Monday, October 15, 2012

Harvest Monday - October 15, 2012

Things returned to the typical fall (our real summer) pattern early last week. Warm and sunny days, cool nights, and summer harvests. There was a fair amount of eggplant ready to harvest. I pretty much cleaned out the Diamond eggplant, there are a few flowers on the plants and a couple of baby fruits, but I think Diamond's days are pretty much over. Kamo has slowed down a lot also but there are more baby fruits on the plants. Salangana is still producing, the plants are twice as tall as the other two varieties and that seems to be giving them the edge in productivity, although the fruits are not as big as they were earlier in the season. I harvested a few green peppers from the Shephard's Ramshorn plants. I usually like my sweet peppers ripe but I have a favorite recipe for an eggplant and lentil stew that includes green peppers and these green ones are excellent in that preparation.

Eggplant, zucchini, a cucumber, sunburned pimentos,
and green Shephard's Ramshorn sweet peppers

The three days of HOT weather last week helped to push a lot of the sweet peppers to turn fully ripe.

Liebesapfel and Wisconsin Lakes

I was truly happy that I have been keeping the plants under the protection of a lightweight remay fabric.

Flamingo Bell and Odessa Market

The small leaves on the plants means that many of the peppers are exposed to full sunlight and a few of fruits that were peeking out from under cover got sunburned last week but most of them came through the blast of heat just fine.

I must say that I've been really thrilled at how productive my sweet peppers have been. They have far exceeded my expectations this year. The virus that has stunted the leaves doesn't not seem to have affected the productivity or the quality of the fruits.

Sunnybrook Pimento and Lady Bell

Shephard's Ramshorn and Morocco

And then we had a bit of a taste of winter for a couple of days, gray skies, cold days, the first real rain in months (accompanied by lightening and thunder). We don't generally count on getting rain in October, but it isn't unusual either. It was so refreshing, the air was incredibly perfumed, clean and spice scented. And the dust was tamped down. I always forget how dusty it gets after a few months with no rain.

Rain! And lightening and thunder!

And then, back to our regularly scheduled Indian Summer... The sun came back out, it's warm again, and the harvests continue.

Aji Angelo, some sunburned from the heat wave the week before

My potted Aji Angelo pepper plants up next to the house received a full blast of sun and heat last week and a number of the ripening chiles were damaged.

More Aji Angelos from a more shaded plant

Zucchini and Tasty Green cucumbers

The zucchini, cucumbers and broccoli didn't stop growing just because it was raining. They didn't wait for me to get back out to the garden.

Apollo Broccoli

And the Padrons kept on growing also.

Pimento de Padrons

Sunday is tomato day, I've fallen into a routine of harvesting the tomatoes once a week. First the cherry tomatoes, they are the most work to harvest and I like to get that chore out of the way. The Sunshine cherry production has fallen off a lot (thank goodness), but there's still enough to keep my husband happy, he loves to take a small bagful in his lunch most days. Wheatly's Frost Resistant cherries are hitting their peak, not too prolific (another thank goodness). These are not the tastiest for eating out of hand but I found that they taste better dried so I'll dry most of the rest of the crop.

Sunshine Cherry and Wheatly's Frost Resistant Cherry tomatoes

Then I usually harvest the Fiaschetto tomatoes but there aren't many of those left on the vines and somehow I didn't get around to harvesting them yesterday. Next up are the salad  tomatoes. I was worried that the rain would cause a lot of splitting in the tomato patch but found that it wasn't too much of a problem except for the Jaune Flamme. I'll have to use the splits up today, I haven't decided how.

Nyabous, Rosabec, and Jaune Flamme tomatoes

The Amish Paste tomatoes hit full production this week. Twenty pounds! That will fill a few more quart jars.

Amish Paste

And the Martian Giants also - thirteen pounds.

Martian Giant
Following the tomato harvest, a few more Padrons, a couple of Kamo eggplant, more zucchini (starting to get a bit rounded at the ends from incomplete pollination), a few more cucumbers, more small Salangana eggplants, the first BIG Sicilian eggplants, and a few more Melrose sweet peppers.

Padrons, Kamo eggplant, zucchini, cucumbers,
Sicilian and Salangana eggplants,
Melrose peppers
I plucked a few Big Jim NewMex peppers that got sunburned and turned red. I usually like to harvest my NewMex peppers green and roast them. I have three Sigaretta Dolce plants and each plant is producing a different shaped pepper. The second box from the left is the expected long thin smooth "cigarette" shape, the next box to the right has long but not as thin peppers, and the third box has fatter and wrinkled peppers. I haven't tasted them separately yet but will do so soon.

Sunburned and ripe Big Jim peppers
Sigaretta Dolce peppers from three different plants
I've been finding it interesting to watch the temperature charts lately, we've had fairly quick swings all over the place. Last week we started the week with a heat wave that produced highs near or above 100ºF for three days which then dropped back to the more typical highs in the 70ºF range for about 5 days. Then a winter type (for us) system visited for a couple of days this week. Now we are headed into a predicted warm spell with highs expected in the mid to high 80ºF range for a few days.

