Monday, October 22, 2012

Harvest Monday - October 22, 2012

The pepper plants have wildly exceeded my expectations this year. I am truly amazed. And the tomatoes put on a great show as well (fewer rat attacks this year). And their timing couldn't have been better. We are supposed to have a few days of cold wet wintry weather this week starting last night and the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants have managed to finish producing the bulk of their crops before the turn in the weather. I'll be spending the next few days in the kitchen tackling this bounty.

Here's most of what I harvested in the past week.

Friday was the day to collect as many ripe thick fleshed peppers as I could find on the plants.

Flamingo Bell, Wisconsin Lakes (center),
 Large Sweet Antigua (right)

Clockwise: Morocco (top), King of the North, Odessa Market,
Sunnybrook Pimento

Shephard's Ramshorn and Liebesapfel

Lady Bell

Sunday I harvested any eggplant bigger than a baby plus the first Pimenta Biquinho peppers. The Biquinho peppers are a mild Capsicum chinense (same family as Habanero peppers) from Brazil. I'm happy to be getting a few ripe pods off of my plants this year but I'm afraid that the bulk of the peppers may not ripen in the coming cool weather. I'm contemplating trying to cover the plants to extend their harvest as long as possible.

Salangana (left), Sicilian (bottom), Kamo (right),
Pimenta Biquinho peppers

And I harvested all the ripe and nearly ripe tomatoes. I decided to take my chances on the half ripe tomatoes and left them on the plants. The weather is supposed to warm up a bit again at the end of the week and I've harvested plenty of fabulous tomatoes so far, so I'm going to wait and see. Most of the half ripe tomatoes remaining are on the Amish Paste and Martian Giant plants, but the bulk of the tomatoes have already been harvested.

Amish Paste

Martian Giant

The rest of the tomato plants have very few fruits left on the vine, most of them green if any at all. The harvest amounts have dropped off significantly from the peak of their production.

Left to Right: Rosabec, Wheatly's Frost Resistant,
Sunshine Cherry, Nyagous and Jaune Flamme

The powdery mildew riddled cucumber and zucchini plants managed to push out a few more good specimens.

Tasty Green cucumbers, Da fiore zucchini,
Fiaschetto tomatoes

The thin fleshed sweet peppers ripened up most of the remaining pods, although the Padron peppers (not photographed this week) are still pumping out green peppers.

Sigaretta Dolce (top),

I harvested all the large green late producing Big Jim New Mexico peppers. This is another pepper that I like green, they are wonderful roasted. The ripe pods are very good dried.

Big Jim Numex peppers

When I am finally able to come up for air after processing the wonderful abundance from my garden I'll be posting about what I've been doing with it and writing up my assessment of the different varieties.

Here's the harvest totals for the past week:

Edamame beans - 12.4 oz. (what a waste of time and garden space)
Apollo broccoli - 3.4 oz.
Green Fingers Persian cucumbers - 9.2 oz.
Tasty Green Japanese cucumbers - 1 lb., 13.8 oz.
Diamond eggplant - 1.6 oz.
Kamo eggplant - 1 lb., 10.6 oz.
Salangana eggplant - 1 lb., 14..2 oz.
Sicilian eggplant - 7.6 oz.
Big Jim numex peppers - 4 lb., 12.4 oz.
Flamingo bell peppers - 3 lb., 8.5 oz.
Jimmy Nardello's peppers - 6.5 oz.
King of the North bell peppers - 1 lb., 7.4 oz.
Lady Bell peppers - 4 lb., 5.1 oz.
Large Sweet Antigua peppers - 5.7 oz.
Liebesapfel peppers - 1 lb., 14.7 oz.
Melrose peppers - 1 lb., .8 oz.
Morocco peppers - 3 lb., 6.8 oz.
Pimenta Biquinho peppers - 1.4 oz.
Odessa Market peppers - 2 lb., 10.4 oz.
Pimento de Padron peppers - 15.1 oz.
Shephard's Ramshorn peppers - 4 lb., 6.5 oz.
Sigaretta Dolce peppers - 1 lb., 13.6 oz.
Sunnybrook Pimento peppers - 1 lb., 7.7 oz.
Wisconsin Lakes bell peppers - 2 lb., 3.2 oz.
Amish Paste tomatoes - 14 lb., 2 oz.
Fiaschetto tomatoes - 3 lb., 6.9 oz.
Jaune Flamme tomatoes - 2.5 oz.
Martian Giant tomatoes - 21 lb. (big wow!)
Nyagous tomatoes - 11.1 oz.
Rosabec tomatoes - 2 lb., 12.4 oz.
Sunshine Cherry tomatoes - 2 lb., 2.2 oz.
Wheatly's Frost Resistant cherry tomatoes - 1 lb., 6.1 oz.
Da Fiore zucchini - 2 lb., 9.5 oz.

