Monday, December 9, 2013

Harvest Monday - December 9, 2013

OK, let's get the nasty stuff out of the way first. The weather has been brutally cold for this weather wimp and her garden. It seems to be a common refrain across much of the U.S. right now.

Poor old QuadraZuke is well and truly done for...

Likewise the remaining tomatoes. And even though the Romanesco plants look to be ok in that photo, closer inspection shows that the tender new growth is damaged. I suspect that I won't be harvesting any Romanesco this spring.

And there's a whole lot of crisp foliage to come here. There's dead peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, and beans in view. Even the broccoli is zinged.

All the peppers are goners.

Even the carrot blossoms are blasted.

And now for the good news. I had the time to glean as much as possible from the garden before the freezing weather settled in. QuadraZuke gave me this.

And I cleaned out the Pico de Pajaro pepper plants. I am rather disappointed that 90 percent of the peppers were still green. I don't think I'll be growing this variety again.

Pico de Pajaro peppers

I stripped just about every pepper left in the plot, green or ripe or somewhere in between.

Happy Yummy, Piment doux long des Landes, and Aleppo peppers
(and some Salangana eggplant below)

Tarahumara Chile Colorado and Aji Angelo

The Tarahumara Chile Colorado has turned out to be a winner. I dried most of the first peppers to ripen, but I've got plenty of dried peppers now. So I experimented with fire roasting some of them and even though they are not thick fleshed they came out great, the skins are thin and blister quickly so the flesh doesn't over cook. The flavor is sweet with just a hint of spice, really delicious. I think I'll make space for it in my garden again next year.

Sonora Anaheim type peppers

Green Happy Yummy peppers
A few pepper plants volunteered in the bed where I grew peppers last year. They turned out to be a golden bell pepper, a red few red bells, and one fleshy red pepper that is a lot like the Large Sweet Antigua that I grew last year. They all turned out to be quite good.

Volunteer red bell peppers and Large Sweet Antigua (?)

Oh look, one last offering from the amazing Romanesco zucchini.

The last of the eggplants came in from the cold and even a few final cucumbers.

Mostly Salangana eggplant and a couple of Sicilian eggplant
and some Tasty Green Japanese cucumbers

Those aren't unripe tomatoes, they are green grape tomatoes, the final harvest. I also harvested the last of the Bonica eggplants.

Bonica eggplant and Green Grape cherry tomatoes

These are most definitely unripe tomatoes with one exception, all the same variety, the last of the Potiron Ecarlate. The ripe one is in the tally, I'll weigh the green ones as I use them, if I use them.

The last of the green Lady Bell peppers, and a few other strays from the pepper patch.

And a bit more good news, at least for now, as of Sunday the Sugar Daddy snap pea plants were holding up under the frost cloth. The plants are draped with a layer of Agribon row cover, very light and intended to protect the plants from birds, and I also put a layer of Agribon frost cloth over the snap and snow pea trellises, a much heavier fabric designed to protect the plants from frost. I'll see what last night's chill did to them later today.

The peas were showing some freeze damage though. I hope that the plants survive to produce a harvest after the freezing weather relents. The very young snow pea plants are also looking ok for now (no photo).

Frost nipped Sugar Daddy snap pea.

Here's the first and hopefully not the last harvest of Dorato d'Asti celery. A couple of the stalks were showing some slight damage but were still crisp and tasty. I covered the plants with a few layers of row cover for last night so I hope that the damage won't get much worse.

I also harvested a bunch of Lacinato kale yesterday. Many of the older leaves were so infested with aphids that I tossed them into the compost. These leaves had some aphids also but not so many that I couldn't easily wash them off. The leaves seemed to be showing some effects from the freezing temperatures, they seemed to be a little soft but they were still good in the turkey-vegetable-bean soup that warmed us up last night. After harvesting this bunch I doubled up the Agribon row cover that I had originally draped over the plant to protect it from the birds, but now in hope of providing a bit more protection from the freezing temperatures. I wish I had added another layer over the other 2 plants, but I was in a hurry to get indoors.

A few other things harvested but not photographed were the last of the Pimento de Padron peppers, mostly big overgrown ones that were still green. And all of the Isis Candy cherry tomatoes that had any hint of color. All the Jaune Flamme tomatoes that had any color. And a couple of straggler (but tasty) Nyagous tomatoes. Plus small amounts of various green peppers.

