Harvest Monday - September 28, 2015

After being away for a week, there was a bit of catch-up harvesting to get done.  But the best harvest was also the tiniest one:

First ever raspberry harvest
We ate the first ever berries from the raspberry canes I planted this past spring.  Yum yum!  We harvested a few more over the course of the week, but nothing weighable, so they are not included in the tally.

Also not included in the tally were the beans as these need to dry and be shelled before they end up on a scale:

Walcherse White & Vermont Cranberry Beans
I harvested all of the Walcherse Whites and the remaining Vermont Cranberry beans.  All of the dried beans are hanging out in the garage & I'm hoping they will be ready for shelling in another couple of weeks or so.

The other exciting harvest this past week was the potatoes.  I harvested 3 of the 6 varieties I grew – Linzer Deliketess, Yukon Gold & Caribe.  These accounted for half of the total potato bed.

The Linzers were harvested the day after we got back:

Linzer Deliketess potatoes plus
one accidentally harvested Viking
I had to toss 2 of the Linzer potatoes due to damage, but otherwise the rest looked really great:

Linzer potatoes all cleaned up
Linzers are a waxy potato, perfect for boiling, which is how I prepared them that evening for dinner.  Oh boy, were they amazing!  I couldn’t get over how rich & buttery they were.  I think my family got tired of me going on and on about them at the dinner table ;)

The total yield for this variety was not that great – 1,230 grams (2.7 lbs) – but considering the tiny seed potatoes I started out with, I’m quite happy with it.

Seed Potatoes
From the left:  Bintje, Linzer, Roko & Caribe

Linzer Seed Potato
The Yukon Gold & Caribe varieties were harvested a couple of days later:

Caribe (left) and Yukon Gold (right)
The yield on these was significantly better than the Linzers.  I would expect that from the Yukon Gold as they had a larger section of the bed and the seed potatoes were also much larger to begin with.  The Caribe, however, was a surprise - I harvested 2,168 grams from the 4 seed potatoes in the photo above.

There were a few damaged potatoes among these as well:

Approximately half a dozen potatoes were damaged by a critter
I’m thinking that this may be vole damage as I saw one running across the hilltop just yesterday.  One of the benefits of having very rocky soil is that voles and moles have not been an issue in the main garden.  The soil on the hilltop however, appears to be much nicer with far fewer rocks.  Nicer for both myself and the voles, it seems.  Depending on how things go, I may end up having to line my beds with hardware cloth in the future.

A couple of veg were just starting to go over when we got back.  Most of the Sorrento rapini was flowering so it ended up on our dinner plate with the Linzer potatoes.

Sorrento Rapini
I trimmed the tough stalks and it was delicious.  We haven't had rapini since my spring sowing & it was definitely missed.

Another veg that was going over were the radishes.  I harvested most of them – although there are still a few in the ground – together with some bok choy & an onion.

From top left - Joi Choi hybrid, Evergeen perennial bunching onion,
Easter Egg, French Breakfast & Scarlet Globe radishes
The French breakfast radishes were just starting to get woody, but they were still fine to eat.  The Easter Egg & Scarlet Globes were perfect.

You can see what I mean about the large bunching onions.  I used a portion of this one in a Thai curry and the rest went into the fridge.  I would rather not have to save portions of an onion, so prefer them quite a bit smaller.

One of the first things I did when we got back was pick all of the ripening tomatoes off of the vines.

I did a fairly thorough job of picking ripe and/or ripening tomatoes before we left, so I didn’t find any overripe tomatoes on the vines, which was good.  In order to save as many tomatoes as possible from becoming infected with blight, I have been picking them every other day or so, whenever I see any of them starting to get a blush of colour.

Our dry weather has helped slow down the progress of the blight & I spent a good couple of hours pruning off blighted leaves and fruit.  I can’t believe the plants are still up and running.  Last year, the tomato beds were completely cleared by mid-September.

I picked another batch of peppers:

From the top left:  Stock Red Roaster, Padron (down the middle), Pepperoncino,
Tam Jalapeno, Corne de Chevre, Hot Wax, Jimmy Nardello
This was the first picking of the Corne de Chevre and I'm not sure what I will be doing with them.  My efforts at using the oven to dry the Ostra Cyklon peppers have not been exactly stellar.  I may give oven drying another go as I'm fairly certain that I didn't leave the peppers in there long enough.  Christmas is coming and I'm thinking that the long awaited dehydrator will be on my list this year.

