Monday, October 17, 2016

Harvest Monday - October 17, 2016

I skipped Harvest Monday last week because I was too tired Sunday night after an overnight backpack trip to put the post together and then too busy Monday morning. So here's two weeks of veggies, starting with a parade of tomatoes.

Orange Jazz and Pantano
L to R, Mavritanskite, Lime Green Salad, Chianti Rose
Reisetomate from Transylvania and Jaune Flamme
Sweet Gold
L to R, Piccolo Dattero, Pomme d'Amour, Camp Joy
L to R, Orange Jazz, Mavritanskite, Chianti Rose (top), and Pantano
Camp Joy (top) and Piccolo Dattero
Sweet Gold
That's not a duplicate photo of the first basket of Sweet Gold cherry tomatoes, it's another basketful, my one plant has been terrifically productive. That one plant has produced 29.5 pounds of tomatoes so far which makes it the single most productive tomato variety in the garden this year.

The parade started to thin out last week, most of the large and medium sized tomatoes are about done and the cherry tomatoes are slowing down.

This year I decided to dehydrate a lot of the tomatoes. That actually turned out to be the best use for the Pomme d'Amour tomatoes which I found to be not very tasty raw, but the flavor improved a lot when I dried them. And I continued my experiments with drying the Sweet Gold tomatoes with a salted spice blend. A mixture of fennel, smoked sweet onion, smoked peppers, and Red Boat salt has become the favorite. They were a really nice treat on the trail so I plan on making more. I combined the bulk of the Reisetomate tomatoes and a number of Pantano tomatoes to produce 4 cups of tomato paste which is probably enough to see me through the year. And I really like the flavor of tomato sauces made with the Mavritanskite tomatoes so I turned a bunch of them into sauce.

The Calabrese broccoli is only putting out a few shoots here and there.

Discus Buttercup
I had to harvest a number of the Discus Buttercup squash because of damage from sunburn and/or sowbugs. And then I found that the sowbugs were starting in on the Candystick Dessert Delicata squash that were in contact with the soil so I harvested a couple of those also (not photographed).

The Tromba d'Albenga squash had a big flush of fruits. I used the bulb ends to make baked rice stuffed squash, no recipe, I just winged it and they came out delicious. The long solid necks got turned into Zucchini Sott'Olio.

The Bonica and Sicilian eggplants eked out a few fruits. I used the Bonica to make a batch of caponata, which also used up some celery, capers, tomatoes, and onions from the garden.

Zuni Tomatillos
I cut down the Zuni tomatillo plants the other day. They were severely infected with powdery mildew and had to go. I was somewhat inclined to toss the plants complete with the tiny tomatillos but relented when it became clear that there was quite a load of them, 5.5 pounds in the husks. They are fairly easy to remove from the husks, otherwise they might indeed have gone into the compost. There are a lot of fruits that are barely the size of a large pea, more that are about the size of a grape, a just a few larger ones.

If I had waited any longer to harvest the kohlrabi I would have had to cut the protective sleeves off of them.

Kolibri and Kongo

Jericho Romaine Babies
I thinned out the Jericho Romaine lettuce to give the main planting room to size up.

Good news to report on the Soberanes fire. On October 12, day 83,  it was declared 100% contained. The bad news now is that we've had some significant rainfall. Rain is bad for the fire? Yes, when there's too much. Just enough would extinguish remaining hot spots and nurture new plant growth, but too much causes erosion, landslides, mud flows, and flooding. The crews that are working on suppression repair can't work when it rains. On Sunday my phone buzzed with an emergency alert that turned out to be a flash flood warning. I'm ok where I sit but Tassajara was included in the area affected by the warning, along with a number of other communities in or near the burn scar. They escaped the fire but now they are in danger of being flooded.  What a mess. I haven't heard any news of floods or problems this morning and the rain is clearing so they escaped the bullet for now.

Other harvests that I didn't photograph included a few and probably the last cucumbers, Mouse Melons, some peppers that got cleared out of the garden awhile ago, and the Zebrune shallots that have been sitting in a basket waiting to be weighed.

I ended up dehydrating a lot of the peppers I grew this year. Most of them were harvested (rescued from the rats) underripe and not as sweet and flavorful as they can be. Dehydrating improves the flavor quite a bit. A lot of the peppers did not get tallied since I lost track of what did or did not get weighed in after they were harvested.

Here's the details of the harvests for the past 2 weeks:

Calabrese broccoli - 6.9 oz.
Green Fingers cucumbers - 3.6 oz.
Mouse Melons - 8.8 oz.
Bonica eggplant - 1.6 lb.
Sicilian eggplant - 8.7 oz.
Kolibri kohlrabi - 6.8 lb.
Kongo kohlravi - 1.9 lb.
Jericho Romaine lettuce - 4.7 oz.
Craig's Grande Jalapeno peppers - 16.2 oz.
IPK P 557 (Italy) peppers (Yellow Bell) - 2.6 lb.
Rosso Dolce da Appendere peppers - 8.3 oz.
Zebrune shallots - 23.7 lb.
Zuni tomatillos - 5.5 lb.
Camp Joy cherry tomatoes - 5.5 lb.
Chianti Rose tomatoes - 9 lb.
Jaune Flamme tomatoes - 5.6 lb.
Lime Green Salad tomatoes - 1.3 lb.
Mavritanskite tomatoes - 9.1 lb.
Orange Jazz tomatoes - 9.6 lb.
Pantano tomatoes - 12.8 lb.
Piccolo Dattero cherry tomatoes - 3.5 lb.
Pomme d'Amour tomatoes - 3.4 lb.
Reisetomate from Transylvania tomatoes - 1.4 lb.
Sweet Gold cherry tomatoes - 12.2 lb.
Romanesco zucchini - 2.4 lb.
Tromba d'Albenga squash - 9.1 lb.

