Monday, July 27, 2015

Harvest Monday - July 27, 2015

I always look forward to Harvest Monday, not just the opportunity to show off the bounty (hopefully) from my garden, but to see what is being produced in other gardens. It's always interesting and inspiring or envy inducing.

So, on to the latest harvests. There's a couple of new items. The first harvest of Padron Peppers, pretty much on schedule, last year the first ones appear in my tally on July 20, and in 2013 on July 26. That's actually the second harvest of Sweet Gold cherry tomatoes.

Padron peppers and Sweet Gold cherry tomatoes

Here's the first few cherry tomatoes from earlier in the week. The floodgates haven't exactly opened on the tomato harvest, but these few are a welcome treat. They came in earlier than last year but neck-and-neck with the first 2013 harvest. You can see that the cucumbers are coming in at a steady pace now.

Tasty Treat and Green Fingers cucumbers, Sweet Gold cherry tomatoes
I've been enjoying the cucumbers in salads, or thickly sliced with a sprinkle of coarse salt, smoked paprika, and olive oil. One day I topped cucumber slices instead of crackers with dollops of Burrata.

Green Fingers cucumbers
The bush beans produced another couple of harvests. They are starting to slow down now and the sow bug (pill bug, roly poly) population has exploded in the bean patch and the boogers are climbing up into the plants and eating the young beans. The pole snap beans are just starting to produce so I'm going to clear out the bush beans, they did a great job of producing so I'm not too sorry to see them go. The Romanesco zucchini production is slowing down, the plant looks like it's not very happy anymore. That's ok, it will make it much easier to pull the plant out when the Tromba squash starts producing, which will be any day now...

Slenderette beans and Romanesco zucchini
Royal Burgundy beans
 Red Baron beets have returned, this is the first of the summer planting.

Red Baron beets

The Spadona chicory produced another flush of leaves, 3 1/2 pounds in just a little over two weeks. I blanched the leaves and then sauteed some of them with pancetta and some garlic cream. I thought it was delicious, just mildly bitter, but Dave is much less tolerant of bitter flavors than I am, he ate what I served him but said the leftovers were all mine.

Spadona chicory and Romanesco zucchini
The onion harvest this year is not exactly a beauty pageant. There's bolters, and splitters (doubles and triples), and cracked onions. I've been trying to use up the worst of the bunch first and here's a few of them.  

Most of the Red Candy apple onions looked good as I lifted them, but not this one. And that's not another torpedo onion, it's a huge shallot that pretty much harvested itself as I went through the shallot patch bending the necks to hasten their maturing process. That Red Candy Apple onion weighs over a pound which should give you an idea of how huge that shallot is.

Zebrune shallot and Red Candy Apple onion
This is my second Rosso Lunga di Firenze torpedo type onion. These are turning out better than I expected. Even though a number of them have split into two or even three bulbs, the splits are clean and each bulb has a good wrapper. Only a couple have bolted so far.

Rosso Lunga di Firenze onion

The second variety of Spigariello broccoli that I'm trying this year is starting to produce nice shoots. This is similar to the Liscia (smooth leaf) broccoli that I grew earlier, the only real difference is that the leaves are more frilly. This bunch was blanched and paired with zucchini in a fritatta.

Spigariello Foglia Riccia broccoli
There's a few things to show this week that did not end up in the tally. This is what the Romanesco zucchini plant produced while I was on vacation. That big one weighed about 4 pounds (1.8 kg.). I didn't include them in the tally because I didn't use them. I had intended on making a batch of Preserved Zucchini (Zucchini Sott'Olio) but I just didn't have the energy for it while fighting a cold.

I did a taste test of a mature green chickpea and found them to be tastier than expected, more like a fresh raw shelling pea than a bean. Can a vegetable be cute? I think these are.

Pico Pardal chickpea
These are a bonus crop that I'm enjoying but not putting in the tally. I interplanted a few Pink Punch radishes in my patch of Purgatory beans. When the radishes started to bolt I let a few of them stay and bloom to help attract beneficial bugs into the garden. Now the plants are producing seed pods and it turns out that the pods on this variety are good eating. They are crisp, not fibrous, a bit sweet with a hint of radish bite. I snack on them in the garden and have been putting them in my salads. I've grown rat-tailed radishes before, which are grown for the seed pods and not the roots, and in my opinion these are better. The rat-tailed radish plants get to be huge and require a lot of space. The Pink Beauty plants were smaller and I think pods are better tasting. I'm sure that not all radish pods are good eating, but these turned out to be.

Pink Punch radish seed pods
The only harvest last week that wasn't photographed was the first few Rattlesnake beans.

