Monday, October 1, 2012

Harvest Monday - October 1, 2012

Yesterday was my single largest harvest day of the year. I was just starting to get to the bottom of the mound of tomatoes and eggplants that I harvested last week and now I get to start all over again, not that I'm complaining, I'm thrilled!

First up though is a harvest from earlier in the week. Shown above is the harvest from Wednesday, a couple of Tasty Green Japanese cucumbers, a few zucchini, ripe Melrose sweet peppers, Pimento de Padrons, and a large handful of Rolande filet beans. I think the Padrons hit their peak the week before last but the plants are still producing enough peppers that we eat a bowlful of them at least every other night. The Japanese cucumbers are producing in manageable amounts but the Persian cukes have come to almost a dead stop. And the zucchini is producing enough that I've been experimenting with drying them to preserve them.

So, on to the harvest on Sunday.

Sunshine Cherry and Wheatly's Frost Resistant Cherry tomatoes

Fiaschetto tomatoes

Upon looking at the tired old Fiaschetto tomato plants I figured that the harvest this week would be much less than the harvest on Sunday of last week. Surprise, down but not by much, I harvested 17 pounds on the 23rd and  almost 13 pounds yesterday. I'm rather amazed that the three plants have collectively produced 51 pounds of tomatoes so far and there's a few more left to ripen up. I've dried enough to fill 8 pint jars and I canned 8 pints and I made sauce to stash in the freezer. But I haven't touched an ounce of the current harvest...

Amish Paste
The Amish Paste tomatoes are starting to ripen in quantity now. Last week I accumulated enough to cook down to make a couple of quarts of puree to stash in the freezer. This week I'll probably use most  of the harvest to make into paste.

Left to Right: Rosabec, Nyagous, and Jaune Flamme

We have been managing to wrap ourselves around the rest of the tomatoes in salads and other preparations. I used about 5 pounds of tomatoes yesterday to make tomato Gazpacho, just in time for the first truly hot day of the year. But they are starting to accumulate so I'm going to have to devise some way to preserve the bulk of them this week.

Clockwise from the left:
Moroccan, Liebesapfel, Wisconsin Lakes, Sigaretta Dolce

I harvested the first Moroccan peppers, aka PI593480 (Morocco). I've tried to grow these in the past but had less than stellar results. This year the plants are producing good peppers in spite of being afflicted with some sort of leaf stunting disease (probably a strain of cucumber mosaic virus). I haven't had a chance to sample the ripe peppers yet. And those are the 2nd and 3rd Liebesapfel peppers, sweet and tasty with medium thick flesh. Those and the first ripe Wisconsin Lakes bell peppers went into the Gazpacho yesterday. The long thin peppers and the curvy peppers in the center are all Sigaretta Dolce. One of my three plants is producing the off shaped peppers. I haven't tasted the curvy peppers yet, it will be interesting to see if the flavor and spice are not true to type either.

Clockwise from upper left:
Sunnybrook Pimento, Jimmy Nardello's, Flamingo Bell,
Martian Giant tomato, and Shepard's Ramshorn
More peppers are slowly starting to ripen. The sweet frying peppers have been producing for a few weeks but the bells and pimento types are just getting started. And the only beefsteak tomato that I'm growing this year, the Martian Giant is also just getting started.

Diamond and Salangana eggplant

Wow, I'm really happy with how the eggplant is producing this year, in spite of a cool summer. Diamond has always been a reliable producer in my garden. Salangana is new in my garden this year and it is doing well enough that it would be tough to have to choose between the two varieties if I could only have one. Both varieties are delicious and productive, Salangana has only a slight edge on the Diamond so far in terms of production, 10.1 pounds versus 9.4 pounds. But it looks like Salangana will outproduce Diamond in the end, it has more baby fruits on the plants now. Not photographed is another harvest of Kamo eggplant. It's in the middle of the production pack at 9.9 pounds to date. It's a delicious and tender round purple eggplant and I'm loving it as well. I just didn't get around to photographing it yesterday.

Other things not photographed yesterday was another large handful of filet beans, more zucchini, a couple more cucumbers, the first ripe Large Sweet Antigua pepper, and more Padrons. So the grand total harvest yesterday weighed in at over 64 pounds! Oh, and I forgot that I harvested another round of Manzano chile peppers the other day.

And another first yesterday, the hottest day of the year. I laugh every time I look at this chart of the temperatures for the past week. The low last night was higher than the high five days ago, it got up to 62ºF last Wednesday and down to 65ºF last night. We swung from a low of 45ºF on the morning of the 25th to a high of 98ºF yesterday. We're in for another hot day today but should get back to the usual weather is a couple of days. This summer has been, um, was so cool that I realized last night that I never had to pull my fan out of storage to put in the bedroom. We don't have air-conditioning and don't need it, when we have warm weather we just keep the house closed up during the day and open the windows at night to cool things off. On the warmest nights I set up a fan to pull cool air from outside into the bedroom. This year I never needed to set up the fan, until last night, but I wasn't going to go rummaging around in storage at 3:00 in the morning. We are so out of warm weather practice that we forgot to open windows in the rest of the house to cool it off last night!