Total harvests for the past 2 weeks - 130.6 lb. (59.3 kg.)
2016 YTD -  800.7 lb. (363.2 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. Your amazing tomato harvests just keep coming! Wow. What are you going to do with all those tomatillos? Why couldn't that rain have come when the fire was raging?

    1. Oh yes, where was the rain when we needed it? I'm going to roast most of the tomatillos and freeze them, then later I can use them to make sauces. I like a tomatillo sauce on enchiladas filled with leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

  2. Omigosh! All those beautiful tomatoes! I think that is a great reward for all your hard work. Partially, anyhow. I'll try Sweet Gold next year. The squashes are good to look at, too. And those perfect kohlrabi!

    Just a note to those unfamiliar with fire in western California: Our native plants have waxy leaves that leave a residue on top of the soil when they burn. This residue makes the soil hydroscopic and the rainfall just runs off and does not penetrate. Hence flash flooding and debris flow.

    1. I am so grateful for all those tomatoes. Thank goodness the rats didn't discover them until after the harvest was going into the home stretch.

      Thank you for the informative tid bit about the burn residue, I rather take it for granted that everybody knows that when indeed they don't.

  3. Wow and double wow on all those tomatoes! I got one Orange Jazz this year, so it's nice to see yours. Those are lovely kohlrabi too. I do like dehydrating and roasting the ho-hum tomatoes, because it usually improves the flavor. I've never tried seasoning the dried ones though, and I'll have to try that next year.

    1. Not bad at all for tomatoes this year! They have made up for the peppers to some extent. It's amazing what dehydrating blah tomatoes and peppers can do for their flavor. I'm so happy I finally sprang for the Excalibur, it's definitely earning its keep.

  4. Hurray for 100% containment! I can't believe that now there is something else to worry about...fingers crossed that the worries don't become reality.

    Wow - your tomato plants have produced so well! And those kohlrabi are perfection as well - mine were only ok this year. They really didn't like the heat, I think. I'm hoping for better results next year.

    1. Yes, were are all breathing a sigh of relief here that the rain didn't cause any problems. I did read the other day that they are expediting the repair assessment though.

      The tomatoes have been the best thing going in the garden this summer. Although I noticed this morning that the rats have moved from the beefsteak tomatoes to the cherry tomatoes. Sigh.

  5. Holy wow on the tomatoes! I am definitely going to try one of the orange varieties next year, just love the colour (oops, I said I wasn't going to grow tomatoes - ha). And that box of Tromba zucchini is too cute ...

    1. Holy wow is how I feel about the tomatoes this year too!

  6. Well, despite the depredations of rabbits and rats you have had some amazing harvests! 29.5 pounds of fruit from one plant is very impressive. Your kohlrabi are perfect specimens too - and their protective "armour" seems to have worked!

    1. I'm so lucky that the rabbit didn't develop a taste for tomatoes and the rats didn't discover them until I had harvested the bulk of them. The armour did work well for the kohlrabi and for a few other things also, like my chard seedlings. The chard was getting nibble when it grew over the tops of the sleeves, but now it's in a protective cage and growing like crazy.

  7. You certainly have an enormous amount of tomatoes and lots of interesting varieties too.
    I'm glad to hear that the fire is under control but bad luck about the rain it seems you are going from one emergency to another. Keep safe

    1. It's been a good year for tomatoes in my garden! The rain had potential to be a problem, but fortunately was more good than bad. Whew!

  8. What a haul of tomatoes. And 29 pounds from just one Sweet Gold is hard to believe. You grow Chianti Rose every year, maybe that's one I should try. I tried Jaune Flamme and that has become a favorite and will repeat, although this was a bad year for it.

    1. Not every year is great for every variety, Jaune Flamme was a bit of a bust last year but made up for it this year. Chianti Rose has been good in my garden, it's not a huge producer but it has good flavor which can be elusive in beefsteak type tomatoes in my cooler climate.

  9. That is a lot of tomatoes! They seemed to have taken their time, but did not disappoint with production. And those kohlrabi are huge and perfect! I'm glad to hear the fire is contained, but that's bad timing for the rains to finally show up and cause flooding.

  10. Thank you for sharing, as there were two excellent ideas I have never thought of that I really must try next year: growing the khol rabi in plastic bottle sleeves and the spice blend on dried tomatoes!! Love the look of those big fluted orange tomatoes too!!


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