Monday, August 15, 2016

Harvest Monday - August 15, 2016

I meant to write up at least one other post this past week but other things took my attention elsewhere, still I can't skip good ol' Harvest Monday. There isn't much new other than a few more tomatoes, just a few, and I've started to tally some of the cured onions.

Batavia Broccoli and Apollo Brokali

More broccoli and brokali was ready to harvest. The two larger broccoli heads are a small main head and a large side shoot from the new Batavia broccoli plants. The shoots in the center are Apollo brokali from the winter sown plants, harvested after the the heads loosen up quite a bit, they are still quite good when they are like that. And there's a couple of small side shoots from the winter sown Batavia broccoli plants.

Mano Crisphead Lettuce

That's the first well developed head of Manoa crisphead lettuce (sitting atop a couple of other lettuces) from the summer succession. It was a really nice head, even most of the outside leaves were perfectly good except for a tiny bit of browning at the very edges of the leaves, and the heart was compact and crisp.

Little Rosebud Romaine Mix 

Here's the couple of immature Little Rosebud Romaine Mix heads that were in the previous photo, large but still loose, they were a couple of extras planted along with the heads that I intend to allow to mature more if they can take the late summer sun and heat (it has finally started to warm up a bit).

This was one day's harvest last week - a couple of zucchini, some cucumbers, mouse melons and a few small tomatoes - and just a taste of strawberries not stolen by the rats.

From L clockwise - Mavritanskite, Lime Green Salad, Jaune Flamme,
Camp Joy, Sweet Gold, Piccolo Dattero

I harvested the first Mavritanskite tomato yesterday, just a tad underripe so we haven't eaten it yet. I learned last year that they are best when they are harvested when still a bit firm, but this one still needs a day or so. And the Lime Green Salad tomatoes are ripening. I wasn't sure when they would be ready since this is the first time I've grown them so I harvested the first ones when they changed from bright green to a yellowish green. The first ones were very good at that stage so I harvested a few more that were changing color. The interior of the tomatoes are still quite green and the texture firm but they are sweet and tasty. I'm really liking them. I'll try to remember to photograph a cut one next time I use one.

Romanesco Zucchini & Sweet Spanish Utah Onion

I get a zucchini or 2 or 3 every few days, just enough to have some fresh and to have a few extra for dehydrating. I made a new dish that I think will have to go into the regular roundup of zucchini dishes that I make every year. First I sliced about 2 pounds or so of zucchini lengthwise about 1/4 inch thick, slicked them with olive oil and the roasted them in a 450ºF oven until tender and starting to get brown spots. The I layered half the slices in a gratin dish, topped them with some grilled sweet onions (left over from another night), and dollops of good sheep's milk ricotta mixed with chopped basil, a sprinkling of grated pecorino cheese, then repeated the layering and topped it all with breadcrumbs that I had tossed with leftover bacon drippings. That got baked for about 45 minutes until bubbling and crispy on top and around the edges. Wow, was it tasty.

Rossa Piatta d'Italia onions

Bianco di Maggio Cippollini Onions

The tops on a few of the varieties of onion have dried down so I've started to trim and tally them. The Bianco di Maggio onions started to turn green even though they are mostly in the shade all day long. I've been using them anyway, they still taste ok even though the color is weird.

Corn and Green Chile Clafouti

I made another dish last week that used a preserved harvest from last year, some frozen roasted green Sonora Anaheim chile peppers accompanied some fresh sweet corn from the farmer's market in a savory dish inspired by a French dessert - clafouti. Dessert clafouti is traditionally made with cherries baked in a thick custard. My savory version baked chopped roasted green chiles and fresh corn cut off the cob in a custard with cheese. It was quite easy to make and very delicious. I want to tweak the recipe a bit before I write it up though.

Black Coco Beans Still in Their Pods

Not yet in the tally are the bulk of the Black Coco beans that had dried on the plants. I've collected almost all of them and will get through them one of these nights while sitting and watching a video. It's nice to have something to keep me awake while I watch a show - I can't seem to get through more than about 30 minutes of a program without nodding off these days.

July 23, Soberanes Fire seen from Coast Ridge Road near Timber Top

And I can't end the post without mentioning the Soberanes Fire yet again. It has been ever present for more than 3 weeks now. That photo above was taken when the fire was 1 day old. That day Dave and I hiked a trail to the south of Big Sur called the Boronda Trail which goes from Highway 1 to an unpaved road that follows the ridge line - the Coast Ridge Road. Most of the area between where the fire started and where I took that photo has burned since then and what hasn't burned most likely will. There have been firing operations the past few days to burn out the area in the foreground to keep the fire from burning down the west side of the ridge through populated areas and down to Highway 1. The firing operations have just about reached the spot where I took the photo and will continue on south. You can see a map of the fire that shows the outline of the burned area here. You can see Timber Top on the map just below the southernmost part of the fire. The fire started way up north between latitude 36º27' and 36º28'. And do you see the dead trees in the photo? Those died in the previous fire that ravaged the area just 8 years ago.

