Harvest Monday - August 11, 2014
My first harvest of onions is in – well, technically they’re shallots. ‘Camelot’ shallots grown from seed to be precise. But does this look like a shallot to you?
Me neither. These have got to be the biggest “shallots” I have ever seen.
Three of the shallots were what I would consider more or less “normal” for shallots – all of the rest were huge.
|Only three of the shallots were|
a more typical shallot size
What will be interesting to see is how long they keep. My regular ‘golden’ shallots stay firm & fresh for over a year – if these have similar storage abilities, then that would be incredible. This would mean that I could potentially have homegrown onions year round, with no need to supplement from the store. The Ailsa Craig sweet onions would be used up first, followed by the storage onions (Copra and Rossa di Milano) which are said to last up to 10 months. The Camelot shallots would be last in the lineup.
Of course, how well onions store is not only dependent on variety, but also on storage conditions. Since I have never stored homegrown onions before, this will be the year when I find out how long they last for me.
|Camelot Shallots Curing in the Sun|
I placed the shallots on the picnic table to cure in the sun for a couple of days. Now they are in the garage on a bed of newspaper. Hopefully I remember to turn them every once in a while so that they dry out evenly. The onions, err shallots, will not be included in the tally until they are dry and ready to store.
I also harvested one of the Ailsa Craig onions to use in a bean salad…love these onions, they are so good!
|Ailsa Craig Onion|
New this week were the Golden of Bacau beans. I am not letting them grow as large as I normally would in an effort to keep ahead of the bacterial brown spot that has infected the vines.
|Golden of Bacau Beans|
I have been picking more tomatoes each day and this week we had a few more varieties start to ripen. The first slicing tomato to be picked was a Brandywine – and it was a biggie, weighing in at 502 grams (1.11 lbs).
|Just Picked Brandywine Tomato|
|Tomatoes Clockwise from the Top:|
Mountain Magic, Ildi, Gypsy, Yellow Pear, and that same Brandywine after it is ripe
|Fordhook Giant Swiss Chard|
The collards were harvested & pulled. These were getting way too tall for the netting that is over that bed. I have a replacement set of transplants all ready to go and these will hopefully be planted today.
During our recent wet weather the diatomaceous earth I used to deter slugs is not as effective. I don't automatically re-apply it once the rain stops, however. I wait until I start seeing damage that I think warrants another application. I don't really mind the occasional hole. The only exception is seedlings. I will apply the diatomaceous earth on seedlings that are susceptible to slugs right when I transplant them as they are so small that one slug can easily decimate a few overnight.
Notice the difference in size between the two collard varieties? It's hard to miss. The Beira Tronchuda significantly outperformed the Vates in the same amount of space. I had 3 plants of each - Vates produced a total of 2,050 grams (4.52 lbs), while I harvested 3,421 grams (7.54 lbs) from Beira – almost 70% more! And not only was Beira a better performer, but it also had a slightly better flavour. My new seeding consists solely of the Beira Tronchuda. I just hope it has enough time to give me some good sized leaves.
Also harvested this past week were several pickings of lettuce (which is doing very well under the row cover), a bunch of cilantro (which I minced & froze), a few cucumbers and one zucchini (that is not a typo).
My harvest totals this week were:
Beans – 1,398 (3.08 lbs)Collards – 2,450 grams (5.40 lbs)
Cucumbers – 960 grams (2.12 lbs)
Lettuce – 692 grams (1.53 lbs)
Onions – 186 grams (0.41 lbs)
Peas – 674 grams (1.49 lbs)
Rapini – 488 grams (1.08 lbs)
Summer Squash - 546 grams (1.20 lbs)
Swiss Chard – 580 grams (1.28 lbs)
Tomatoes – 2,072 grams (4.57 lbs)
Herbs – 130 grams (0.29 lbs)
Total for Week – 10,176 grams (22.43 lbs)
Total to Date – 54.20 kg (119.49 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.
