Monday, October 21, 2013

Harvest Monday - October 21, 2013 (Arachnophobes beware!)

The harvests have continued at a steady pace for most of the vegetables, although the fresh beans have nearly come to an end and I didn't bother to pick the few that sized up last week. 

All of the eggplants are still producing beautiful specimens. 

Sicilian and Bonica eggplants
I made another batch of Liz's Eggplant Masala which my husband devoured. (Thanks for the great recipe Liz!). I also made another eggplant dish from Yotam Ottolenghi's book Plenty - Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce (topped with pomegranate arils) - delicious! Much of the extra eggplant has been burnt and skinned and packed away in the freezer. I haven't tried preserving it this way before but I figure that even if the smoky flesh loses its texture that it will still be good for making soups and purees. I'm also experimenting with cutting the eggplant into thick slices, salting them, and drying them. The dried eggplant slices look a lot like big dried mushrooms.

Salangana eggplants

As usual, the bulk of the tomato crop has ripened in October. We've been feasting on tomato salads of various sorts, the other night it was a salad from Joanne Weir's book You Say Tomato - sliced tomatoes topped with crumbled ricotta salata tossed with mixed herbs and dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette.

Potiron Ecarlate and Nyagous

Some of the tomatoes are also being sliced thickly, salted lightly and dried. Another night I baked some tomatoes, simply sliced in half and topped with a mixture of bread crumbs, herbs, and garlic, and drizzled with olive oil and baked until the tomatoes were tender and the crumbs crisp.

Chianti Rose and Martian Giant

The cherry tomatoes don't sit around long enough to have to be preserved in any way.

Isis Candy and Green Grape

The measly harvests of paste tomatoes get canned a quart or two at a time.

Andine Cornue
More melons! Once again, I knew that these were ripe because I could smell their sweet scent when I got close to the melon patch.


The sow bugs figured out that the melons were ripe before I did, fortunately the damage was slight and the melons hadn't spoiled at all.

The summer sown Di Ciccio broccoli produced its first head.

The spring sown broccoli produced a nice bunch of side shoots.

This is a side shoot from one of the spring sown plants.

The "main" head from the summer sown broccoli (on the left) is a runt in comparison.

Fall is mating season for the California Brown Tarantula and the boys are on the prowl for a mate! I almost stepped on this guy as he zipped down the garden path.

These spiders reach adulthood when they are 8 to 12 years old, the males then spend about 6 months mating with whatever females they can find (it's a myth that the females kill them after mating) and then they die. The females can live up to 25 years and can reproduce through their adult lifespan.

We had a run of really nice weather last week. Both the garden and I have been loving it! At least until last night, brrr, it hit 39ºF this morning.

Here's the harvests for the past week:

Di Ciccio broccoli - 2 lb., 13.8 oz.
Garden Oasis cucumbers - 11.3 oz.
Green Fingers cucumbers - 9.2 oz.
Tasty Green cucumbers - 16.1 oz.
Bonica eggplants - 3 lb., 8.7 oz.
Salangana eggplants - 5 lb., 15.8 oz.
Sicilian eggplants - 2 lb., 4.4 oz.
Alvaro melons (3) - 7 lb., 3 oz.
Pimento de Padron peppers - 4.2 oz.
Andine Cornue tomatoes - 4 lb., 8.8 oz.
Chianti Rose tomatoes - 5 lb., 7.3 oz.
Green Grape cherry tomatoes - 1 lb., 3 oz.
Isis Candy cherry tomatoes - 3 lb., 4.2 oz.
Martian Giant tomatoes - 4 lb., 6.2 oz.
Nyagous tomatoes - 2 lb., 1 oz.
Potiron Ecarlate tomatoes - 3 lb., 1.5 oz.
Romanesco zucchini - 2 lb., 12 oz.

The total harvests for the past week came to - 51 lb., 2.5 oz.
Which brings the totals for the year up to - 699 lb.

Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne on her blog Daphne's Dandelions, head on over there to see what garden bloggers from around the world have been harvesting lately.


  1. Lovely harvests. And oh to have melons in October. I miss the melons. And ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Yes I do hate spiders. Luckily they don't grow as big here.

  2. What an amazing harvest! So many eggplants!!! And that cool! Thanks for sharing the info on him, too! I love spiders, as long as they're not ON me ;-)

  3. Eek! Couldn't help myself, had to look... Beautiful harvests, am imagining the many delicious meals ahead for you! The weather's cooled and we're off salads and now into roasted and braised vegetables...

  4. Lovely harvest, I'm especially fond of your eggplants - nothing better than a basket of shiny purpleness.

  5. Michelle, your tomatoes are absolutely stunning! Especially the Chianti Rose.


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