Here's the harvest totals for the past week:

Rolande filet beans - 1 lb., 3.8 oz.
Tasty Green Japanese cucumbers - 2 lb., 3.1 oz.
Diamond eggplant - 2 lb., .8 oz.
Kamo eggplant - 2 lb., 4.4 oz.
Salangana eggplant - 2 lb., 11 oz.
Flamingo bell pepper - 5.4 oz.
Jimmy Nardello peppers - 1 lb., 6.8 oz.
Large Sweet Antigua pepper - 5 oz.
Liebesapfel peppers - 4.8 oz.
Melrose peppers - 12 oz.
Moroccan peppers - 4.6 oz.
Padron peppers - 15.7 oz.
Shephard's Ramshorn pepper - 3.8 oz.
Sigaretta Dolce peppers - 6.9 oz.
Sunnybrook Pimento peppers - 13.7 oz.
Wisconsin Lakes peppers - 11.3 oz.
Yellow Manzano chile peppers - 1 lb.
Amish Paste tomatoes - 9 lb., 2.4 oz.
Fiaschetto tomatoes - 12 lb., 13 oz.
Jaune Flamme tomatoes - 2 lb., 12.3 oz.
Martian Giant tomato - 8.4 oz.
Nyagous tomatoes - 7 lb., 9.9 oz.
Rosabec tomatoes - 7 lb., 10.3 oz.
Sunshine Cherry tomatoes - 6 lb., 1.4 oz.
Wheatly's Frost Resistant cherry tomatoes - 2 lb., 4.6 oz.
Da Fiore zucchini - 4 lb., 3.7 oz.

The total harvests for the week came to - 71 lb., 3.1 oz.
Which brings the harvest totals for the year up to - 381 lb., 3.8 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.


  1. Those are beautiful peppers. Not that the tomatoes aren't beautiful too, but those peppers!

  2. That all looks pretty great. I wonder what this hot flush will do for some of the plants -- my tomatoes look pretty happy. We have a tentative rain forecast for Thursday -- who knows??

    Your peppers are lovely, and that's a lot of tomatoes. Always lovely to see the bounty.

  3. Great harvest! Your temps are crazy, I can't wait for the nights to get cool again. I'm dreading the high temps this week.... But the plants should love it.

  4. wow what a beautiful harvest. I love all the peppers! You made quite the haul this week!

  5. I'm ready for the record highs to be over in San Diego... I'd like 85s again. From your beautiful harvest, it looks like you've had beautiful growing weather!

  6. That's an impressive heap of beautiful tomatoes. Your peppers and eggplants are lovely also.

  7. Jealous, jealous, jealous. Our temperatures are up and down at the moment too - 14C(57F) on Saturday and by Thursday they are saying it will get up to 28C(82F). Must be an October thing. Oh and did I mention I'm jealous, not of the temperatures but of all those beautiful, beautiful tomatoes.

  8. Those tomatoes are eye candy for us cool region growers... oh so gloriously beautiful. Could you push that heat bubble up my direction just a bit?! I have so many green ready to ripen tomatoes on the vines and no heat to speak of in sight. In fact, it is just going to get colder from here on out.

    Just a thought, since you mentioned preserving some of the tomatoes, one of the things I like to do when they come in but not enough at one time to can - is to freeze them whole (skin on). This works really well for use in cooking later. Partially thawed, the skins slip right off and they can be chopped and then cooked almost like fresh but obviously the texture is not the same. I like the convenience of just grabbing a few tomatoes out of the zip loc freezer bag - a few or a lot depending on what I need for a recipe.

    1. I had to resort to freezing tomatoes last year when we went on vacation for the first two weeks of October. I picked everything with the slightest bit of color and asked my house sitter to bag them and put them in the freezer as they ripened. Last week I made gazpacho with some of the last of the frozen tomatoes, it didn't need to be chilled, the frozen tomatoes blended up perfectly with the fresh peppers, cucumbers, onions and seasonings and I used fresh tomatoes from the garden for the garnish.

  9. I agree with the speaker above ;) Most impressive harvest Michelle! It certainly is wonderful to see your harvest.Yellow Rocoto I would very much like to grow those. Any seeds by any chance? Are they black as well as red Rocoto are?

    I give you my adress if you would like to share some.
    Tyra H-Lindhe
    Engarns byvag 2
    185 51 Vaxholm

    Tyra in the greenhouse

    1. Hi Tyra, The Yellow Rocotos have black seeds also. I'll be happy to send some seeds to you.

  10. Whoa, beautiful harvest, gorgeous tomatoes, envy envy envy.
    What do you do with all those peppers? Do you make pepper sauce with them?

  11. Your tomatoes sparkle like gems. The other harvest are gorgeous as well :).

  12. Wow, stunning harvest. Beautiful tomatoes and padron... yum... enough to make my mouth water. I am totally envious. I am trying to get my first padron seeds out of the ground. Only one has come up. Do you find they need a lot of heat to germinate?


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