Wow, your Camelot shallots are huge. I just pulled my Saffron shallots and they are maybe a little bigger than the ones you show in your palm, but I still thought they were big. And you are right, I usually pick the heirlooms once they start coloring up to avoid splitting and bird damage. They will ripen nicely on the counter. I'm impressed you are growing collards, on one around here even knows what they are. I think I am growing Champion this year but will have to consider trying the Beira Tronchuda, although I have seen it described as Portuguese kale and not a collard.ReplyDelete
I've seen it described as Portuguese kale as well, but it is definitely a collard green. It's quite fabulous being just as tender but slightly sweeter than the other variety I was growing.Delete
The shallots look fabulous! I never seem to have enough onions but I also love shallots - might try some next year. I did not know that about heirloom tomatoes and mine do tend to split though not always. I'll try that trick this week.ReplyDelete
That's the wonderful thing about gardening - there is never a shortage of new things to learn!Delete
Those shallots are huge. I really do have to try them after seeing everyone's shallots this week.ReplyDelete
The regular "golden" shallots were one of the few successes I had in my first garden many years ago - even back then, knowing absolutely nothing, they grew well & they stored for over a year! And the fact that they are delicious doesn't hurt either!Delete
Impressive "shallot/onions". Lol. They are huge!! Love your assortment of tomatoes!ReplyDelete
HUGE "shallot"! I didn't have a good year for onions so I'm envious of others'. I also never heard that about picking tomatoes before they fully ripen.ReplyDelete
In the past, I always wondered why I saw people with under-ripe tomatoes sitting on their kitchen counter! Apparently, the trick is to pick them just as they start to ripen.Delete
Wow giant shallot, hope they keep well for you. Love those yellow beans you have there, need to get some yellow veg in my garden next year, beans and squash probably would be easy to deal with.ReplyDelete
The Golden of Bacau beans are not only good looking but so tasty too. I agree with you on the yellow veg - just love them - maybe a little too much. Just this past weekend I realized that all three of the cherry tomato varieties that I grew were yellow - not one red one...can't believe I didn't realize this until now!Delete
Whatever you call those alliums, they are impressive. I hope they store well for you. The last time I grew the Beira Tronchuda it got huge like yours did.ReplyDelete
I'm definitely crossing my fingers that they store well.Delete
I too hope your giant shallots store well for you, keep us updated.ReplyDelete
Not sure what happened but my seedlings got mixed up and I think I am without collard, will have to wait for plants to get a bit bigger to identify.
I will definitely fill everyone in on how well the shallots do in storage. It is just way too easy to mislabel (or in my case forget to label) seedlings. I hope that you end up finding your collards!Delete
The Beira Tronchuda seems to be one of those vegetables that defies categorization, I've seen it described as a non-heading type of cabbage. It is really good when used to make the Portuguese soup Caldo Verde and that't the primary reason I grow it. Those Camelot shallots are amazing. And I would never have guessed that your beans are coming from diseased stressed plants, they look perfect.ReplyDelete
Caldo Verde is what I use collards primarily for as well, but I do want to branch out into other collard dishes at some point. The beans right at the bottom of the vines were goners but those higher up are fine - so far. Last year the entire vine was pretty much done by the end of August.Delete
Wow! That is huge. Not just sure what shallots are but don't think I have ever grown them. NancyReplyDelete
Shallots are lovely - they taste like a mild onion. If you like growing onions, you should definitely give these a try!Delete
Your tomato harvest is especially beautiful. I'm regretting that I didn't plant an heirloom beefsteak this year. I hadn't heard about picking the heirlooms green and letting them ripen indoors. Thank you for passing along that tip!ReplyDelete
The next best thing to finding a new or better way of doing things is sharing it!Delete
Wonderful harvest and YAY on that huge brandywine! It's one of my staples in the garden. Never know what to do with colards, maybe one day I'll try growing it.ReplyDelete
Love brandywine too - I'm actually quite surprised that I was able to harvest one even sooner than some of the smaller varieties.Delete
Wow that tomato is incredible! Good tip on the heirloom varieties too. I expect you already know this but you can eat the stems of chard too. Depending on what I'm cooking I normally just chop them up and add to the dish but you can cook them separately too e.g braised which is really tasty.ReplyDelete
Yes they are delicious - I actually did a new to me preparation with the leftover stems which was to chop them up, blanch them and then drizzle with olive oil & toss them in a grill pan on the bbq - they turned out amazing - so smoky. I believe I got the idea from Michelle at http://fromseedtotable.blogspot.com.Delete
Yum! Sounds good. I've done them in olive oil in the oven before but not on the BBQ.Delete
Oh my goodness, those Camelot shallots are huge. Your tomatoes are colorful and beautiful. I usually harvest tomatoes partially ripe because I don't want to lose them to pests or critters. They ripen up just as well on the kitchen counter.ReplyDelete
It's definitely a great tip - can't believe I hadn't heard about it sooner!Delete