It's the Thanksgiving long weekend here in Canada which is a celebration of the bounty of the harvest...especially for us veg gardeners, no? Happy Thanksgiving to those that are celebrating this weekend, both here and abroad :)
Many of us are hunkering down with family and friends to enjoy some turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie. As with most celebrations in my family, we had our big family dinner yesterday, leaving the holiday Monday as a day of relaxation and, just as important, leftovers :)
This year, we had dinner at my parents house and, wouldn't you know it, just as we are about to leave the weather network issues a frost alert. Ugh!!
Beautiful but deadly...
As soon as we returned home, flashlights in hand, we grabbed the mower (thankfully it has headlights) and loaded up all the squash we could find.
Although some of the squash are not fully ripe, they are changing colour which indicates that they have attained their full size. I'll be placing them in front of a south facing window for a few weeks to cure and/or ripen up. Last year, I had butternuts at a similar stage and they all ripened up and stored amazingly well.
Frosty squash leaves this morning
confirmed we made the right decision
After we harvested the squash, it was off to the bean bed where we covered it with plastic. Good thing too, from it's frosty appearance this morning (that's clear plastic on the bed):
Dried bean bed protected
Thankfully, I went through the tomato beds yesterday and harvested any tomatoes that showed even the slightest bit of colour:
At this stage, the tomato plants still look ok, but sometimes it takes a few hours for the damage to show. I'll be ripping out the sickest of the two remaining beds today as there is little left in it that is worthwhile. The last bed I'll leave for now as there are still a lot of tomatoes that seem full size and are likely on the verge of starting to ripen. Frosts are sometimes spotty - touching one part of the garden and not another - so there is a small chance that I may get a few more tomatoes from them.
Peppers were harvested earlier in the week, together with some broccoli:
Pepper plants, surprisingly, are a bit more resilient when it comes to frost than tomato plants. There are still quite a few peppers left to pick, which I will do today, and then I'll clean up the bed. With the heat of the summer officially gone and our temperatures back at seasonal levels, there's no point in leaving them any longer.
Unlike tomatoes, I've found that peppers don't ripen up very well indoors unless they are already well on their way to being fully ripe. Now apparently this had a lot to do with factors such as humidity & temperature - I've read that some people have very good luck getting them from green to fully ripe without going soft. Perhaps my kitchen counter just doesn't provide the best pepper ripening environment.
This past week, I finally had the opportunity to shell and tally up the dried beans that were harvested way back in August and have been drying in the garage ever since.
Clockwise from top left: Cherokee Trail of Tears, Walcherse White,
Canadian Wonder, Speckled Cranberry
The last of the potatoes were harvested and the results were pretty much the same as those from the 1st half of the bed:
Left: Caribe & a few leftover Bintje
Right: Yukon Gold & Roko
Normally I would tally up a large herb harvest such as this, but I was in such hurry to get going on making some pesto that I completely forgot.
Also harvested but not photographed were a couple more pickings of raspberries and a small tromboncino, picked just before I pulled the vines.
Another frost warning was issued for tonight. Looks like it's going to be a busy afternoon...
My harvest totals this week were:
Dried beans - 2,140 grams (4.72 lbs)
Broccoli - 342 grams (0.75 lbs)
Sweet Peppers - 310 grams (0.68 lbs)
Hot Peppers - 420 grams (0.93 lbs)
Potatoes - 5,767 grams (12.71 lbs)
Summer Squash - 156 grams (0.34 lbs)
Tomatoes - 3,062 grams (6.75 lbs)
Raspberries - 40 grams (0.09 lbs)
Total for Week – 12,237 grams (26.98 lbs)
Total to Date – 221.52 kg (488.35 lbs)
To see what everyone else has been harvesting over the past week, head on over to Our Happy Acres where Dave is our host for Harvest Mondays.