Monday, August 8, 2016

Harvest Monday - August 8, 2016

The harvests were fairly light again last week. I'm still waiting for the first ripe peppers and for the tomatoes to start in earnest. The bush beans have finished producing and the pole beans haven't started yet.

Zebrune shallot, Piccolo Dattero & Sweet Gold tomatoes
One of the shallots made its way off the curing rack and into the kitchen but I don't remember what I used it in.

Camp Joy, Jaune Flamme, Piccolo Dattero, Sweet Gold
That's the first Camp Joy cherry tomato and the first Jaune Flamme tomatoes. Camp Joy is pretty big for a cherry tomato and Jaune Flamme is a small salad type tomato.

Pink Plume Celery
The second of my 8 Pink Plume celery plants started to bolt. I didn't cut the entire plant but I did cut off most of the side shoots. Most of that harvest went into a saute with corn, onions, apple, and sausage.

Pink Plume Celery & Romanesco Zucchini
Yet more celery, some of which went into salads and the rest is in the fridge. I didn't get around to harvesting the zucchini when I should have a couple of times. I haven't been spending as much time in the garden as I usually would because the mornings have been really awful with the valley filled with a mixture of fog and smoke. We've had more calls from the county warning about the unhealthy air. Even indoors it can be quite unpleasant. Yesterday I finally bought a couple of HEPA air purifiers to cut down on the indoor smoke stench.

Romanesco Zucchini
The Romanesco zucchini is still quite firm and not seedy even at this size so it wasn't a problem, I sliced up most of the harvests this week and put them in the dehydrator.

Batavia Broccoli
The Batavia broccoli keeps putting out side shoots. Half of that basket is filled with shoots from the winter sown plants and the other half with the shoots from the spring sown plants. One night I used some of the big side shoots from last week. First I cooked up a few slices of bacon and set them aside, then cut a few shoots of broccoli in half, laid them cut side down in the hot bacon fat, covered the pan and let the broccoli slowly brown and steam in its own juices until it was tender. I served it browned side up with the chopped bacon and a sauce made by deglazing the pan with some balsamic and red wine vinegars.

Rosso di Firenze Onion
I raided the curing rack for yet again for an onion. This one went into another veggie saute, this time it was broccoli and the last of the bush snap beans seasoned with some tomato conserva (from last year), a couple of anchoy filets and some Mareko Fana pepper flakes. It was delicious served with a sprinkling of grated parmesan.

Manoa Crisphead & Little Rosebud Romaine Mix Lettuces
I thinned a few more heads of lettuce from the garden. They are sizing up really quickly. I suspect that I'll have to harvest the rest of them in the next week or so, but fortunately they keep really well in the fridge.


So the damn Soberanes fire continues to burn and burn and burn. Another 18,000 acres have gone up in smoke in the past week for a total loss of 60,400 acres. I would love to see the culprit who lit the illegal campfire that is the cause of all this misery tied to a spit and slowly roasted over a campfire. Just kidding. Sort of... At least the fire is now 45% contained, mostly on the north end which is the part closest to where I live. But Sunday night, the first night in many without thick fog and smoke filling the valley, I could see the glow of the fire in a couple of places just a few miles away. All it would take is a shift in the wind to send it back this way. The residents of Big Sur got a rude awakening at 3:00 a.m. on Sunday with a reverse 911 call from the Sheriff's Department alerting them to a mandatory evacuation. What a shock that must have been, not a warning that they may have to evacuate, but an order which means LEAVE NOW! Part of that area has had the order rescinded to a warning, but there's still over 300 people in Big Sur who have had to leave their homes. And there's yet more people in Cachauga, not far from here in another part of Carmel Valley, that are under orders to leave as well. Not everyone does leave, but those who don't can't count on anyone coming to their rescue should things go wrong. And they finally got smart and closed the regional park across the valley. It's so strange to drive by and see not one single car in the parking lot - I've never seen that during daylight hours, it's a very popular park. It's all so depressing.

If you are curious, here's a link to a map that shows the progression of the fire from July 22 when it started through August 7 - Soberanes Fire Progression Map.

Anyway, here's the details of the harvests for the past week:

Batavia broccoli - 2.5 lb.
Pink Plume celery - 2.1 lb.
Green Fingers cucumbers - 3.7 oz.
Little Rosebud Romaine Mix lettuces - 5.5 oz.
Manoa Crisphead lettuce - 9.7 oz.
Rossa Lunga di Firenze onion - 5.6 oz.
Zebrune shallot - 8.6 oz.
Camp Joy cherry tomato - .9 oz.
Jaune Flamme tomatoes - 2.5 oz.
Piccolo Dattero cherry tomatoes - 1.2 oz.
Sweet Gold cherry tomatoes - 1.6 oz.
Romanesco zucchini - 3.9 lb.

Total harvests for the week - 10.9 lb. (4.9 kg.)
2016 YTD harvests - 409.8 lb. (186 kg.)

Harvest Monday is hosted by Dave on his blog Our Happy Acres, head on over there to see what other garden bloggers have been harvesting lately.

