Monday, September 8, 2014

Harvest Monday - September 8, 2014

The glut of summer vegetables is coming in right on cue. September and October are the biggest harvest months in my garden. Last year I harvested 194 pounds in September and October wasn't far behind with 184 pounds, November was a big month as well with 180 pounds. In 2012 the stats were 220, 270, and then a big dip 82. 2011 was a horrible year, the Year Of The Rats, the rodents decimated my harvests, it was also the last year before I had my super-duper deluxe raised beds installed. The stats in 2011 were 121, 84, and 60.

Lots of eggplant last week! Enough to give some away and still have plenty to play with. Last night I made a favorite dish, Eggplant Masala, the recipe for which came from Liz at Suburban Tomato whom I'm hoping will find the time and inspiration to return to blogging soon.

Bonica eggplant
I experimented with a new method of preserving eggplant with a recipe from Verdura for Marinated Raw Eggplant Da Gemma Style, strips of eggplant are salted to remove excess moisture then marinated in vinegar and olive oil and seasonings, it's a similar procedure to the Sott'Olio method but the veggies are left raw instead of being cooked. I still need to wait a few days before sampling it. This week I'll be trying another recipe from that book for Eggplant Sott'Olio.

Salangana eggplant

Speaking of Sott'Olio, I tamed some of the bounty of zucchini by preserving 10 pounds of it last week using that method. One of the fantastic things about this technique is that it turns a huge mound of vegetables into a few jars of deliciousness, those 10 pounds ended up fitting into 6 1-pint jars. When I wrote a post about this method back in 2009 I managed to squeeze 5 pounds of zucchini into 2 1-pint jars, but I was using extra-large zucchini and those need to have the soft seed cavities removed, this time I just used the young zucchini that still have very firm interiors.

Romanesco zucchini

I harvested the first Chianti Rose tomatoes this week.  There will be a lot more of these to come in the next couple of weeks. The Jaune Flamme tomatoes are coming in at a steady but not overwhelming pace. Last night I made a salad that featured the Jaune Flammes and some watermelon, along with a few of the cherry tomatoes, feta, mint, basil, chives and a dressing of Honey Viognier vinegar and olive oil. Dave said to please make that one again. Yes Dear!

Chianti Rose and Jaune Flamme tomatoes

And the Sweet Golds are coming in like crazy. I think I may be overwatering the tomato patch, the Sweet Golds are cracking like crazy, so I've shut the water off to the solanum bed for a few days. All those cracked ones are in the dehydrator today.

Sweet Gold tomatoes

Sweet Gold and Isis Candy tomatoes

The Amish Paste tomatoes are harvesting themselves, literally falling off the vines which are quickly dying. Fortunately most of the tomatoes reached a mature size before the plants succumbed to whatever it is that is doing them in. I will be really busy canning these for the next couple of weeks.

Amish Paste tomatoes

The Tromba d'Albenga squash are really good preserved Sott'Olio. The cucumber plants are getting a second wind and producing loads of cukes again.

Tromba d'Albenga zucchini, Tasty Treat and Garden Oasis cucumbers

Egads, more zucchini. Peppers are on the cusp of a glut. The plants are loaded and the peppers are coloring up. One of the few peppers that I prefer green are the Anaheim types, that's Sonora below, many of which are ready to harvest now, a few of which I harvested young because they became sunburned when exposed to the sun as the plants leaned over from the burden of the load of peppers. You'll see more of these next week.

Sonora chile pepers, Romanesco zucchini, Isis Candy tomatoes

The cucumbers are definitely on a big second wind. The beans are producing a few stragglers but they may get a second wind also, the vines are popping out new blossoms and setting tiny new beans.

Tasty Treat and Garden oasis cucumbers
Musica and Golden Gate beans

This is one pepper that is definitely best green, and young, Pimento de Padrons. I'm happy to have a glut of these this year.

Padron peppers

The broccoli plants are really happy this summer also, they keep pushing out loads of really high quality side shoots.

Di Ciccio broccoli

Di Ciccio broccoli

There were a couple items that were not photographed this week, I harvested the first nearly ripe Odessa Market sweet pepper because the sowbugs started to nibble on it. And I weighed and used a couple more Candy onions.

Here's the details of the harvests for the past week:

Golden Gate beans - 10 oz.
Musica beans - 4.7 oz.
Di Ciccio broccoli - 3 lb., 8.7 oz.
Garden Oasis cucumbers - 1 lb., 6.7 oz.
Tasty Treat cucumbers - 3 lb., 5.8 oz.
Bonica eggplants - 5 lb., 9.6 oz.
Salangana eggplants - 3 lb., 13.6 oz.
Candy onions - 3 lb., 4.2 oz.
Odessa market pepper - 3.4 oz.
Padron peppers - 1 lb., 4.7 oz.
Sonora chile peppers - 3 lb., 14.4 oz.
Amish Paste tomatoes - 5 lb., 14.7 oz.
Chianti Rose tomatoes - 3 lb., 13.7 oz.
Isis Candy cherry tomatoes - 1 lb., 14.8  oz.
Jaune Flamme tomatoes - 4 lb., 6.3 oz.
Sweet Gold cherry tomatoes - 12 lb., 6.6 oz.
Romanesco zucchini - 9 lb., 11.4 oz.
Tromba d'Albenga zucchini - 1 lb., 6.6 oz.

The total harvests for the past week were - 66 lb., 15.9 oz. (30.4 kg.)
Which brings the total harvests for 2014 up to - 638 lb., .3 oz. (289.4 kg.)

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. All I can say is WOW! Such a lovely bounty. And those eggplants...yum! I miss Liz blogging too.

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  3. Beautiful harvest, Michelle! I find it so interesting that the fall months are the most productive for you. You always seem to show the biggest harvests at the same time our gardens on the East Coast are winding down. Your Amish Paste tomatoes look great. Mine were so productive this year and continue to be. Hopefully you will find out the causing the plant to die.

  4. So much wonderful variety coming out of your garden - love the eggplants & of course the zucchini. The Tromba d'Albenga zucchini looks very similar to the Tromboncino - is that another name for it or is that a different variety altogether?

    1. Same veggie, different name. It also goes by Zuchetta Rampicante.

  5. Your harvests really are ramping up. And those eggplants are so pretty. I never really liked them all that much even when I could eat them. But I grew them because of their beauty. I never got big harvests like you do though.

  6. Oh wow! Some fab photos of some fab veg. The first one, of the eggplants, is a classic! The way you display your harvests in baskets, is just what I like. (I bought three new baskets last weekend, for a total of less than £5, from charity shops.) I can't match you for quantity production / weight of crop. My little garden only produces small quantities, but it is so nice to see big volumes coming out of other people's gardens.

  7. Amazing harvests of color and quantity! Somewhere I read that Amish Paste isn't really a true sauce tomato--being more heirloom juicy. What's your experience?

    1. They are a great sauce tomato, nowhere near as juicy as a slicing or salad tomato. I grow them exclusively for canning and sauce making.


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