9 pounds) and the rest of the tomatoes are mostly cherries. If the rats hadn't developed a preference for beefsteak type tomatoes I probably would have been harvesting a decent amount of those as well.
|October 25 tomato harvest|
The forecast for cold weather last week prompted me to harvest all of the Amish Paste tomatoes that were showing any color, plus a few other semi-ripe tomatoes and some rock-hard green tomatoes to make fried green tomatoes.
|November 2 tomato harvest|
The warm fall weather means that the eggplant and peppers generally continue to produce.
|October 25 harvest of Shishito peppers, Diamond eggplant,|
and Garden Babies butterhead lettuce
I'm still working on my timing for cool weather crops to be harvested in the fall and winter. I had hoped that the napa cabbages would mature a bit later than they have been. I found that one of the Hybrid One Kilo napa cabbages was starting to bolt when I got home from vacation and the rest of them were forming large heads already. I think that I will start the napa cabbages later next year, or perhaps I will try succession sowing to extend the harvest.
|October 27, a 4 pound Green Rocket napa cabbage|
The beet harvest continues and if it weren't for the aphids and ants that are attacking the greens these would keep well in the garden into the colder months. The later sowing seems to be less of a target for the pests so perhaps I will be able to keep them in place longer. I didn't include the beet greens in the latest harvest totals since I gave them to to the chickens.
|November 5 harvest of Renee's Golden and Baby Ball beets|
The Sweetie Baby romaine lettuce is also bolting more quickly than I expected this fall. The two heads in the basket below were just starting to send up central stalks but the lettuce was still sweet and was very good in a salad that also featured julienned apple, manchego cheese, thin sliced celery (from the garden), and pomegranate arils with my favorite meyer lemon-mustard-honey-olive oil dressing.
|November 5, a 2 pound Green Rocket napa cabbage|
and a couple heads of Sweetie Baby romaine lettuce
There's still a lot of celery left in the garden. I sure hope that it doesn't start to bolt.
|November 5, a 2.25 pound head of Dorato di Asti Celery|
One more head of Sweetie Baby romaine.
Here's the harvests for the past three weeks:
Neckarkonigin pole green beans - 2 lb., 10 oz.
Tarbais dried beans - 11.2 oz.
Tarbais Alaric dried beans - 8.5 oz.
Baby Ball beets - 1 lb., 11.7 oz.
Chioggia beets - 4 lb., 9 oz.
Egyptische Platronde beets - 1 lb., 3 oz.
Renee's Golden beets - 1 lb., 5.6 oz.
Di Sarno Calabrese broccoli - 2 lb., 1.4 oz.
Green Rocket napa cabbage - 6 lb., 3.7 oz.
Hybrid One Kilo napa cabbage - 2 lb.
Dorato di Asti celery - 2 lb., 8.7 oz.
Green Fingers Persian cucumbers - 1 lb., 14.1 oz.
Tasty Green Japanese cucumbers - 1 lb., 13.7 oz.
Diamond eggplant - 10.5 oz.
Orient Express eggplant - 4.6 oz.
Garden Babies butterhead lettuce - 5.5 oz.
Sweetie Baby romaine lettuce - 2 lb., 8.8 oz.
Pimento de Padron peppers - 1 lb., 3.8 oz.
Shishito peppers - 4.9 oz.
Amish Paste tomatoes - 18 lb., 6.9 oz.
Aunt Ruby's cherry tomatoes - 1 lb., 9.6 oz.
Black Krim tomatoes - 7.9 oz.
Chianti Rose tomatoes - 6 oz.
Galinas cherry tomatoes - 1 lb., 5.7 oz.
Gigantesque tomatoes - 14.5 oz.
Japanese Trifele tomatoes - 4.9 oz.
Various green tomatoes - 2 lb., 1.8 oz.
Marina di Chioggia winter squash - 7 lb., .2 oz.
The total harvests for the past three weeks were - 66 lb., 12.1 oz.
The total harvests for the year have been - 523 lb., 14.5 oz.
Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne on her blog Daphne's Dandelions, head on over there to see what other garden bloggers have been harvesting lately.