Monday, July 19, 2010

Harvest Monday - July 19, 2010

The harvests are starting to look more summery lately and the same can be said for the weather, we've had temperatures in the mid to high 80's. Tomatoes are ripening, at least the early varieties, below are shown a Katja (the pink one on the left) and three Gigantesque tomatoes along with that superzuke. Those 4 tomatoes weighed in at 2 lb., 6 oz. and the zucchini almost 5 ounces (including the blossom). A few cherry tomatoes have been trickling in but the rest of the tomato varieties are still rock hard solid green.

Most of the tomatoes have been used in salads but last night I diced a couple of small misshapen ones and mixed them with some diced Walla Walla onion, basil, capers, olive oil and balsamico and piled it on garlic rubbed toast to make some delicious bruschetta.

I've been harvesting chamomile blossoms for a few weeks now. It's amazing to me how many blossoms just a few small plants have been pumping out. It took only an ounce to fill that dehydrator tray. I've collected a total of 6 ounces so far and should get at least a few more pickings. That will be enough to get me through the winter.

The only other new item in the harvest basket was a sampling of Pimiento Cuerno de Cabra peppers. It's supposed to be a sweet seasoning pepper but it looks like it would make a good frying pepper so I tried a few green ones pan fried with some of the Pimento de Padrons and they were very tasty.

The Golden Chard has been growing like crazy and I picked a huge bunch of it. The chickens got the leaves that the leaf miners attacked and I used the other 2+ pounds to make a gratin. If I get around to writing up the recipe I'll post it later.

Here's the totals for the past week:

Devoy beets w/ leaves (the last) - 3 lbs.
Piracicaba broccoli - 1 lb., 12.5 oz.
Capers - 4.25 oz.
Chamomile - 2.5 oz.
Golden Chard - 2 lb., 4.25 oz.
Butterhead lettuce - 6.5 oz.
Pimiento Cuerno de Cabra peppers - .5 oz.
Pimento de Padron peppers - 5.5 oz.
Monticello Poppy Seeds - 15.75 oz.
Yellow Wonder Strawberries - .25 oz.
Aunt Ruby's German Cherry Tomato - 1 oz.
Galinas Cherry Tomato - 2.5 oz.
Gigantesque Tomato - 5 lb.
Katja Tomato - 2 lb., 6.75 oz.
Zucchini - 1 lb., .5 oz.
Zucchini blossoms - 6 oz.

Total for the week - 18 lb., 5 oz.
Total for the year - 277 lb., 9.75 oz.
11 eggs last week

You can find a bounty of Harvest Monday posts at Daphne's Dandelions. Head on over there and join in the fun.


  1. Wow, your chamomile blossoms are beautiful! Nice harvest, it has finally warmed up down here as well, so I am looking forward to seeing how the garden likes it. Looking forward to the chard recipe, we are swimming in the stuff. happy gardening!

  2. That is a lot of chamomile! I can smell the sweet scent in my mind. Do you use it all for tea?

  3. Nartaya, Yes, it's finally summer. I'll work on writing up that recipe.


    villager, It does have a sweet wonderful fragrance that makes it a pleasure to snip those blossoms one by one. . . . I will use it all for tea, it's so nice to have a cup at bedtime to help me sleep, and it's delicious too.

  4. Wow, that's a lot of chamomile! Beautiful pic. My chamomile hasn't even bloomed yet.

  5. Beautiful chamomile photograph.

    Do you have any advice about dealing with the leaf miners? I've just been cutting off the chard leaves that are affected, and tossing them in the "green bin." Is there more that I could be doing, from an organic point of view?

  6. Robin, Thanks, I'm loving all that chamomile!


    Lisa and Robb, Thank you. The leaf miner eggs are visible, usually on the backs of the leaves, little white things laid in clusters. If you have the time you can rub them off. And you're doing the right thing by throwing out the infected leaves, the leaf miners drop out of the leaves and pupate in the soil, so preventing them from ever reaching the soil helps. I've found that it's usually the most mature leaves that are infected and if I can keep up with the harvest, which I haven't done lately, then I can keep ahead of the bugs. And as a last resort there is an organically approved spray that helps to control them. Spinosad helps to control lots of chewing insects including leaf miners, earwigs, sowbugs, cabbage worms, etc. I use it on occasion when the chewers get out of hand.

