Monday, December 7, 2015

Harvest Monday - December 7, 2015

The harvests have really slowed down, but there's a couple of stragglers to keep things interesting for this report. I was trimming back the Tromba D'Albenga vines which were zinged by a few frosty nights but not entirely done in. I found these during the cleanup...

Tromba D'Albenga squash

It seems that the frosty nights weren't severe enough to kill off the squash vines, some of the leaves were zinged but the vines and some lingering baby squash came through ok.

Another straggler is the dried Rattlesnake beans. I grew the Rattlesnake beans for fresh snap beans. The vines were incredibly vigorous and productive - the 6 plants that shared a trellis with the Purple and Stortino di Trento beans produced 7 pounds of snap beans. When all three varieties started to produce a second round of beans I decided to allow the Rattlesnake beans to produce dry beans and they turned out to be surprisingly productive again - I got just over a pound of dried beans.

Rattlesnake beans

After this week this is pretty much what will be appearing in the harvest basket for a while. Broccoli and weather permitting some more snow peas. I have the snow peas on a trellis covered with mesh to protect them from the birds and I've got some Agribon frost cloth handy in case the nighttime temperatures dip below freezing again. The vines will usually tolerate some light frost but the flowers and peas get ruined, the frost cloth provides just enough protection to keep the flowers and peas from being damaged, but if we get a hard freeze that lasts for more than a few hours I don't think the peas will pull through.

Apollo brokali, Batavia and Di Ciccio broccoli, Golden Sweet snow peas

And there's a few more parsnips in the garden so these will definitely be showing up in the next few weeks. They've gotten to be big enough that I only need to harvest one or two at a time. This one went into a pot of soup with some leftover turkey, that volunteer carrot shown next, some fresh sweet peppers from earlier harvests, fresh (still!) Tromba squash, dried Tarbais beans from a year ago, frozen tomato puree, onions from my stash. It's such a good feeling to be able to put together a meal that is chock full of goodies from the garden.

Gladiator parsnip
I grew some Spanish Black carrots a couple of years a go and let some of them go to seed. A fair amount of the seeds ended up scattered around the garden and in the compost and ever since then they have been volunteering around the garden. I let them grow if they're not in the way of other veggies so every once in a while I get to pull a nice specimen.  They aren't the sweetest carrots but they do have a good "carroty" flavor and they are pretty and I've found that I really like them in soup. This one was volunteering on the edge of the squash patch - all trimmed up like this it weighed in at nearly a quarter pound - not bad.

Spanish Black carrot

That's it for the harvests this week, here's the details:

Rattlesnake beans - 18.3 oz.
Apollo brokali - 7.6 oz.
Batavia broccoli - 7.1 oz.
Di Ciccio broccoli - 5.4 oz.
Spanish Black carrot - 3.8 oz.
Golden Sweet snow peas - .5 oz.
Gladiator parsnip - 9.4 oz.
Tromba D'Albenga squash - 7.8 oz.

Total harvests for the week - 3 lb., 11.9 oz. (1.7 kg.)
2015 YTD - 1223 lb., 6.8 oz. (554.9 kg.)

Harvest Monday is hosted by Dave on his blog Our Happy Acres, head on over there to be inspired by what other garden bloggers have been harvesting and cooking up lately.


  1. I have had the same experience with finding a usable squash under the frost-bitten foliage. Nice find. Your rattlesnake bean experience is interesting. Haven't grown shell beans because they don't yield enough to justify the space in my small garden. I wonder if I could get better yield by going vertical.

    1. My experience with dry beans is that the pole varieties tend to be more productive than bush beans, but it varies from one variety to another.

  2. That is some amazing production on the beans - I haven't compared this years numbers to last, but my impression is that my production this year was not as good, even though I didn't contend with bacterial brown spot this time round. You are so right - whenever we have several veg from the garden show up in a meal, it feels great...and I make sure everyone at the table knows it!

  3. I had some dried Good Mother Stallard beans that survived the first frost too. It is great to hear the Rattlesnake beans did so well in your garden. They were great here in years past but I didn't find room for them this year. They will be back in 2016 along with Tromboncino squash.

  4. Hi Michelle - I ate a new-to-me vegetable at Thanksgiving a couple weeks ago. It was a buttercup squash and it was delicious. It looked like a mini turban squash, maybe 6 inches wide and 5 tall. Of course, I only saw the one we ate, so they might be bigger or smaller, normally. My daughter bought it and she says they are consistently delicious so I'm going to give them a try next year, probably in addition to my usual butternuts. The "meat" was a little denser than a butternut and every bit as sweet if not sweeter than the type I grow. and that was "store bought" as we call the second class vegetables we have to buy. hehe. Anyway, I thought you might be interested. I found seeds easily online if you're interested


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