Monday, November 7, 2016

Harvest Monday - November 7, 2016

The harvests picked up last week because I was at home and had the time to get some things done in the garden.

There's still cherry tomatoes to be harvested and an odd larger fruited tomato here and there.

Turkish Pimento
One of the last varieties of peppers to come out of the garden was a Pimento pepper from Turkey. These held on the plant extremely well. They were not attacked by the rats because I was able to enclose the plants in a hardware cloth cage. It probably helped that the defoliated plant was in the shadow of the very large Aji Amarillo plants and also got shaded by the tall corn plants and the bean trellis across the main garden path so none of the peppers got sunburned.

Jericho Romaine, Chianti Rose Tomato, Climbing Phoenix Nasturtiums
Some of the Jericho Romaine lettuces were bolting so I harvested those. The nasturtium blossoms made a colorful and spicy cress-like addition to a salad. And I found a ripe Chianti Rose tomato hiding in the vines. I'm glad I found it before the rats did. The rats seem to be concentrating on the cherry tomatoes lately which are easier targets since there are more of them available.

Alvaro Charentais
The Alvaro Charentais plants produced 2 very small melons that actually ripened. We ate one this weekend and it was not fabulous but it was sweet and good tasting, better than expected.

Napoli Tuscan
The Napoli Tuscan melon vines also produced 2 very small melons which look and smell like they've ripened. They're in the fridge still waiting to be sampled.

Tromba D'Albenga and Mouse Melons
The Mouse Melon vines are dying back and dropped a load of fruits which I gathered up. I'm going to have to come up with a way to use a quantity of them, I'm thinking something like a salsa.

Candystick Dessert Delicata
That's the entire haul of Candystick Dessert Delicata squash this year. The squash aren't as big as last year and there's not as many, but then I only put in 2 plants this year compared to 4 last year. I'll wait a few weeks before trying the first one.

Discus Buttercup
I harvested the last of the Discus Buttercup squash. We've already eaten a few of the ones that I harvested a few weeks ago and found them to be very good. However, I'm not sure I will grow them again next year. The problem is the sowbugs (woodlice). For some reason they find the squash, especially the mature squash to be irresistible, they chew right through the skin and eat the flesh too. It's so strange to me that this squash in particular is a target. They occasionally attack other squash that sit on the soil, but they seem to seek out these squash, attacking them if they come in contact with the side of the raised bed, if they come in contact with foliage, if they sit on the gravel path, where ever they can nestle in. A lot of the squash have been damaged and probably won't keep well so we'll have to eat those soon. So I used a couple more of them last week to make Ricotta and Squash Gnocchi. I'm really disappointed that the sowbugs are such a problem, the 2 vines were very productive, I got 19.3 pounds of squash in total.

Calabrese Broccoli
The Calabrese broccoli produced a few more shoots.

Calabrese Broccoli and Dazzling Blue Kale
I harvested more leaves from one of the Dazzling Blue kale plants that is showing signs of powdery mildew.
Tronchuda Beira Cabbage
The Tronchuda Beira cabbage plants are already getting to be huge. Those 2 leaves weighed in at close to a pound. I made a soup with them that is somewhat inspired by the Portuguese soup Caldo Verde. The soup also included onions, lentils, and farro (wheat berries) and some sausage.

Peppermint Stick and Golden Chard
Likewise the chard was getting large also so I harvested the largest leaves. I made stuffed chard bundles with most of the harvest. The filling was rice, chickpeas (from the garden last year), onions, chopped chard stems, some dried cranberries, Manchego cheese, and cinnamon and turmeric. They were baked in a buttery tomato sauce.

Pink Plume Celery
The last two celery plants left in the garden are still producing some good stalks.

