Monday, September 14, 2009

Harvest Monday - 9/14/09

Monday, time to show off the harvest. Daphne hosts Harvest Monday on her blog. It's fun to see what she and other garden bloggers are harvesting. Go check it out and then join in the fun!

Tomato season is finally starting in my garden. I've now harvested at least one tomato from 9 of the 13 varieties that I'm growing. This year is so weird, there are 4 varieties that still haven't ripened, but that will change in the coming week. To be fair, 3 of those 4 got a really late start, I had to start seeds of those varieties a second time on April 27 because the first round of seedlings were a failure.

Shown above, harvested on September 9: clockwise on the round tray, a couple of zucchini (dwindling fast), Piracicaba broccoli sprouts, slightly more than a pound of Pimento de Padron peppers, 1 Caspian Pink tomato, 1 Giantesque tomato, cherry tomatoes, 5 Blue Beech paste tomatoes, 2 green Guindilla peppers. A bowl of fennel pollen. A bowl of Purple and Plaza Latina Giant (not so giant anymore) tomatillos. Some of the tomatillos and the guindillas were used in a roasted tomatillo salsa.

Thursday night I made pasta with a couple of tomatoes, I'll just describe it here since I didn't keep track of amounts. I briefly cooked some chopped garlic in olive oil, then tossed in some slivered red onion, slivered ripe Marconi Purple sweet peppers, and some dried salted capers. The vegetables just barely softened over very low heat while 1/2 pound of whole wheat penne boiled. When the penne was ready I turned off the heat under the vegetables, added the pasta to the pan, 2 large tomatoes cut in 1/2-inch dice, some shredded basil leaves, fresh ground black pepper, a good amount of my best olive oil, folded it all together, and served it with grated Idiazabal cheese. It was really good.

If I was keeping track of weights and value the Pimento de Padrons would be golden - there's a grower in the SF Bay Area who sells the Padrons at farmer's markets for $6 a 1/4 pound bag, $24 per pound! I've never seen them in the Monterey area other than on one restaurant menu for beaucoup bucks. I sent a couple of pounds home with visiting friends yesterday.

September 11, clockwise from the top of the round tray: Plaza Latina Giant tomatillos, Purple tomatillos, 1 small cracked Aunt Ruby's German Green tomato (the first), the first Hillbilly tomato, 1 Giantesque tomato, 6 Black Sea Man Tomatoes, many cherry tomatoes (yellow Galinas, Black, and Isis Candy). A bowl full of Pimento de Padrons (about 1.5 pounds) and a few ripe Guindillas. A bunch of Piracicaba broccoli sprouts.

Also on September 11, a handful of carrots - St. Valery, Afghani Purple, Atomic Red, and Daghestan White. Those were peeled, grated, lightly pickled and some of it used in a sandwich with hummus, cucumbers and tomatoes, yum!

Other than what is shown I think I only harvested basil and parsley and another handful of tomatillos.


  1. Your harvests make such pretty photos. I especially love all the different tomatoes and tomatillos in a bowl. So I have a couple of questions. What do you use fennel pollen for? I've never heard of harvesting pollen. You are picking a lot of those Pimento de Padron peppers. How many plants do you have? How big are the plants? I'd never heard of them before, but then again I've never been to Spain.

  2. Hi Daphne, fennel pollen is supposed to be good as a seasoning on fish, poulty, pork, etc. I haven't actually tried it yet and it's going to take some time to harvest enough to try. The two "bowls" that I've collected so far amount to a couple of tablespoons. Wild fennel grows like crazy around here and I've read that some people will harvest the heads when they are in full bloom, hang them upside down in bags and collect the pollen that way. I've been collecting the pollen from my red florence fennel by brushing it from the heads into a bowl every once in a while rather than cutting the heads since I also want to collect the seeds for cooking.

    I did get a bit carried away with the Padrons this year. There are 6 plants in my garden but one of them is not true to type so I've not been including those in the harvest. The plants get tall, mine are at least 4' tall at the moment. The stems are rather long and gangly so the plants aren't dense. Mine are growing close together so perhaps they would be shorter given more elbow room. I've been to Spain once, but never had the peppers when I was there. I learned about Padrons when I was volunteering with the Master Gardeners, we grew them in a pepper trial and everyone ended up just loving them. I got seeds for them a few years ago from but this year the plants came from a nursery since my home grown seedlings were a failure.

  3. I'm very impressed with the variety of vegetable you grow. You also display them so artfully. I can't grow so many vegetable as I have lots of shade, but it's nice to see someone who is as into it as you are.

  4. Lovely, lovely. I always leave your posts doing searches for seeds online. . .

  5. Mary Delle, And I don't have very much shade so I enjoy seeing what other gardeners get to grow in their shady spots.

    Susan, perhaps next year you won't be away while the squirrels play?

    Stefani, I know that feeling...


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