Archive for the ‘harvest’ Category

Final cut: broccoli and cauliflower

November 3, 2011

With temps dipping into the low 20s I decided it was time to harvest the last broccoli and cauliflower of the season.  The cauliflower seemed to have some frost damage but the broccoli was unscathed –from the frost, at least.  I do have some in the freezer, but I will miss the broccoli, which has been excellent this year.

If you look closely, you can see the broccoli amidst the kale, which looks a bit bedraggled after the snow.  About all that remains in the main garden is the kale a bit of Swiss chard, and some Brussels sprouts.

I have some Asian greens and lettuce in the hoophouse.  The snails and cabbage worms have done a lot of damage to the brassica family, but the lettuce is delicious, and unfortunately, disappearing all too quickly.

Accidental cauliflower

October 27, 2011

Earlier this summer, when I harvested my spring crop of cauliflower, I didn’t get around to pulling the plants.  They were behind some other plants and so I just ignored them, thinking I’d pull them at some point for the hens.

Fast forward to today, when I finally get around to pulling the plants, and lo, what do I find?  Many of the cauliflower plants, like a cabbage will, grew another set of florets.  Bonus!  Had I given these heavy feeders a side dressing of fertilizer, maybe the heads would have been larger?  Small or not, we’ll be eating them.

Today’s treat: Fall broccoli and cauliflower

October 25, 2011

After a frost on October 8, it has been remarkably mild here at Henbogle.  Although the short days slow growth down, the mild temps are helping swell the sprouts on my Brussels sprouts, and contributing to this good-sized broccoli heads I harvested today (a Packman and Violet Queen caulifower).

I transplanted the broccoli, cauliflower and some kale into the garlic bed in early August after harvesting the garlic, and basically ignored them since.  I have another head each of broccoli and cauliflower sizing up, and plenty of kale.  I’ve had some damage from my friends the cabbage moth larvae, but that isn’t surprising as I never covered the plants.  A quick rinse in salt water takes care of the worms.

I roasted this batch in a hot oven with half of my carrot harvest.  I think I’m going to give up on carrots.  This batch are tasty, but I had a lot of insect damage, and that combined with poor germination makes me think the space could be better used and my frustration level decreased if I just purchased beautiful carrots at the farmers market and grew more Brussels sprouts.  Have I mentioned I love Brussels sprouts?  I think they are my favorite vegetable.

The hoophouse is contributing lettuce, kale and Asian greens to the table, and the spinach I sowed for overwintering has sprouted.  There are still some Tobago Seasoning and Ancho chiles growing in the hoophouse, but the time will come for them very soon. I’ll roast and peel them, and make rellenos with the anchos and might try some pepper jelly with the other chiles.

I have been weighing the produce we’ve been eating, but work and life have kept me from posting regularly for Harvest Monday.  I’ll plan on a final roundup post at some point once the garden is done.

Harvest Monday: A little of this, a little of that

October 10, 2011

With a frost this week, the garden is winding down.  The tomatoes were long dead from late blight, but the frost hit the squashes and basil and put an end to them.  There are still carrots, leeks, beets, broccoli and kale in the main garden, and peppers, lettuce and more brassicas in the hoophouse.  I harvested most of the peppers, (I have a few peppers still on to ripen up) and will pull those plants as soon as I get to it, and plant spinach.

Still, we had good eating from the garden this week, enjoying broccoli, leeks, chard, peppers, squash, cabbage and the last cuke (picked last week), in all, 6.5 lbs. not including the Honey Bear squash nor the bulk of the peppers which I haven yet to weigh.

I also did not include the ENORMOUS zucchini which was revealed when the plants’ leaves died in the frost.  This giant will be enjoyed by the hens, who have also been enjoying the spent broccoli plants, frost burned chard leaves, etc. that comes their way.  I can’t believe I missed that bod boy.  We’ve been enjoying the last of the zucchini sauteed cooked in a brown butter sage sauce, mmmmm.  I have one more squash in the fridge and then it’s over for the year.

Unfortunately, I had a computer glitch and somehow lost some data in my spreadsheet.  My total now reflects a mere 328.78 for the season, so until I figure this out I’m going to skip the cost/benefit details, and just go with the weeks harvest of 6.5 lbs.

This post is part of Daphne’s Harvest Monday series on her blog Daphne’s Dandelions, where gardeners from around the world gather to report on their harvest feasting.  Daphne writes a very informative blog and this year had an amazingly productive urban garden.  Check it out and be amazed, as I am, at what an urban garden can produce.

Harvest Monday: A lone cucumber

October 3, 2011

salsa, tomato sauce, and pickled beets, jalapenos, beans and cukes, fill the pantry; applesauce to come.