The contained area is up to 60%, all of which is the northern portion of the fire which happens to be the area closest to where I live. But the southern portion of the fire continues to burn and the main objectives now are to keep the fire out of the Big Sur valley to the west, to keep it from crossing to the west side of Highway 1 further to the south, to keep it out of the southern portions of Carmel Valley to the east and to stop it at the next road down south that crosses the Ventana Wilderness from west to east, Nacimiento Fergusson Road, which happens to be a long way away. There's a lot of wilderness encompassed inside that area that will seemingly be allowed to burn until there's nothing left to burn or the rains come, whichever comes first. So it seems that it's three plus weeks gone with possibly months to go... It's unbelievable the havoc that one illegal campfire can cause. 72,566 acres, 57 homes, 11 other buildings, 1 life - all gone and still counting.

About the only good thing I can say about the fire is that it makes for some pretty spectacular sunsets.

Sun Caught Between Smoke and Fog

No, I'll make that 2 good things, Dave and I have been forced to explore areas to the north for our weekend day hikes. We've found a couple of hikes in Big Basin State Park that have been lovely and they are hikes we probably would not have done had we not been shut out of Big Sur and the Ventana Wilderness.

So here's the harvests for the past week:

Batavia broccoli - 1.3 lb.
Apollo brokali - 8 oz.
Green Fingers cucumbers - 11.4 oz.
Mouse Melons - 12.1 oz.
Little Rosebud Romaine Mix lettuces - 12.2 oz.
Manoa Crisphead lettuce - 1.1 lb.
Bianco di Maggio onions - 6.6 lb.
Rossa Piatta d'Italia onions - 11.3 lb.
Yellow Sweet Spanish Utah onion - 11.7 oz.
Camp Joy cherry tomatoes - 2.3 oz.
Jaune Flamme tomatoes - 11.1 oz.
Lime Green Salad tomatoes - 1.3 lb.
Mavritanskite tomato - 6.3 oz.
Piccolo Dattero cherry tomatoes - 1.1 oz.
Sweet Gold cherry tomatoes - 2.2 oz.
Romanesco zucchini - 1.6 lb.

Total harvests for the week - 28.1 lb. (12.8 kg.)
2016 Harvests YTD - 415.3 lb. (188.4 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. Wow - that zucchini dish sounds amazing!! I'm adding ricotta to my shopping list RIGHT NOW :) I still have to get the knack of harvesting broccoli "on time" as I often let it go a bit too long thinking it will size up more. But you are right, those loose shoots are still delicious, so I'm not too bothered by that.

    That must feel so surreal - to know that the fire is now up to the same spot where you stood only a few weeks ago. I'm glad that you and your area is safe and you were able to find a couple of bright spots in an otherwise horrible situation.

  2. Good stuff Michelle! You may not yet have huge quantities of tomatoes but what you have is varied and colorful. I wish we still had lettuce; the groundhog took care of that. The zucchini dish sounds really good; TKG made Rachel's zucchini lasagna, and that was good too. Also your savory clafouti looks great; please do post the recipe. It's nice that you are finding a silver lining to that terrible fire.

  3. I have fresh corn. I have green chiles. I have an abundance of eggs and a little cheese. I am going to make Michelle's savory clafouti. You are so creative with your vegetables. Smog makes nice sunsets, too.

  4. The Lime Green Salad tomatoes sound interesting. I love the green-when-ripe types, but it sure is hard to tell when to pick them. You always make such interesting dishes with your garden goodies, like the zucchini gratin and the savory clafouti. I'd make the zucchini dish but my plants are taking a break, and I am zuke-less at the moment. That's ok, I'm swimming in eggplant and tomatoes and that's not a bad thing at all!

  5. What amazing abundance you have! I gave up on growing onions a few years back in exchange for more garlic (and because onions are so cheap at the Farmers' Market), but for some reason the growing of them still tugs on me. Silly, ha?

    I'm sorry to hear about your fires. Living in the high desert, they're always a concern here. Fire season is the worst. Stay safe!

  6. We need to lift our onions to let them dry off so no doubt it will rain.
    Did thy catch whoever started the fire?

  7. Nice harvest. You are getting tomatoes, cukes and lettuce so it is still salad time. Not so here. The green cippollini are really weird, no idea why they turned green. Hope that fire stays far away.

  8. That was awfully nice of the rat to leave you a few strawberries! Your zucchini dish sounds delicious. I will have to try that, although my zucchini have slowed way down. Perhaps I can substitute with my edible gourds. You also have a lovely variety of tomatoes and those Lime Green ones sound intriguing.

  9. I look forward to the clafouti recipe, I love the idea of a savoury clafouti! And ditto on that zucchini dish sounding amazing (although I'm pretty sure bacon dripped breadcrumbs and ricotta would make just about anything taste good).

  10. Love those green tomatoes .. I miss the Green Zebra I used to grow and this has inspired me to get some going again next season!

    Kathy (Sorry, can't log in any other way!)


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