Even though our days are still hitting highs in the 20’s (68F+), our nights have cooled down quite a bit.  I’ll likely be picking off the rest of the tomatoes and peppers & cleaning up the beds within the next couple of weeks.

The White Lady turnips seem to have grown overnight:

I picked those yesterday & they were huge…a bit too huge (about twice as large as those I harvested in the spring).  Although their texture was still lovely – tender & moist – they did have a stronger, spicier finish than those I grew in the spring.  Still yummy, but I prefer the more subtle flavour of the spring grown ones.  I'm pretty sure that the stronger flavour was due to how large they grew rather than when they were grown.  I have to get out there today and pick all of the rest.

Also harvested was a basket of Ping Tung & Slim Jim eggplants:

Ping Tung Eggplant along with
a couple of Slim Jims in the middle
A couple of these went into a Thai curry this past week.  I'm loving the Ping Tung variety - it’s here to stay.

I harvested a big box of broccoli the weekend before we left (which I included in my last Harvest Monday post ) and I had another boxful waiting for me when we got back:

Another big batch of Broccoli
In addition to the harvest above, I also harvested 4 stalks from my hyperactive broccoli plant which I am keeping track of separately, just for fun:

434 grams (0.96 lbs) of broccoli sideshoots
from my hyperactive plant
So we are up to around 1.6 kg (3.5 lbs) from that one plant...and it’s not finished yet!

My harvest totals this week were:

Broccoli – 1,829 grams (4.03 lbs)
Chinese Greens – 242 grams (0.53 lbs)
Eggplant – 938 grams (2.07 lbs)
Bunching Onions – 186 grams (0.41 lbs)
Sweet Peppers – 554 grams (1.22 lbs)
Hot Peppers – 686 grams (1.51 lbs)
Potatoes – 3,658 grams (8.06 lbs)
Radishes – 266 grams (0.59 lbs)
Rapini – 172 grams (0.38 lbs)
Tomatoes – 3,962 grams (8.73 lbs)
Turnips – 642 grams (1.42 lbs)
Turnip Greens – 452 grams (1.00 lbs)

Total for Week – 13, 587 grams (29.95 lbs)

Total to Date – 123.58 kg (272.45 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…


  1. Wonderful harvest and love your potatoes! I always keep smaller potatoes through winter in the garage in layers of newspapers and use them for seeds next spring.

    1. Thank you Jenny! I'm hoping to keep some seed potatoes as well, although I've never done that so we shall see how it goes.

  2. Oh wow, your broccoli looks fantastic. I've been waiting for you to harvest your potatoes, aren't they wonderful? I like the waxy type for boiling, I've never found any in the shops which compare to home grown. Your peppers look great. Although I've grown them in the past, they're not something we eat a lot of yet the plants take up quite a bit of room so I stopped growing them. So who had the privilege of eating the first raspberries?

    1. The potatoes are amazing - I couldn't believe how wonderful they tasted! And you are so right - there really is no comparison to those we purchase from the grocery store. My pepper plants don't actually get that huge, but I do squeeze them in using a 12" spacing. I'm not sure if they would get bigger at or not if I spaced them a bit further apart; they are such slow growers. And those first raspberries went to the me and my daughter - luckily, neither my son nor my husband are huge fans or we may have had issues ;)

  3. Lovely harvests. I wish my broccoli was doing that well. It is at least producing. But I've been cheating and buying it too.

    1. Well, I was in your boat last year when you had an abundance of broccoli and I had a few very small heads. I still find it difficult to wrap my head around how different each year can be in the garden and how much the harvest can change in terms of what does well and what doesn't. Once you figure out a good variety, method, timing etc. you should always have a bumper crop of "insert veg here", right?

  4. Your garden is doing great. And your potatoes look fantastic. It's amazing how much your garden is producing up until the very end.

    1. I think that this is the most produce I have harvested this late in the season - ever! I wish it was because of something I did but I think that most of the credit goes to the unusually warm weather we have had in September. But I'll take what I can get!

  5. What a lovely mix of veggies you have coming in now! And the raspberries, which I would be excited about too. Voles eat our sweet potatoes so I'm not surprised if they're after your spuds. It looks like they left most of them for you though. And those Linzers are beautiful after they were cleaned up!

