Monday, July 25, 2016

Harvest Monday - July 25, 2016

The harvests were pretty light last week, but I did harvest the first big head of summer broccoli.

Batavia Broccoli

This head has already starred in 2 meals, the first one was a salad of blanched broccoli, tomato (not mine yet), shallots, feta, basil, and pine nuts, with a dressing of red wine vinegar, pomegranate molasses, and olive oil. That turned out to be really tasty, tomato and broccoli are surprisingly good flavor companions. Meal number 2 was a stir fry of broccoli, green beans, onion, garlic, and ground veal with oyster sauce - another tasty combo. And there's still a chunk of the head left.

Green Fingers cucumbers, Mouse Melons, and Romanesco zucchini

The cucumbers, mouse melons, and zucchini are coming in at a pretty good pace now, not a glut, but not too little either. 

Romanesco Zucchini

Assorted Beans and Apollo Brokali
But the bush snap beans have slowed to a trickle. They might be able to produce a second round, but I may not give them a chance because the pole beans have really started to climb their trellis and should be producing before the bush beans even have a chance of producing a second round. I think I can make better use of the space where the bush beans are growing with a planting of something else. The spring planting of broccoli produced a few more shoots after I put up a barrier around the plants to keep the Damn Rabbit out. I actually haven't seen the DR in a few days so I'm hoping it either left the area or perhaps got nabbed by one of the many raptors that hunt here.

I lifted a few of the varieties of onions last week and one of them got used right away so it is in the tally but the rest won't be weighed until they've been cured or used.

On a more depressing note, that ominous cloud is smoke. That's the view from the top of the ridge across the valley looking toward the coast. The Soberanes Fire is an out of control wildfire burning about 8 miles away that has scorched about 11,000 acres and 6 homes so far and is only 5% contained. It's been burning for 3 days and is likely to continue on for days more (hopefully only days). Fortunately for me it's burning away from here and the prevailing winds will probably keep it going that way. But it truly is a depressing sight and I feel awful for the people whose homes are in its path. Wildfires are one of the perils that we face in most of California where summer rain is a rare event and the natural landscape becomes a tinderbox. I haven't seen this much smoke since a large swath of Big Sur and the Ventana Wilderness burned back in 2008 - that fire started in July and burned through October. 

Back to the harvests, here's the details of what the garden produced last week:

Red Swan beans - .5 oz.
Roc d'Or beans - .5 oz.
Rolande Filet beans - 4.1 oz.
Royalty Purple Pod beans - .5 oz.
Slenderette beans - .3 oz.
Batavia broccoli - 2.7 lb.
Apollo brokali - 6.1 oz.
Green Fingers cucumbers - 2 lb.
Mouse Melons - 2.8 oz.
Rossa Piatta d'Italia onions - 1.1 lb.
Romanesco zucchini - 2.3 lb.

Total harvests for the past week - 9.1 pounds (4.1 kg.)
2016 YTD - 278.2 lb. (171.6 kg.)

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


  1. What a huge broccoli. I can only dream. At least my Romanesco squash is starting to flower, so I will have zucchini soon. Every time I read about the fires, I wonder about you. Hope that fire does stay away. It is crazy how bad they are this year.

    1. Thanks Dave, it is crazy scary here and unfortunately there's stupid people who just don't get it. Last weekend we came across a spot where some stupid camper had lit a campfire right in the middle of the trail surrounded by dry grass, shrubs, and trees.

      I have to say that I'm always shocked and amazed when I harvest something like that head of broccoli!

  2. I second David, I hope the fires stay away from you and the wind keeps the smoke and ash in a different direction. Ours (the Sand Fire) burned some more yesterday, another 10,000 acres, 10% contained (near the 14 Frwy). Fortunately for us the plume is in a different direction this time.

    Great year for zukes, a bit disappointing for peppers, an almost complete washout for cucumber, no beans yet (poor germination), eggplants have excellent taste, but not too prolific, small tomatoes OK, medium ones not, chard a no-go (wrong season, maybe?). However, there is much more warm season to come!

    1. Thank you Jane. The Sand Fire is definitely bigger than the Soberanes and with so many more homes at stake. Both fires are awful. I'm glad you are getting some clear skies now. The overnight fog has burned off now leaving the valley filled with smoke and an eery orange glow, it's surreal.

      You're growing season is even longer than mine, so no doubt you will have more chances for some good veggies.

  3. The wildfires in California and elsewhere in your country must be really bad, because they are even being reported here in the UK! Of course, we find it hard to comprehend anything so big and so awful. Mind you, that broccoli of yours is also big enough to hit the international headlines...

    1. That would be fabulous to hear about broccoli on the news instead of all the horribly depressing stuff!

  4. I couldn't imagine a fire that large. I hope it stays far, far away from your home and garden. And that is one giant head of broccoli! Also your Romanesco Zucchini is way larger than mine seem to want to get. I think all the bugs are draining the energy out of my plants.

    1. Well, my zucchini plant doesn't have to contend with squash bugs and I gave it lots of room in which to grow which seems to promote big zukes. Thanks for your good thoughts.

  5. Good to hear the fires are away from you. And I'll echo what the others have said, that is one giant head of broccoli! No wonder you got two meals out of it and still had some left over. I am hoping your DR has gone to other pastures, so to speak, one way or the other. I know that even one rabbit can do a lot of damage. One of our DD (Damn Deer) went on a rampage a few days ago, lifting a tomato cage and bird netting to get to some tomatoes in my unprotected area. They also have a fondness for my baccatum peppers behind the greenhouse. I need to remember that next year when I will be tempted again to plant stuff outside the main garden fencing! I should know better by now.

    1. Today the winds shifted and now the smoke (hopefully not the fire) is headed right my way, yuck. Oh yes, I am well acquainted with the DD problem, they can do a lot of damage in a short time. And it's amazing what they will eat!

  6. Beautiful harvests - that's one whopping head of broccoli! Your Romanesco looks so much nicer than mine. That wildfire is truly awful...stay safe, Michelle.

    1. Thank you Margaret. That broccoli is so big I almost want to name it, but then you shouldn't name the things you eat...

    2. I can't even imagine the destruction being wrought by that fire, sad that it's burning anywhere but glad it's moving away from you.

      I don't think my entire broccoli plant weighs as much as that head. Sigh ...

  7. Look at that smoke darkening the sky, wildland fires are just horrific. I'm glad you're keeping an eye on it.

    Your broccoli is terrific, I can't get over how huge it is. Our broccoli is just starting to form heads, so something to look forward to.


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