The weather warmed up a bit in the past week, we had a high temperature of about 87°F one day and then the rest of the time the highs ranged between there and about 70°. The low temperatures stayed at 50°F or above until last night when it slipped down to 49°F. For the most part the vegetable garden has responded by pumping out the produce.
The Neckarkönigin beans starting coming in and I've been harvesting some nearly every other day. These are a large bean, somewhat flattened, very meaty and beany flavored. They cook up tender even when the beans start getting oversized.
The Pimento de Padrons are starting to produce.
And the zucchini and cucumber plants keep producing a few fruits every couple of days.
More zucchini and cucumbers. The small Green Fingers Persian cucumbers have turned out to be good to take on a hike for a refreshing snack.
Finally! The first tomatoes were ready to harvest. And the Apollo broccoli plants keep pushing out a few more little shoots, every time I think there's nothing left to harvest I see another few shoots coming on so I've not pulled the plants out yet.
These tomatoes are Fiaschetto, an Italian plum variety from Puglia, and Jaune Flamme, an heirloom from France. Not photographed were the first Sunshine cherry tomatoes and the first Wheatly's Frost Resistant cherry tomato.
More cucumbers, zucchini, Padrons, and broccoli.
I continue to harvest green coriander seeds to dry, these won't be included in the harvest totals until they are dry.
Here's a batch of Pimento de Padrons ready to devour. These peppers are best when harvested very young, no larger than my thumb and preferably smaller, the larger they get the more likely they are to be spicy. I pan fry them in a generous amount of olive oil, sometimes with a smashed garlic clove thrown in, then they are served hot with a sprinkle of coarse sea salt. You eat everything but the stem.
Last night I made a quick saute of green beans, zucchini, sweet corn, onion and pancetta, seasoned with cumin and cilantro. I topped each portion with a couple of eggs cooked over easy and sprinkled with sweet smoked Spanish paprika (pimenton). It was somewhat like a vegetable hash topped with eggs. Delicious! Another night I sauteed some of the green beans with shredded duck confit and tossed in some chunks of tomato at the end just to heat them through. That was very good also. (What's not good with either pancetta or duck confit?) And another night I used part of the bounty of beans by braising them with butter and added tomatoes and basil when they were tender. Those were served with some Sand Dabs that I panfried in butter and served with a pan sauce of pine nuts, capers, and lemon juice.
I harvested enough capers this week to put my total harvest just a nudge over 3 pounds. That's a full pound more than I was able to harvest last year which was one of the coolest summers in years. Three pounds is enough to get me through the next year so I'm going to let the plants bloom and set berries so that I can save some seeds and perhaps preserve a few caper berries as well.
Here's the harvest totals for the past week:
Neckarkönigin green beans - 4 lb., 2.4 oz.
Apollo broccoli - 5.3 oz.
Capers - 1.6 oz.
Green Fingers Persian cucumbers - 1 lb., 10 oz.
Tasty Green Japanese cucumbers - 1 lb., 5.2 oz.
Pimento de Padron peppers - 1 lb., 1.5 oz.
Fiaschetto tomatoes - 7.1 oz.
Jaune Flamme tomato - .8 oz.
Sunshine cherry tomatoes - 3.2 oz.
Wheatly's Frost Resistant cherry tomato - .2 oz. (yes, only one, but it counts!)
Da Fiore zucchini - 2 lb., 10.4 oz.
The total harvests for the week came to - 11 lb., 15.7 oz
Which brings the yearly total to - 109 lb., 7.7 oz. (I finally broke 100!)
My harvests this year are far below what they were last year (which was a down year because of cold weather and rats), but that's because I was rebuilding the garden beds over the course of the spring and even now I've not yet had the last bed rebuilt which will keep the autumn totals down because I don't have space to grow winter squash, cabbages, and beets. I had zero harvests in March and April and only caper harvests in May. The garden started producing again in June for a total of 14 pounds of produce that month. July I harvested almost 34 pounds and the harvests for August are up to 26 pounds so far. Next year I'm looking forward to a full year with the four big beds in full production, weather and rats permitting.
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.