Guess what we woke up to on Saturday?
|Snow Covered Kale|
Yup – the first dusting of snow. It didn’t last long, nor did it stick around but it is nonetheless a sure sign that fall is basically done and we are swiftly heading into winter.
|Surprise Pepper Harvest|
Surprised? I thought so ;)
When I cleaned up the last pepper bed, the plants looked so nice and they had quite a few baby peppers on them. I couldn’t bear to get rid of them so I decided to pot them up. My plan wasn’t so much to harvest peppers over the winter months as to overwinter the plants and then replant them next year for a larger & earlier harvest. Well, only one month in and my plan was thwarted by these:
They were everywhere. I did try insecticidal soap, but the plants had so many leaves that getting to all of them on both sides was difficult. I then moved the plants to the shed & kept them in the shed at night and brought them out during the day to see if I could get some natural predators happening. And within a day, there were numerous ladybugs on the plants. Unfortunately this wasn’t enough. I was still seeing lots of aphids one week later.
I even considered trimming the plants down to the bare minimum and then spraying with soap again, but at that point, I was just too frustrated and decided to give up. All it would take is for me to miss one little aphid and I would have a thriving colony again in no time. So I picked all the peppers – even the tiny sweet peppers will be used, most likely minced in an omelet - and called it a day. I will definitely try this again in the future, but next time I’ll be more aware of (and better prepared for) the pest potential.
Also tallied this week were the Trail of Tears beans that I harvested back in September. I did not let the beans dry on the vine, but picked them as they matured. For Trail of Tears, this is when they plump up and the pod turns a purplish colour. I placed the pods on a chicken wire screen in the garage and just left them there for the last couple of months. They dried beautifully.
|Trail of Tears|
Dried Pods Ready for Shelling
Once shelled, I was actually quite surprised at the amount I harvested - much more than I expected. From a 4’ double row (seeds sown 8” apart so 12 plants total), I harvested 820 grams (1.81 lbs) of beans, enough to fill two 500 ml (one pint) jars. Not too bad, especially considering that their yield was reduced somewhat by the bacterial brown spot that I had to contend with this season.
|Trail of Tears - Shelled Beans|
I also harvested a couple of heads of broccoli – unfortunately I waited a bit too long (again!) and they started to flower.
I keep waiting for the heads to get a bit bigger, but they keep flowering on me instead. That’s ok – they still end up on the plate. This was my first time growing broccoli, so all of my harvests, flowering or not, are valued.
I have one more small 2” head in this patch but that is about it. I am just starting to see tiny ½” heads developing on some of the late planted Munchkin and Packman broccoli in the other beds. I'm leaving them for now, but it's unlikely that these will amount to anything.
And lastly, another round of Chinese cabbage was harvested:
|Joi Choi Hybrid|
I’ve noticed a significant reduction in slug damage over the past week or so – that is definitely one benefit to the chillier weather.
Also harvested but not photographed was another nice bunch of parsley. I made a batch of parsley pesto & divvied it up into ice cube trays for the freezer. The recipe I used was from Our Happy Acres – thanks Dave – it’s delicious!
My harvest totals this week were:
Dried Beans – 820 grams (1.81 lbs)Broccoli – 210 grams (0.46 lbs)
Chinese Cabbage – 702 grams (1.55 lbs)
Peppers – 194 grams (0.43 lbs)
Herbs – 282 grams (0.62 lbs)
Total for Week – 2,208 grams (4.87 lbs)
Total to Date – 222.08 kg (489.59 lbs)
To see what everyone else has been harvesting over the past week, head on over to Daphne’s Dandelions, our host for Harvest Mondays.
Till next time…