The only harvest that didn't get photographed this week was a handful of edamame beans that I pulled off of one plants. I haven't tried to cook them yet and am not sure that it will be worth the effort, they are pretty small and perhaps past their prime, but they're in the totals anyway.

One of these days I'll be doing a post about how I've been preserving the harvests lately. I've been taking some photographs but just haven't had time to pull it all together and write up a post.

Here's the harvest totals from the past week:

Edamame beans - 2.5 oz.
Apollo broccoli - 1 lb., 3.5 oz.
Green Fingers Persian cucumbers - 5.3 oz.
Tasty Green Japanese cucumbers - 2 lb., 8.4 oz.
Diamond eggplant - 1 lb., .9 oz.
Kamo eggplant - 1 lb., .7 oz.
Salangana eggplant - 5 lb., 2 oz.
Sicilian eggplant - 1 lb., 6.6 oz.
Aji Angelo peppers - 15.1 oz.
Big Jim peppers - 4.7 oz.
Flamingo Bell peppers - 1 lb., 11.2 oz.
King of the North bell peppers - 1 lb., 15.2 oz.
Lady Bell peppers - 2 lb., 12.9 oz.
Liebesapfel peppers - 1 lb., 11 oz.
Melrose peppers - 9.8 oz.
Morocco peppers - 1 lb., 6.4 oz.
Odessa Market peppers - 1 lb., 1.2 oz.
Pimento de Padron peppers - 1 lb., 6.4 oz.
Shephard's Ramshorn peppers - 1 lb., 7.2 oz.
Sigaretta Dolce peppers - 1 lb., 14.8 oz.
Sunnybrook Pimento peppers - 2 lb., 10.1 oz.
Wisconsin Lakes peppers - 1 lb., 1.9 oz.
Amish Paste tomatoes - 20 lb., 6.4 oz.
Jaune Flamme tomatoes - 2 lb., 15.9 oz.
Martian Giant tomatoes - 13 lb., 4.1 oz.
Nyagous tomatoes - 3 lb., 4.2 oz.
Rosabec tomatoes - 1 lb., 14.9 oz.
Sunshine Cherry tomatoes - 2 lb., 4.1 oz.
Wheatly's Frost Resistant cherry tomatoes - 1 lb., 13.9 oz.
Da Fiore zucchini - 5 lb., .2 oz.

The total harvests for the past week came to - 84 lb., 13.5 oz.
Which brings the totals for the year up to - 529 lb., 3.4 oz.

Last week I speculated on whether I would hit the 500 pound mark this year, uh yeah, passed that by, so now I'll be audacious and speculate on the possiblity of hitting the 600 pound mark.

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. Wowie, you are the pepper QUEEN. So so many. Next summer I may only grow five different things, but I'm going to double, maybe triple, the sweet peppers. I'm going to follow you down that path! Everything else looks fantastico.

    1. I like that - Pepper Queen. :-)

      This is the first time that I think I've grown enough sweet peppers, next year I'm growing just as many, maybe more...

  2. Lovely harvests I think you are going to surpass my totals soon if you keep that up. You are doing very well with such a late start this year.

  3. Great peppers! I'd like to know how hot or sweet those Sigaretta Dolce ones are. Are they sweet, as the name suggests? They look more like chillis / hot peppers - a bit like Cayenne.

    1. Mark, the Sigaretta Dolces are supposed to be sweet, but one of my plants is producing a mildly spicy pepper, another one is totally sweet but not true to shape, and I haven't tried the peppers from the third plant yet - more on that later.

  4. WOW! What an impressive harvest! Your peppers look so beautiful. Especially out on the plants, I don't think I have ever had that many turning red at the same time on the plants! It has been a good year for peppers it seems. What a huge harvest you had this week.

  5. Hugely impressive. Its interesting that the leaf issues don't seem to have impacted on production. Also i wasn't aware that curved zucchinis were caused by incomplete pollination.

  6. Where to start?! First, really loved the picture of the water feature/urn with the rain coming down - it looked so refreshing and beautiful. Second... holy cow those are gorgeous red sweet peppers! I love the ripe ones grilled/roasted and unfortunately only got a handful or ripe one this year - the rest are being picked green out of necessity. Finally, the tomatoes.... (sigh)... such a bounty and so beautiful. I wish you were my neighbor, I would swap you strawberries and raspberries (or whatever else I had that you were interested in) for just a few of those gorgeous tomatoes. :D

  7. All those beautiful red peppers! Very nice! I can't begin to tell you how jealous I am of your tomatoes! I can only dream of getting that many. All your harvest looks wonderful!

  8. What a bumper crop! Always love your variety of peppers. Think I need to move to CA, drizzly/cold/grey here now...

  9. What a bumper crop,lovely looking peppers.
    The summer been to harsh this year so most of the peppers got sunburnt.


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