I was surprised on Friday to see a lone cucumber hanging from the cucumber vine, but not so surprised that I didn’t pick it.  This week the harvest continues, but at a much slower pace.   In the basket this week were 4.25 lbs. of tomatoes, an 8 oz. cuke, a small 2 oz. red onion, 6 oz. of sweet peppers, 4 oz. zucchini, 8 oz. of chard, and 13.5 oz. of broccoli.  It was a nicely varied harvest, and there is more to come, with kale awaiting some frosty weather, some beets very slowly sizing up, greens getting a nice watering this weekend, and peppers ripening in the hoophouse.

This weeks’ harvest amounted to 6.84 lbs., bringing my yearly total to 381.21 lbs. valued at $1129.96.  My expenses remained the same at $383.06, bringing the total value of my harvests to $746.90.

This is a far cry from the 641 lbs. I grew last year valued at over $1,200, but I feel like in general we grew the right amounts of fresh seasonal produce to meet our fresh eating needs, and for the most part enough produce for canning and freezing.  Where we will notice the difference will be in storage veggies and leeks — my leeks are still pretty small.  I hope to do a bit more analysis of the two seasons in a future post, and this analysis will also help me make the decisions about what we plant for next years’ unattended garden.

This post is part of Daphne’s Harvest Monday series on her blog Daphne’s Dandelions, where I am inspired by a terrific community of gardeners and gardens worldwide passionately growing their own food .

Harvest Monday: Sorry pickings

September 26, 2011

This week saw the last of the tomatoes at Henbogle.  The wet cool weather ushered in my old pal Late Blight, and the tomatoes dropped like flies.  Overnight, the vines died, half-ripened tomatoes dropping as the plants died, littering the ground with the spoiled fruit.  Yuk.  The only holdout had been the Pineapple tomato in the hoophouse, but I knew it couldn’t last, and I was right. I picked the last of the tomatoes showing any color tonight.  As soon as I can stand it I’ll clean up the nasty slimy mess, but it won’t be pleasant.

The garden is winding down.  My harvest for this week was only 8.4 lbs., although I did not record all the squash I harvested, much of which was given away, for example this big boy being modeled by my dear friend Susanna.  I still have winter squash to harvest and weigh, and my fall greens are coming in, but at this point, between Hurricane Irene wind damage and the blight, the garden is an ugly mess, and I’ve been ignoring things hoping they would Go Away.  Sigh.

Ah well, the paltry harvest this week brings my yearly total to 314.68 lbs. valued at $1,101.21 for a net value less expenses of $718.58, and there is more to come. This is part of Daphne’s Harvest Monday series, wish the wonderful Daphne hosts on her blog, Daphne’s Dandelions.  Check it out to see what other gardeners are harvesting right now, there is a lot of gardening going on in the blogosphere.

I also have a few new projects in the works.  All those photos of juicy raspberries in the Harvest Monday posts did me in, so we are preparing a new bed for a raspberry patch, using the cardboard sod killing method I’ve written about many times before.  I hope to get the raspberries planted next spring before my next big project begins.  For details on that, tune in to my next post.

Harvest Monday: Frost-free and still picking

September 19, 2011

We escaped the frost on Friday night, probably due to the wind ushering in the cold front.  Dan and I had headed out for a camping weekend, but were pleased to see the garden escaped the frost when we returned home.

With back to work busyness and reaching escape velocity for camping, we did not do much gardening this week other than picking and processing tomatoes, giving away some of the bounty.  We picked quite a few lovely Pineapple tomatoes from the hoop house, a hot pepper, 11.5 oz. of broccoli, over 5 lbs of squash, 3 oz. of peppers, 17 oz. of carrots, and 22 lbs. of tomatoes.

The carrots were mixed.  They were all supposed to be the same variety, but there are clearly two different types.  In addition, several of the carrots showed damage, both wire worm and possible rodent damage, too.  They tasted pretty good, though!

The weeks harvest tally amounted to 29.4 lbs. for a yearly total of 306.28 lbs valued at $1072.68.  Less my expenses, unchanged at $383.06, the value of my garden harvest this year comes in at $689.62.  This post is part of Daphne’s Harvest Monday series published on her blog Daphne’s Dandelions.  Check it out and see who else managed to escape frost.

Harvest Monday: It’s all about the tomatoes

September 12, 2011

This week we harvested another delicious melon, a lonely cuke, a couple of squash, and 28 1/2 pounds of tomatoes.  Holy cats!

All those tomatoes became roasted tomato sauce and salsa, as documented in my earlier post.  I processed a full canner load of 14 pints, and have more in the fridge awaiting processing tonight.  That’s sauce on the top, a big container of salsa below, and more sauce next to the salsa.

There’s no rest for the wicked.  Still, I am certain we will appreciate it this winter, and it is very satisfying, if slightly exhausting!