I've been using up the overgrown Padron peppers by removing the cores and seeds, cutting the peppers into strips and sautéing them. They've been quite good that way, just a tad bit spicy but not too much.

As I said, the weather has turned nasty cold (for us weather wimps). The closest NWS weather station  recorded a low of 28ºF but I recorded a low of 23.4ºF in my garden that morning. And when I got up at about 4:00 this morning because I needed to put on some warmer PJ's the temperature was 22.9ºF  (-5ºC) (the NWS says 26º for this morning). That's the lowest temperature that I've experienced here.

Here's the harvests for the past week (going out in a blaze of glory!):

Dorato d'Asti celery - 5.1 oz.
Bonica eggplant - 1 lb., .2 oz.
Salangana eggplant - 2 lb., 8.8 oz. (not including the overripe ones)
Sicilian eggplant - 6.5 oz.
Red Janice garlic - 3.2 oz. (still weighing as I use it)
Lacinato kale 10.3 oz.
Sugar Daddy Snap peas - 4.6 oz.
Aji Angelo peppers - 1 lb., 15.6 oz.
Aleppo peppers - 2 lb., 15.9 oz.
Casados Native peppers - 1 lb., 3.9 oz.
Cochiti peppers - 3.4 oz.
Happy Yummy peppers - 1 lb., 8 oz.
Lady Bell peppers - 8.9 oz.
Odessa Market peppers - 7.8 oz.
Pico de Pajaro peppers - 3 lb., 15.9 oz.
Piment doux long des Landes peppers - 26.6 oz.
Pimento de Padron peppers - 3 lb., 7.5 oz.
Volunteer Red Bell peppers - 3 lb., 7.6 oz.
Shephard's Ramshorn peppers - 1 lb., 3.8 oz.
Sonora peppers - 3 lb., .6 oz.
Sunnybrook pimento peppers - 1 lb., 1 oz.
Sweet Chocolate peppers - 6.2 oz.
Tarahumara Chile Colorado peppers - 1 lb., 4.5 oz.
Topepo Rosso peppers - 1 lb., .1 oz.
Green Grape cherry tomatoes - 1 lb., 2.6 oz.
Isis Candy cherry tomatoes -
Jaune Flamme tomatoes - 22.5 oz.
Nyagous tomatoes - 2.6 oz.
Romanesco zucchini - 8.6 oz.

Whew! The harvests for the past week came up to - 41 lb., 10.7 oz.
That brings the harvest totals for the year up to - 973 lb., 9.3 oz.

Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne on her blog Daphne's Dandelions, head on over there to see what other northern hemisphere gardeners have snatched from the clutches of old man winter, or ogle the beautiful harvests from southern hemisphere gardeners.


  1. Beautiful and impressive harvest! I bet you were happy to rescue most from the extreme cold temperatures you are experiencing.

  2. You have almost hit a 1000 pounds. That is a lot of veggies. And so many peppers. Of all the solanum crops that is the one I miss the most.

  3. Sorry for your plant losses, but it does my heart good to see your beautiful and bountiful harvest! Haven't seen the like out here for months now so it's really nice to see and dream about.

  4. Wow..even though you have lost some plants your harvest is just simply georgous!!!

  5. Ooh, I recognize the looks of those frozen solanaceous crops. At least you got a tremendous haul of goodies before it hit. Those are some cold temps you recorded, especially if they came suddenly without any chance for the plants to harden off to cold. My Lacinato survived colder weather here but then it didn't come all at once. My celery took quite a bit of cold as well. I hope your hardier plants will bounce back.

  6. Your are going to reach 1000 pounds before the season ends for you, congrats. Impressive pepper harvest.

  7. -5!!!! That's just crazy! Do you normally get frosts in your climate?
    Well done on salvaging as much as you did. Really impressive harvests, Michelle :)

  8. I think there should be a holiday each fall depending on where you live centered entirely around the joy of gleaning! To me, it's a forgotten art. Glad you were able to save as much as you did! Some of those chili peppers you harvested look a lot like some of the Asian varieties I grow. I am particular fond of the ultra - hot green thin ones. :)

  9. How sad everything has been zapped...but look at those baskets of beautiful bounty to bring colour back into your life. Those are fabulous peppers.

  10. Tooo cold for me. Well too cold for me these days. When I lived in London it got down to that overnight at times, but these days I am a weather wimp like you. Loving the look of that zucchini variety - I have written it down for next year.

  11. Amazing harvest for December, I always love your peppers, too bad I don't have enough space to grow them all.


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