20 comments:

  1. I can understand why you don't want to be outdoors much, but glad to see you are still getting beautiful harvests.

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    1. The last few days we've had clear afternoons so I've been able to get outside. But the downside to that is that I can see every plume of smoke arising in the actively burning areas - it's just shocking at times and completely frustrating to watch.

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  2. With the difference in climates, it is amazing that we are both in-between harvests, but for different reasons. The Soberanes fire is still worrisome. During one camping trip on Mount Desert Island, we awoke to really annoying smoke. Thought it was some idiot burning his trash on the campfire. Turned out to be a huge fire in Quebec over 100 miles away. For days we choked and heard the warnings to stay indoors -- while camping! Most worrisome were houses near us were being torched by flaming embers falling from the sky from a fire a 100 miles away.

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    1. Embers from 100 miles away! We haven't seen that from this fire, but there is a film of ash on everything. That's a bummer that you had to breathe all that smoke while enjoying the great outdoors.

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  3. The HEPA purifiers sound like a good idea given the smoke issues. We run them here to keep mold spore counts down. The fire surely is depressing, especially so since it was caused by human carelessness. I'm sending good thoughts your way and to the folks fighting the fire that they can get it under control ASAP.

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    1. The filters have been a huge help. Thanks for the good thoughts, we can use all the help possible here.

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  4. I do hope the fire is beaten soon. I think it is nad enough when someone up wind of us omn the allotment site decided to have afire so goodness knows what it is like for you coupled with the anxiety, I also worry for all the pooy animalos that will have been caught up in it.

    On a lighter note - I am intrigued by the pink celery. We gave up on celery as we had no real suvvess with it.

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    1. I am worried about the animals also. There's endangered condors that live in the area that is burning and some of them have nests with chicks in them. It's quite worrisome for them and all the other animals as well.

      The pink celery is unusual and fun to grow. It's an old heirloom that was at one time very popular in the states and was carried by many seed companies. Now it's a rare thing, which is a shame since it is very good eating and so pretty.

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  5. Still a very respectable harvest week for you - isn't it wonderful when the tomatoes start to pick up the pace where you can actually make a salad with them? And that broccoli dish sounds amazing...and amazingly simple, which is a must for me these days.

    Ugh - can't imagine having to breath in that smoke day in and day out - I hope those new filters have you breathing easy, indoors at least.

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    1. The broccoli dish was very good and yes it was extremely simple. I'm into simple these days, I like good food but I don't want to spend a lot of time preparing it.

      I am breathing easier and the wind has shifted so the air is clear during the afternoon, but when the fog rolls in at night it brings the smoke back and holds it. I've got the air purifiers running all night long.

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  6. I can't imagine having to be surrounded by the smoke and worry of that fire everyday. Hopefully it will get under control soon. So frustrating that it was all caused by a stupid person being stupid!!

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    1. You are so right, all it took to make thousands of people miserable and anxious and frustrated and angry was one stupid person. A life lost, homes and property lost, a landscape ruined - all because of one idiot. I feel fortunate because I am no longer in the path of the fire, at least for now.

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  7. Just terrible news about the fire, especially that is now affecting even the indoor air quality for you. And worse so, of course, for those being evacuated.

    Your 2016 total is already twice my entire 2015 harvest weight! Ha. Amazing production and such beautiful veggies!

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    1. That's the difference the ability to garden year round makes. I'm always amazed at how much cold climate gardeners can produce in such a short season - and the planning and timing it requires. You get your timing wrong and you don't have a harvest. The schedule is much more flexible and forgiving here.

      The fire is just awful, but the really sad thing is that this is just one of many burning right now.

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  8. I have a funny question for you, Michelle. Your wonderful blog always show harvests, but when do you start them? Is there a place to look? I just bought pole beans 'Musica', 'All Season Broccoli', 'Green Fortune Pak Choi' and 'Summer Bouquet' lettuce seeds from Renee's. She has a page of kitchen garden designs listing seeds for Long Summer Mild Winter gardens.

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    1. That's not a funny question at all, it seems like more of an oversight on my part, because there isn't a place you can look. I will add a page where I note what I'm sowing, I do keep records of that so it won't be a big deal to post it. Thanks for a good idea Jane!

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  9. Michelle, first off I am so sorry to see the fire s close to you. It is such scary stuff and as you said, didn't have to happen. We have a big on near Crater Lake National part right now, another campfire out of control. But back to your harvest. I LOVE the celery! what a beauty. It seems your harvest is close to mine right now. I am just getting the early cherry tomatoes but most of the harvest is many weeks away.

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    1. Oh damn, another idiot! That's such a beautiful area, I hope it doesn't get too out of control. And I hope you are well out of the way. I love that celery too, it's so pretty and it is very good tasting. Yes, let the tomato harvests roll on in! But I'm still weeks from a tomato glut too...

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  10. With the fires so close to you now you must be very worried. Let's hope you never get one of those reverse 911 calls in the middle of the night! I guess that smoked chillis, tomatoes etc will be less appealing to you this year...(sorry, that was cruel!). Your broccoli with bacon dish sounds like just the sort of thing I enjoy - simple but very tasty.

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  11. Your broccoli is producing so well and it must be nice to have celery around when you need it. It looks like you'll be enjoying a tomato avalanche soon. It always seems like such a wait for the first tomato of the season.

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