Rotild Carrots
The carrots are sizing up and needed another thinning.
Purple Sun Carrots

Nelson Carrots

Pusa Rudhira Red Carrots

Bolero Carrots

Starica Carrots

Hopi Chinmark Flour Corn
I saved my favorite harvest for the end. The Hopi Chinmark corn was drying on the stalks and with the recent rainy weather I was concerned that it might get spoiled, especially since I still had each individual ear wrapped in fabric to deter the rats. It wasn't quite as dry as I would have liked but all the ears seemed to be fully mature so I went through the entire patch and cut all the ears and then cut down the stalks. I was pretty happy with the harvest. The rats got a few of the best ears, a couple of the few colorful ones, but overall I'm really happy to have rescued as much as I did.

A lot of ears are mostly white kernels with a few blue ones and the rest are white with red markings to red with white markings.

One ear had red, white, and blue kernels!

These are all sitting in a big basket on the living room floor. They have to finish drying before I can remove the kernels and weigh them so they aren't in the tally yet.

Here's the details of the harvests for the past week:

Calabrese broccoli - 11.7 oz.
Tronchuda Beira cabbage (kale) - 14.4 oz.
Bolero carrots - 9.1 oz.
Nelson carrots - 5.2 oz.
Purple Sun carrots - 8.5 oz.
Pusa Rudhira Red carrots - 7.5 oz.
Rotild carrots - 8 oz.
Starica carrots - 2.4 oz.
Pink Plume celery - 11.7 oz.
Golden chard - 1.4 lb.
Peppermint Stick chard - 1.7 lb.
Mouse Melons - 1.7 lb.
Dazzling Blue kale - 12.8 oz.
Jericho romaine lettuce - 15.3 oz.
Alvaro Charentais melons - 1.5 lb.
Napoli Tuscan melons - 13.9 oz.
Turkish Pimento peppers - 1.4 lb.
Camp Joy cherry tomatoes - 3.3 lb.
Chianti Rose tomato - 9.3 oz.
Mavritanskite tomato - 6.8 oz.
Piccolo Dattero cherry tomatoes - 1.2 lb.
Sweet Gold cherry tomatoes - 2.8 lb.
Candystick Dessert Delicata squash - 6.9 lb.
Discus Buttercup squash - 15.5 lb.
Tromba d'Albenga squash - 3.3 lb.

Total harvests for the past week - 49.3 lb. (22.4 kg.)
2016 YTD - 878.9 lb. (398.7 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 gorgeous corn...just wow! And those carrot photos are beautiful too. I had exactly zero harvest of Beira Tronchuda this year - it was tucked in behind the kale and hardly got any sun so it never had a chance, I suppose. I'll have to find it a better spot next year.

  2. I agree with Margaret - that corn is stunning! Likewise the carrots, and those are just the thinnings! I admire the amount of trouble you take to present your produce in such an attractive way too.

  3. That corn is really stunning! And the carrots make such a colorful show. That is a shame about the sowbugs and the squash. Despite their 'good bug' reputation they can do a lot of damage in the garden, though the winter squash does seem like an odd target.

  4. I'm another sweet corn admirer - it's beautiful and the rest of your harvest is tremendous.

  5. I ditto all the corn comments.. it's just so pretty! That's a shame about the the sowbugs, I've never had them attack winter squash before. I have had a problem with them and strawberries in the past. And dealing with the rate has got to be a pain too.

  6. Michelle your carrots look superb and that corn is just amazing. Do you store it as dried grains? We also have a problem with rats eating the ears before we get to pick them and your idea of covering them with cloth is interesting ... do you make it into sleeves to tie on?
    Kathy (sorry this comes up as anonymous but it seems the only way I can make a comment!)

    1. Hi Kath, Yes, I store the corn as a grain. Once the kernels are fully dry I remove them from the ears and keep them in jars, mostly in the freezer since I don't use them very quickly. I didn't make sleeves to cover the ears, I just tore up an old piece of Agribon rowcover fabric and wrapped each ear with a piece secured with some garden twine. Then I figured out that the rats like to start at the top of the ears, first eating the silk and then working their way down so I tried just covering the ends of the ears which seemed to work and was quicker and easier to get done.


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