Monday, November 3, 2014

Harvest Monday - November 3, 2014

There's an odd assortment of harvests from the garden in the past week. The last few days of October look like summer's last gasp with a hint of autumn and the first harvest in November looks like winter.

The cherry tomatoes are small and thick skinned but very flavorful. Chianti Rose managed to ripen a few late set tomatoes. And the champion summer vegetable in the autumn garden, the Green Fingers cucumbers produced more, plus some that I didn't photograph (or even weigh). Do you see the three strawberries in there also?

I'm amazed at how much just a few amaranth plants can produce. This was enough for two generous servings with leftovers. My favorite way to prepare amaranth greens is to wilt the leaves with some chopped fresh garlic and a few splashes of fish sauce.

Here's that touch of autumn, my potted saffron has been popping a few flowers every few days for the last couple of weeks. This isn't in the tally because it is impossible to weigh on a kitchen scale.

I've had a few harvests like this so now I have enough to flavor perhaps one dish.

Here's a staple in my winter garden, Portuguese Cabbage (aka Tronchuda Beira, Couve Tronchuda, Portuguese kale). This went into a pot of soup along with some Borlotto beans, sausage, tomato (fresh!), onion, and duck broth. It was a nice warming lunch on a cool rainy day (what a novelty, it really rained!).

The first harvest of Lacinato kale from the new plants, also a winter staple. I made a kale salad with apple and pomegranate, and a dressing featuring confited garlic. (I keep meaning to write a post about garlic confit but haven't been able to get to it.) There were almost no aphids on the leaves, an event that is almost as rare as rain has been around here the last couple of years.

And yet one more harvest of shoots from the spring planting of Di Ciccio broccoli, what a work horse. I gave the plants a bit of liquid fertilizer a couple of weeks ago and they responded by putting out a nice flush of growth. There's more harvests to come.

The only other harvest for the week wasn't really a harvest, I tallied one of the last Red Candy Apple onions which I've been weighing as I use.

Here's the harvests for the past week:

Amaranth greens - 16.7 oz.
Di Ciccio broccoli - 14.3 oz.
Portuguese cabbage - 11.1 oz.
Green Fingers cucumbers - 1 lb., 3 oz.
Lacinato kale - 1 lb., 1.2 oz.
Red Candy Apple onion - 1 lb., 8.2 oz.
Chianti Rose tomatoes - 2 lb., 7.9 oz.
Isis Candy cherry tomatoes - 13.3 oz.
Sweet Gold cherry tomatoes - 2 lb., .3 oz.

The total harvests for the past week were - 11 lb., 12 oz.
Which brings the total harvests for 2014 up to 1109 lb., 11.1 oz.

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. Fresh saffron - just lovely. Do you keep the bulbs in pots so that the stigmas are protected from the elements/wildlife? That Di Ciccio broccoli is crazy! I'm the worst at remember to give leafy greens some extra fertilizer during the season. Obviously that's something I have to change if I want to get the most out of my plantings.

    1. I grew the saffron in pots for a few reasons, including protecting the bulbs from gophers. The bulbs need a dry dormancy in the summer so it's easy to quit watering the pots when the foliage dies in the spring and then I resume watering in late summer. And the bulbs don't get "lost" in the garden when they go dormant.

  2. Pretty awesome yearly harvest total to date, Michele.

  3. Small or not, cherry tomatoes in November are always I good thing to me! I need to give amaranth another try. I've grown it, but not very well. I need to have enough of it to do something with the leaves. How do you sow the seed?

    1. The seeds are SO tiny, it's difficult to sow them in the garden. I found that the seedlings transplant well so I sow the seeds into 4-inch pots and then separate the seedlings and set them out in the garden. Or, I've even sown them thickly in the garden and then dug them up, separated the seedlings, and then replanted them with more generous spacing (that was really accidental but it worked).

  4. I love the saffron. I keep thinking I ought to have some in the garden, but we probably get too much rain here for them to grow well.

  5. Oh, I am so vicariously excited by your saffron! Saffron is SO EXPENSIVE at the store and I only recently realized that you could just grow it yourself. Wonderful!

    1. There's a reason it's so expensive! It's a PITA to harvest and you need a lot of plants to harvest a decent amount. But it's fun to grow and the flowers are pretty and surprisingly fragrant.

  6. The saffron is so pretty, I've grown it twice before but forgot about them when they go dormant, good idea to grow them in pots, I'll give it a go again if I see the bulbs in local nursery.

  7. That basket of tomatoes looks very special considering it's November! I have about a dozen tiny tomatoes left, ripening on a windowsill. I don't really want them to go, because that means it's definitely the end of the season... Still, I'll soon be planning which ones to grow next year.

  8. I only ever managed one flower when I tried to grow saffron crocuses,

  9. Got very excited about the Tronchuda until I realized it's just another name for Collard Greens. Now, I've had mixed results with collards, however, the image you have (IMG_9079.JPG) shows a very nice form and I'm curious if you can tell me the variety and seed company?


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