    1. The Linzers are gorgeous and delicious - can't beat that combination! Other than the 2 Linzers that I had to throw out, all of the other damaged potatoes were like those above, with a bit chewed off, but most of the potato was left intact - they will definitely NOT go to waste!

  6. Beautiful harvests, Margaret. I especially like the looks of the eggplants. Voles damaged a few of our potatoes too. I know lining with hardware cloth is the right thing, but I just can't imagine shoveling out all the soil in the beds and starting over.

    1. Yes, the prospect of actually installing the hardware cloth is not something I look forward to. I'll have to see what happens next season. I would really like to grow long maturing crops in the hilltop garden, with those we pick more frequently in the main garden, but I may have to make an exception for potatoes. The voles would get quite the headache trying to manoeuver through all the rocks in the soil of our main garden!

  7. Beautiful harvest, your broccoli is amazing. I never get results like that, keep on doing what you are doing. I also like Ping Tung, a great eggplant. Here is a recipe I often use when I get enough: http://bit.ly/1L0ST2G. A favorite of my daughter.

    1. Oh boy, that eggplant salad looks incredible! One of my favourite pasta salads (it's from one of Ina Garten's books) includes a variety of roasted veg and I usually end up eating a good chunk of the roasted eggplant before it ends up in the salad! I'll be adding some goat cheese to my shopping list - thanks David!

  8. Yum, yum! I'm just about to break to make supper and your post came just in time to whet my appetite. Sounds like you had a wonderful vacation, and your garden is in great shape after your return! :)

    1. I have been on two vacations this year, both during prime gardening time. When it comes to veg gardens, that can make the difference between a great harvest and no harvest. All turned out well, but I have to do a better job planning next time round so that I am not as stressed out about it!

  9. Hi Margaret, So hoping you get a good crop of raspberries next year! You grow so many different wonderful things! Nice lot of potatoes and a great broccoli harvest! I can only grow radishes well in the spring. Nancy

    1. The fall radishes were a first and I'm glad I tried. As with so many things in the garden, it never hurts to try as you never know when you will come up with a winner.

  10. Lovely varied harvests. Ping Tung eggplant is my favorite also.

    1. They are lovely, aren't they? The plants are also very productive - I think that may be the only variety I grow next year.

  11. Oh my goodness, these are some amazing harvests! Such variety at the end of summer. Congratulations on your first raspberries! I am surprised you got a few berries, with just planting the canes this summer.

    1. Thanks Jennifer - it's great to sometimes get a good surprise from the garden instead of all those pesky critter surprises!

  12. Our raspberries never get weighed -- those are a garden "treat".

    The only critter problems we have are squirrels, who seem to love to dig in any exposed dirt. I'm pretty sure they're squirrels anyway, the last one left behind half of a peanut shell.

    1. That's the thing with pests - half the time you don't know what you are dealing with and just have to make an educated guess.

  13. The first alarm always the best aren't they? Like you I think our dry weather has helped keep the blight at bay this year I don't suppose we will escape again next year.

    1. If I had to choose, I would definitely prefer dry vs. wet weather. At least you have the option to water if it's dry, but when the rain keeps coming down, there is little you can do.

  14. I'm very impressed with your potatoes - lovely and clean too. Your enthusiasm for them is evident! I also like the way you use baskets and boxes to display the produce. As you know, I do this myself, because I think it enhances the photos a lot. The broccoli I grew earlier this year was far from "hyperactive", unfortunately, but yours looks very nice.

    1. Thank you Mark! This is the first time I've grown a good stand of broccoli and I'm thrilled. Now let's just hope that I can repeat that success next year!

  15. I dug up my raspberry plants here. 4 yrs they never made but a handful of berries. To hot I have decided in TExas for raspberries. You don't really see people growing them here much, I a sure this is why LOL... Now blackberries I can and do grow some huge blackberries!

    I found your blog through Kentucky Fried Garden.. Always fun to find another gardener!

    1. Hey there Texan & so glad you stopped by! Oh, that's too bad about the raspberries. We here in the North always think how lucky Southerners have it with they super long growing seasons and we tend forget that certain plants actually need a cooler climate. But then I think of the wonderful fig trees & other cold sensitive fruits that must be so easy to grow there...grass is always greener, eh? ;)


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