Monday, January 2, 2017

Harvest Monday - January 2, 2017

Welcome to Harvest Monday. I'm stepping in for Dave of Our Happy Acres as the temporary host of Harvest Monday for the month of January while he takes a much deserved holiday from the task of hosting every week. Harvest Monday is where we celebrate all things harvest related. This is the place to share your latest harvests and what you've been doing with them. If you would like to link up you will find Mr. Linky at the end of this post.

Aji Amarillo Grande
Well, the season ended with a bit of a spicy bang, the last gasp of summer, with the bulk of the production of the Aji Amarillo Grande peppers. This baccatum pepper is more cold tolerant than the more common annuum peppers so it held up well through a couple of freezing nights with the aid of some protection. The plants are looking a bit tired but most of the peppers are just fine.

Syrian Medieval Chard
This bunch of chard was just enough to make a galette inspired by this recipe from Food52. I made a few modifications to the recipe, such as using a whole wheat crust instead of a cornmeal flavored crust. I also made it smaller, round instead of a big rectangle. One other change is that I blanched the chard and squeezed out the excess moisture rather than cooking it down with the onions. I'll have to write up my version of the recipe one of these days because this galette is a keeper, it was absolutely delicious.

Gustus Brussels Sprouts

The bounty of Brussels sprouts continues to roll in. This time I halved them and roasted them with part of the carrot shown below, along with a parsnip that I harvested last week, and part of one of the last of the Rosso Lunga di Firenze onions from my stash.

Spanish Black Carrot
A few years ago I grew some Spanish Black carrots that I allowed to go to seed. Since then I've been finding the occasional volunteer coming around the garden. Most of the time I don't allow them to grow because they get to be huge, especially the tops. But this one volunteered where it wouldn't get in the way so I allowed to grow. I finally had to pull it when I cleaned out one of the beds to get it ready to sow a cover crop. It turned out to be a particularly huge specimen. Compare it to the 3 carrots below which weighed 5.2 ounces in total without their tops. The biggie above weighed 12.6 ounces after trimming off the top.  I used only half of it with the roasted Brussels sprouts that I mentioned above. The Spanish Black carrots aren't as sweet as most other carrots, but it's flavor is good when it's cooked and I love the colors, most of them have a yellow core and the contrast with the dark purple is very striking.

Rotild and Pusa Rudhira Red Carrots and Pink Plume celery
I continue to harvest the other carrots from the garden as I want them. Lately I've been using them shredded in salads with sliced celery, tomato, pomegranate, avocado and sunflower seeds sometimes with the addition of smoked salmon or shredded duck confit. It makes a nice refreshing but hearty winter salad. The tomatoes in the salads are still from the ones that I harvested as they started to color up a few weeks ago. Most of them have been keeping well and ripening on the kitchen counter. I'm weighing them as I use them so you'll see some in the latest tally. Some of the last ones that I plucked from the vines aren't keeping well, they're spoiling before they ripen, but that's why I wait until I use them to put them in the tally. The vast majority of the peppers that I harvested late and had successfully ripen on the counter were the variety Pantano, a good basic red beefsteak type from Italy. I've had good success with this variety, it performs well in my cool coastal climate, tastes great, and now it has another plus in its column, a good late producer/keeper. It will be back next year.

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

Gustus Brussels sprouts - 1.3 lb.
Pusa Rudhira Red carrot - 2.2 oz.
Rotild carrots - 5.2 oz.
Spanish Black carrot - 12.6 oz.
Pink Plume celery - 8.4 oz.
Syrian Medieval chard - 2 lb.
Aji Amarillo Grande peppers - 1.1 lb.
Pantano tomatoes - 14.5 oz.

Total harvests for the week - 7.1 lb. (3.2 kg.)
2016 YTD - 968.2 lb. (439.2 kg.)

This is the first time in a couple of years that the final tally didn't break the 1,000 pound mark. It's actually down quite a bit from the past two years. The final tally for 2015 was 1,226.2 pounds and for 2014 it was 1,207.4 pounds. But going all the way back to 2013 the total was a bit less at 948.1 pounds.  One of the glaring differences this year was the pepper harvests. The rats and powdery mildew decimated the pepper plants and harvests so I only tallied 49.8 pounds of peppers this year versus 171.2 pounds last year and 107.9 pounds in 2014. I'll be looking into the differences in more detail later.

If you have a harvest you want to show off then enter a link to your post below. Happy New Year everyone!

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  1. That Spanish Black carrot is immense! I wish I could grow them, I always seem to miss my timing
    Do you think that your growing season was affected by your seasons being out of whack? The start of our summer down here was so mild that I'm still waiting for my tomato glut! Normally I'd be swimming in them by now..

    1. It sounds like your start to summer is what is normal for me so I'm not surprised that your tomatoes are late. The microclimate here is on the cool side, especially in the late spring and the first half of summer. But then it warms up and we generally have a nice long warm dry fall. It took me a few years here to figure out the best strategy for growing tomatoes and peppers, which is to start them later because the seasons here are always a bit out of whack.

    2. Only a litle harvest for us this week... sorry it is down the page a bit. I should have put I at the top! Happy New Year everyone!!! Kathy

  2. We didn't visit the plot last week so I have no harvest to report. Hopefully we will get along there tomorrow to gather a few things

    1. It must be frustrating to not be able to get out to your plot. I would go a bit crazy if I couldn't get out to my garden for so long and I would surely be craving the fresh veggies.

    2. Having winter break from the plot is something we are very used to live in our climate. It means that we get a chance to do other things and return to the plot again in spring refreshed.

  3. That is one giant carrot! And from a volunteer no less, what a bonus. Thanks again for hosting HM.

  4. I thought those peppers were carrots at first glance, what a lovely orange colour....and you did get some carrots too! I left a parsnip to seed a couple of years ago, just to see what would happen - massive flower heads great for insects followed by lots of seeds, but no seedlings germinated that I found (unless they all got nibbled-off, which is a possibility).
    Amazing you're eating fresh tomatoes, what a difference in climate from the UK.

    1. I like to let a few volunteer carrots bloom just for the good bugs. The little wasps that parasitize aphids love the carrot blossoms. Now you've got me curious about what parsnips flowers would be like!


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