Monday, November 21, 2016

Harvest Monday - November 21, 2016

The unusually nice warm and sunny weather that we enjoyed the first couple of weeks of November has turned damp and the nights have become chilly with one night dipping down to 36ºF (2.2ºC). Daytime temperatures are generally still quite moderate so even though it's wet (yay for rain!) it's still warm enough to keep things growing in the garden.

A few more last gasps of summer hit the harvest basket last week.

Baby Aji Amarillo
The Baby Aji Amarillo plants produced the bulk of their crop. There was enough of them to put up 11 4-ounce jars of pepper jam.

Aji Amarillo Grande
The first Aji Amarillo Grande pepper was ripe enough to harvest. The photo doesn't do it justice so here's a shot of it a couple weeks ago to give some perspective on its size. (Oops, I forgot to weigh it!)

The Aji Amarillo Grande is much spicier than the Baby Aji Amarillos. I used the one pepper, trimmed of seeds, core, and most of the ribs to spice up a salsa that had Dave gasping just a bit.

Pantano, Mavritanskite, and Orange Jazz
There were a few more large fruited tomatoes that weren't quite ripe but the rats were beginning to sample them so I had to harvest them and use the ones that had been defaced. The DR's are tomato connoisseurs, only the most ripe and tasty ones merit their full attention, otherwise they just take a taste and move on to the ripe cherry tomatoes. But now they are starting to sample the tomatoes long before they are fully ripe so I'll have to start picking the few remaining tomatoes as they just start to turn color.

Piccolo Dattero
There's still enough cherry tomatoes coming in to keep Dave happy and the rats haven't eaten all of them.

Sweet Gold and Camp Joy

Reisetomate From Transylvania
That's the final harvest of Reisetomate From Transylvania tomatoes.

Tromba D'Albenga
And there was one more big Tromba D'Albenga squash that got to be quite large even though it hadn't been pollinated.

Honey Nut Butternut
That's most of the Honey Nut Butternut squashes. There were a couple of late set green ones still on the vine so I left those. These little squashes are surprisingly heavy feeling for their small size so I think they're going to be really nice this year.

Dazzling Blue
I have 2 Dazzling Blue kale plants. One looks more like the Tuscan kale part of its parentage with greener leaves and less purple in their midribs. The other plant has bluer leaves with very purple midribs. This is actually my first harvest from the more blue plants and it's interesting to note that not only is the color more intense, but the texture is also. The blue leaves are much more sturdy, I don't want to say tough, but they do require more cooking to make them tender. They are still quite tasty in spite of their sturdiness.

Pink Plume
My big ol' celery plants are still producing stalks and they are still good tasting and not pithy. I've been using it sliced thinly in my usual hearty lunch salads.

Sweet Horizon
And the poor snow pea plants pumped out a bunch of pods. These ones got prompt attention and are not going to waste.

Hestia before trimming
The Hestia Brussels Sprouts plants are still making mostly funky looking sprouts.

Hestia after trimming
They look better after trimming, but a lot of them are still a bit loose. I don't mind too much, they are fine for shredding and still taste good.

Shredded Sprouts ready for dehydrating
I continue to experiment with dehydrating various vegetables to include in backpacking meals. The Brussels Sprouts are part of my latest experiment and so far the results are surprisingly good.

Syrian Medieval Chard
I'm loving the Syrian Medieval chard. This variety is more closely related to early domesticated varieties of chard and their wild forebears. The stems are more thin and green and the plants bolt more readily in warm weather. But the flavor and cooking qualities don't seem to be much different from the other varieties of chard that I've grown. I've been using both stems and leaves and both have been delicious. The plants I started for fall and winter harvests are loving the more cool wet weather and are producing a lot of really nice leaves. I've noticed that the leaf miners don't seem to be attracted to this variety as much as to the more modern Golden and Peppermint Stick varieties that are growing right next to them. As a matter of fact I've not yet found one leaf with leaf miner damage which is certainly not true for the other chards.

Calabrese Broccoli 
The Calabrese broccoli plants produced another handful of leafy shoots. The leaves are good eating so I cook them up along with the little "heads". The bunch that I had harvested the week before were used to top some bruschetta. I blanched the sprouts with the leaves, then chopped them and sauteed them with some chopped onion and Mareko Fana pepper flakes. I piled the warm broccoli on top of slices of grilled bread with fresh sheepmilk ricotta, with a sprinkle of parmesan and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar over all. That made for a great light dinner one night.

I also weighed in another head of the Jericho romaine lettuce that I had harvested the previous week and that I'm weighing as I use it.

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

Calabrese broccoli - 10.7 oz.
Hestia Brussels sprouts - 17 oz.
Pink Plume celery - 7.4 oz.
Syrian Medieval chard - 2 lb.
Dazzling Blue kale - 15.7 oz.
Jericho romaine lettuce - 9.9 oz.
Aji Amarillo peppers - 1.8 lb.
Camp Joy cherry tomatoes - 2.5 lb.
Mavritanskite tomatoes - 7.1 oz.
Orange Jazz tomatoes - 5.9 oz.
Panatano tomatoes - 11.4 oz.
Piccolo Dattero cherry tomatoes - 17.2 oz.
Sweet Gold cherry tomatoes - 9.8 oz.
Honey Nut Butternut squash - 10.8 lb.
Tromba D'Albenga squash - 2 lb.

Total harvests for the past week - 26.8 lb. (12.1 kg.)
2016 YTD - 915.8 lb. (415.4 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. Dehydrated sprouts - that's a new one for me! Do you blanch them before drying? I'm guessing you rehydrate and cook before eating. If the Amarillo Grande are hotter than the Baby Ajis, then I won't be tempted to grow them, since the Baby's got hotter than I would like. I think the Dazzling Blue kale leaves really are dazzling! I still haven't tried ours because there has been a glut of other things coming in, but this may be the week since kale is on our T-day menu.

  2. I think I read on your other post that the Honey Nut butternut are just big enough for 1-2 servings? If so, that is perfect, I must look for those for next year's garden plans! LOVE those baby aji's!

  3. Brussels sprouts and tomatoes harvested in the same week!

  4. You had some lovely, varied harvests this week! I'm always taken by how gorgeous the Baby Aji Amarillo peppers are and the Syrian chard sounds really interesting - it would be nice to grow a chard that I don't have to cover up, so I'll be watching your progress with that one.

    Our weather has now taken a definite turn towards winter. I'm waiting for it to get a few degrees above freezing (36F wouldn't be so bad!) so that I can put the outdoor Christmas decorations up :)


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