Here's the details of the harvests last week:

Rattlesnake beans - 1.7 oz. (48 g.)
Royal Burgundy beans - 1 lb., 6.9 oz. (649 g.)
Slenderette beans - 2 lb., 2.5 oz. (978 g.)
Red Baron beets - 13.5 oz. (383 g.)
Beet greens - 11.4 oz. (323 g.)
Spigariello Riccia broccoli - 9 oz. (255 g.)
Spadona chicory - 3 lb., 7.4 oz. (1571 g.)
Green Fingers cucumbers - 1 lb., 10.9 oz. (763 g.)
Tasty Treat cucumbers - 2 lb., 3.8 oz. (1015 g.)
Red Candy Apple onion - 1 lb., 3.3 oz. (547 g.)
Rossa Lunga di Firenze onion - 1 lb., .4 oz. (465 g.)
Padron peppers - 4.4 oz. (125 g.)
Zebrune shallot (trimmed) - 12.3 oz. (349 g.)
Sweet Gold cherry tomatoes - 3.1 oz. (88 g.)
Romanesco zucchini - 4 lb., 7.9 oz. (2038 g.)

Total harvests for the week - 23 lb., 9.2 oz. (10.69 kg.)
2015 YTD - 411 lb., .9 oz. (186.45 kg.)

Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne on her blog Daphne's Dandelions, head on over there to be inspired by what other garden bloggers have been harvesting lately.


  1. I'm with your husband about bitter things. I don't like them at all. And yes those chickpeas are cute. I keep thinking about growing radish pods. They might be easier than the radishes. Though to be fair radishes don't take any time.

  2. And we look forward to your artistic posts! Everything looks great.

  3. I like chicory and Endive, which are normally considered bitter, as long as they are served with some sweet things. Radicchio with a sweet honey and mustard dressing is good, as is a sweet blue cheese like Gorgonzola dolce. I respect you for showing off the failures and mis-shapen veg as well as the good ones. I think this needs to be done to retain a sense of reality - gardening is not all about successes, is it?

  4. That 4 lb zuke sounds like a monster! I love your first photo of the Padrons artfully displayed with the tomatoes. Though every time I grew the Padrons they were so hot I never really got to enjoy them. That reminds me I need to check my Tam jalapeno and see if it has set fruit yet. I have two plants and I am hoping at least one is mild enough to use for chipotle. The stuff I made last year is so hot I can only use a tiny sprinkle at one time!

    I also hear you about the sow bugs. Those little critters can sure devour green stuff if they aren't eating on decaying matter. They have taken up residence in my greenhouse and I have to keep an eye on everything I plant in there. Now I know they can climb too!

  5. I think all the inspiration and envy is occurring on our side. Thanks for sharing your garden. Things look good, but what is up with your onions? Bolting, splitting and twinning? As far as bitter veggies, my wife has the bitter gene and is not a fan, including brassicas. Cooking in lots of olive oil and garlic helps a little.

  6. Hey - you beat me on the Padron harvest ;) Such amazing harvests and I have got to agree on the chickpeas - that little pod is definitely cute. I've never seen a chickpea pod before and it surprises me that they are so small & only old two beans; I would have thought the pods would be much larger...I was half expecting them to be the same size as favas.

  7. I have a friend visiting this week and just told him how much I admire your cooking technique - so simple but everything sounds SO delicious. Another fabulous harvest!

  8. I'm with you. I love Harvest Mondays! I really enjoy seeing the bounty from the gardens of others.

  9. Fresh chickpea is so cute, too bad my experiment with it couple years ago was wormy otherwise I'll grow it again.
    Something not quite right with my Padron peppers this year, they are a bit on the sweet side taste like Shishito, I'm very careful about keeping the two varieties apart, they are planted on the opposite side of the garden and I'm positive the labels were not mixed up. The only reason I can think of is that we have more rain than previous years and the peppers are bigger than normal.

  10. I like your broccoli and chickpea, they are so pretty!

  11. Loving everything in your garden...errr...jungle, referring to your last post, and am especially taken with the chickpeas! Also, appreciate your input on the rat-tailed and pink punch radish seed pods. I grew rat-tailed this year but mainly as magnet for hungry bugs so that they'd leave everything else alone. Will have to keep an eye out for the Pink Punch variety.

  12. Oh how I love how you have displayed the Padron Peppers, My mother has been growing fresh chickpeas, actually had a meal over at hers early in the week where she used it for Pilau Rice, Its was lovely served with a side of cucumber cooling raita. I also agree with Mark, that its good to share crops that haven't done well, as we don't always harvest perfect veg.


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