The total harvests for the week came to - 89 lb., 11.3 oz.
Which brings the total harvests for the year up to - 619 lb., 1.2 oz.

Whoo hoo, I passed the 600 pound mark! Thanks to 283 pounds of tomatoes and 93 pounds of peppers so far this year (vs. 110 and 15 pounds respectively last year total, and 149 and 45 pounds each in 2010), the vast majority of which were harvested in September and October this year and last year. In 2010 the tomato harvests started in August and continued through October. It is interesting to be able to go back and look at my detailed harvest records. What I wish I had for the same time frame is a record of the local weather. I know that 2010 was a more normal weather year, this year and 2011 were cooler than our usual cool summers which slowed the development of the solanaceous crops. But regardless of a cool or normal summer, the majority of the "summer" crops ripen in September and October around here. This is why I told my husband last year (while we were on vacation the first two weeks of October) that I won't go away for more than a few days at this time of year any more, there's just too much coming out of my garden and I don't want it to go to waste or have to give away the fruits of my labor. It also happens to be the very best time of year around here, with the warmest and sunniest days and fewer tourists crowds around town. So why leave?

So, the weather in the past week did it's pendulum trick again, swinging from warm to hot past warm again to cold, the high high was 93ºF last Thursday and the low low was 41ºF on Sunday morning.

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. Holy Schmoley! I'm always in awe of your garden bounty!

  2. Fabulous harvests. You are getting some nice heat there too. We have had such pleasant weather recently. But our temps have mostly been in the 60Fs.

  3. That's a great amount of food. Look at all those peppers! Wow. Congrats.

  4. Impressive totals! It has been a good year for peppers for sure. Your bounty looks great!

  5. Amazing! What fun to see you haul in so much beautiful food. Congratulations on your great year and I'm really looking forward to seeing how you deal with such bounty.

  6. Wow all those gorgeous really ripe tomatoes and peppers are leaving me quite hungry. I can just taste all those peppers roasted to perfection. It looks like Lady Bell did a great job producing for you too. I got less mature peppers this year due to our slow start and short warm period, but they were still really healthy plants and produced a good harvest of green peppers for me. I am pretty smitten with that bell pepper variety at this point.

    1. Lady Bell has been the best producer of all the sweet peppers with 8 pounds of ripe peppers from 3 plants and it's good tasting too, I'm really impressed with that variety. It's far better than the two OP bell peppers that I'm trying.

    2. Glad to hear my experience has not been a one off. They really are a nice plant.

  7. It all looks wonderful, especially the huge variety of peppers. It's been a very good year for peppers here too and we expect to carry on harvesting them until the first frost, which may not be until December here. Our tomatoes have finished, though, while yours are still producing well!

  8. Holy cow. What beautiful abundance. Thank you for sharing it with us. :-)

  9. That all looks so beautiful, each week after looking at your harvests I've gone outside and sown more pepper seeds - guess what I'm doing this afternoon...

  10. Hi Michelle, your amazing harvests are always inspiring! My zucchini plants have powdery mildew too, so I'm glad to hear that yours are still producing well despite the infection. Could you share any tips on tomato blight? I have been diligent about clipping off infected leaves, but am wondering whether I should take further measures.

  11. I could sit and look at photos like that all day long! Beautiful produce and beautiful pictures.

  12. these pictures are so beautiful! It inspires me to wait for summer again!


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