  7. Beautiful chamomile, you have a bountiful harvest as always.

    Glad the weather is turning up the heat in your area, it won't be long your tomatoes will all ripen and you'll be busy canning and freezing.

    The Padron pepper must be very tasty since you to grow them year after year, would you be interested in swapping for some Shishito pepper seeds?

  8. Nice to see those tomatoes, the harvests are finally looking like summer for us California gardeners.

    How much tea do you expect to harvest from the chamomile plants and how many plants do you have?

  9. Those tomatoes are very big. I harvested 6 of them, but I’m not sure that they weigh as much as yours.
    Last year I was drying rose hips for a tea, they were great. Those chamomile flowers look lovely.
    My chard is also producing a lot of leaves, but they all have brown spots on them. I don’t know what is could be, never seen it before.

  10. I wish I liked chamomile tea because we have so many blossoms, but I just read over at Chiot's Run that it's supposed to help with fungal stuff for seedlings, so I'll maybe try that this year. Lovely harvest, and good on you for the new pepper variety.

  11. I love that picture of drying chamomile. The tomatoes are nice looking too but then again, I don't think I've met a tomato yet that I didn't like the look and taste of. Your harvests seem to be booming.

    I've not tried that variety of pepper but I'm curious about those types.

  12. Mac, I do love the Padrons and I've heard that the Shishito is popular substitute for it, so you're on. I bought new Padron seeds for this year so I'll send you some of those. And, those pea seeds are ready to go so I'll send them along also.

  13. Angela, I guess we shouldn't complain about our late summer, after all, we'll still be picking tomatoes in October.

    I've had no clue how much tea I've been getting so I just figured it out. A box of 20 pure chamomile tea bags has 30 grams (1 oz.) of tea and so far my dried chamomile weighs 60 grams (2 oz.) and I hope to get about another ounce of dried blossoms. So that would be the equivalent of about 60 tea bags. Now that I've done the math I wish I had gotten a little bigger patch of plants going. That patch is actually quite small, I squeezed the plants into a strip about 8-inches X 24-inches at the end of my garlic bed. I don't know how many plants are actually there but you can see the little patch here:

    if you look on the right side of the photo.

  14. LOve the chamomile flowers - very pretty! I'm going to try my hand at growing some herbs for tea, so I'm glad to read the information you've given.

  15. vrtlarica, Rose hips, they make good tea also. I want to dry some of my mint for tea this year but haven't gotten around to harvesting it yet.

    I wonder if the spots on you chard are a fungal disease? I've not seen anything like that on chard before so that's just a guess.


    Stefaneener, I think chamomile tea is supposed to prevent damping off. Funny, chamomile is something that I've learned to like. I started drinking it because I'm the insomnia queen and it's supposed to help you sleep. I wasn't really fond of it to begin with but it has really grown on me, I love it now. I'm not 100% certain that it helps me sleep, but it doesn't keep me awake.


    Ottawa Gardener, One thing I love about frying peppers is that they are good green, unlike nasty green bell peppers. Since you don't have to wait until they ripen you get an earlier and larger harvest, the plants just keep pumping out new peppers if you don't let any ripen.

  16. Melissa, They are pretty, they make a nice addition to the vegetable garden and I've found that the good bugs like them. What other herbs are you thinking of trying?

  17. The picture of your chamomile blossoms just blows me away. This whole week, I've been thinking about your huge jar of poppy seeds from last week, and now I'm going to replace that image in my head with this one with lots of beautiful blossoms. :) The rest of your harvest looks great, too, as always.

  18. The bruschetta sounds good! If my tomatoes would only ripen.... So do those chamomile work for headaches?


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