Harvest Monday: Cukes rule

Things feel more like early July than August at Henbogle, but at least I am able to get my fill of cukes.  And more cukes.  And yet more cukes.  They have been very prolific this year, hooray.  I just wish I had some tomatoes to join the cukes for one of my favorite summer salads, cucumbers, tomato, feta, fresh ground black pepper and good olive oil.  I’ve been reduced to buying tomatoes at the farmers’ markets.

Finally, though, I have some tomatoes to report.  My first handful of Sungolds were ready.  These babies were mostly devoured in the garden, but the remaining tomatoes amounted to 2.5 ounces.  You can see that one is cracked, crushed by a cucumber on the way into the house.  I ate that one moments after I snapped its portrait.

The good news is that we have plenty of cukes for fresh eating, and for pickles.   Shown is a batch of our favorite, bread and butter pickles,made with cider vinegar and partial brown sugar,  ginger, and a dash of hot pepper flakes.  Yum.  I love these pickles. Dan and I sampled the remainder that wouldn’t fit in the jars, and the verdict is more please!

For the first time ever I was able to make a batch with my own onions.  I pulled all the onions, which are currently drying.  I weighed what we used in the pickles and a salad, which amounts to 2 1/4 lbs.  The remainder I will weigh once dried and trimmed.  As damp weather has descended, these will go up into the barn attic for drying. I was very pleased with the harvest.  The majority of the onions are tennis ball sized or slightly larger.  Those are on the top shelf of the wire rack.  Less than a quarter of the total harvest were smaller than that, about the size of a racquet ball.  These were purchased starts of a variety called Candy.  Perhaps these were supposed to be a sweet onion, but they were pretty potent.  When slicing the onions for pickles I had to stop several times to dry my eyes lest I inadvertently add a fingertip to the pickles.  I am wondering if the dry July caused this?  Ideas, anyone?

I do think in future years I will purchase starts rather than tie up valuable space for seed starting onions which need to be started early.  I purchased the Candy starts from Longfellows, a favorite local nursery, but noticed this year that Johnny’s was also offering starts of more varieties.  Unfortunately, I noticed this too late, but will plan for it in the future.

This week I trimmed the garlic so have room up in the barn attic for the onions.  The garlic looks really good.  I identified 3 heads which should probably have been pulled earlier, but the rest looks great.  Unfortunately, two of those heads are the largest.  Should I use those heads for seed garlic?  I’m thinking yes, as it isn’t likely to keep, but I’d love opinions.  I did look carefully and they do not look damaged or show any signs of fungal attack.

I am still harvesting quite a few broccoli side shoots.  This week I harvested 18 oz. which I blanched and froze for future use.  The plants seem to be willing to continue producing, and some needed rain will aid in that so I am planning to give them a foliar feeding of fish emulsion as soon as the weather dries enough to keep it on the plants.

Finally, the squash are really starting to produce.  We had a fabulous garden feed the other day featuring Costata Romanesca and Flying Saucers squash simply sautéed in butter. I highly recommend these two varieties, they are delicious and abundant.  I have always grown yellow crookneck, but no more, the Flying Saucers is just too yummy.  No photos of the squash this week, but I’ll get some for those unfamiliar with them.

This weeks harvest was a good one at 8.8 lbs., and more to come, bringing the total weight of harvests this year to over 103 lbs. valued at $430.38.  Less my expenses of $383.06, that brings the total value of harvests this year  $47.32.

This post is part of Daphne’s Harvest Monday series, where gardeners from warmer climes are showing off sharing their tomatoes and what they are eating from their gardens.  Check it out on her fabulous blog, Daphne’s Dandelions.


13 Responses to “Harvest Monday: Cukes rule”

  1. Laurie Graves Says:

    Lots of good things to eat from your garden! On the subject of August bounty…last year, I think, you mentioned buying bulk blueberries from a local grower so that you could freeze them for use over the winter. Were the berries organic? If so, could you give me the name of the place where you bought them? I would love to buy some for the winter, too.

    • Ali Says:

      Hi Laurie,

      We get the berries from Dan Scott in Waldoboro, but he wasn’t taking any new orders (maybe now that we’ve had rain?), they are not organic. His kids were Dan’s students years ago.

  2. Allison @ Novice Life Says:

    What a great harvest! I would use those garlic heads for seed; couldn’t hurt at least!

  3. Sara Says:

    Pickles starting here too, yay! As for the onions, maybe they will mellow out once they cure a bit? My fresh ones are a bit teary too. Time will tell I guess!

    I think the garlic will be great for seed.

  4. Rae Says:

    Lovely harvest! Congrats on all the cukes. Ours are only now just starting to show little baby cukes, and I think we’ll end up having to go buy some at the farmer’s market if we want to do pickles this year. Your pickles look extra tasty!

  5. Barbie Says:

    I really love it when the harvests fall together to make something (like pickles) Looks great!

  6. mac Says:

    Yum, the cukes look so good, I’ll have to try the bread and butter pickle, never done it before.

  7. Robin Says:

    Those B & B look wonderful! It will be a couple of more weeks before I start making pickles…thank goodness, I planted the cucs as a second crop!

    I agree with you regarding the onions. I will never ever start them from seed again. The starts are much easier and produce a much bigger head.

  8. Jennifer Fisk Says:

    I too picked side shoots and some center heads of broccoli tonight and froze them. I have lots of Patty Pan squash coming and have already froze some. You are right, they are the tastiest.

  9. Daphne Says:

    I really need to make some pickles. I have plenty of the fridge type, but none of the canned ones. I’ve been working too hard on getting my tomatoes canned I think. Your harvests look wonderful. I hope you get to show off your tomatoes soon too.

  10. Lou Murray, Ph.D. Says:

    Wow! Look at all of those cucumbers. I see even more pickles in your near future. I’ll trade you some tomatoes. I have ONE cucumber ready to pick right now.

    • Ali Says:

      As much as I love tomatoes, I’d rather have those lovely lemons and oranges! Heck, I’d trade the pickles!

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