This weeks harvest came in at a bit over 34 lbs. for a yearly total of 276.9 lbs. valued at $972.68.  Less my expenses, unchanged at $383.06, the value of my garden harvest this year comes in at $589.62.  See what other weary gardeners are harvesting, canning and freezing on Daphne’s Harvest Monday series published on her blog Daphne’s Dandelions. Maybe some people are finding time to actually eat their harvests!

PS>  That beer is some that Dan brewed.  We have another batch which will soon be ready that used our own hops and blackberries.

Harvest Monday: Melons from heaven

September 5, 2011

Despite the cool spring weather, July’s blossom killing heat wave, and Irene’s best efforts, we harvested a whopping 31.75 lbs. of tomatoes last week, not quite up to our largest harvest last year of 36.5 lbs. of tomatoes the week ending 8/22.  My nearly 2 lb. Pineapple beauty was the star of the harvest, but the rest look darn good to my tomato starved eyes.  I’ve got one batch of roasted tomato sauce and one batch of Annie’s Salsa in process, and there will be more roasted tomato sauce to come.  I’m also hoping to make a batch of Annie’s Peach Twist Salsa with some of the peaches I froze a few weeks ago.

The other star of my harvest this week are the 2 Halona melons I harvested.  The first one was slightly smaller at 1 1 lb. 10 oz., the second broke the 2 pound mark at 2 lbs. 3 oz.  Melon number 2 will be enjoyed for a late breakfast shortly, yum.

With Irene’s damage to our pole and bush beans, I had a large bean harvest this week as well at 2.5 lbs.  I pulled all the Royal Burgundy bush beans and picked any good beans from the pole beans, and blanched and froze what we didn’t enjoy fresh.  Even the big tough beans work in soup, which is mainly how I use frozen green beans during the rest of the year.  I may make one more batch of dilly beans, but my dill was flattened too, so I’ll need to buy some dill to do that, sigh.

I haven’t harvested our carrots yet, but the one I pulled to take a look this week has a long deep split, sigh.  According to my research, this is caused by inconsistent moisture, something that can happen when you suddenly get 2.5 inches of rain I guess.  The carrot I pulled was near the edge of the raised bed.  I will have to cross my fingers and hope the ones closer to the center, which are less subject to drying out, did not split.

Still, it was a good harvest week.  In all we harvested 39.4 lbs. of delicious veggies for a yearly total of 242.6 lb.s valued at $856.32.  Less my expenses, unchanged at $383.06, the value of my garden harvest this year comes in at $476.26.  This post is part of Daphne’s Harvest Monday series published on her blog Daphne’s Dandelions.  Check it out and see who’s eating what across the land.

Harvest Monday: Tomatoes

August 29, 2011

This week finally saw the tomato harvest beginning in earnest, whoo hoo!  The first Pineapple tomato was ready, a beautiful large slicer, yellow blushed with red, tangy and delicious.  The first 2 had some damage from the evil tomato hornworm, but I could salvage the majority of the tomato.  I have seen some evidence of the hornworms, but as of yet have not actually found any of the worms.

The Sungolds continue to roll in, joined of late by the yellow currant and Matt’s wild cherry tomatoes.  Unfortunately, all of these tomatoes seem to be unruly space hogs and prone to cracking.  The Sungolds are so delicious that I will grow them regardless, and the Matt’s Wild get a pass due to their resistance to blight and other fungal diseases.  The yellow currants are new to me this year, and the first few have not wowed me with their taste.  My plan was to dry the currant tomatoes into little raisin-like treats to add to salads, but thus far I have not harvested enough to bother with getting out the dehydrator.  I hope to give it a try but it will depend on how the garden weathered the big storm.

This year I also tried a variety grown and recommended by Villager at Happy Acres, Juliet, a small paste-type.  They have proven to be amazingly prolific, if ginormous plants, with an excellent, tangy flavor.  They are typical of a paste tomato, being very dry and firm, with slightly tough skins.  I might have to try just a batch of these in a sauce to get a sense of the flavor.  Villager dries his, and I might try that if I haul the dehydrator out.

The beans continued to produce well, I have picked enough for a batch of dilly beans and frozen some for soups and stews through the winter as well as enjoyed some fresh.  I think I’ll get one more small picking from the bush beans, and with luck the pole beans will continue to produce until frost.

Broccoli production remains steady this week, with some bolted fall broccoli joining the side shoots I am still harvesting.  Cukes are fitfully producing, most of the plants have been killed off by the striped cucumber beetles and should be pulled.  Next year I need to space out the successions more.

I used a few more fingerling potatoes this week, and need to dig the rest as soon as things dry out a bit.

All told this week was a big harvest at over 36 lbs. bringing the value of this years harvests to $724.61 for a net value of $341.55 after expenses.  The total weight harvested this year amounts to slightly over 203 pounds.

This post is part of Daphne’s Harvest Monday series, where gardener’s post the weekly harvest totals.  Check it out and see how other gardeners fared this week.