Harvest Monday - November 7, 2016

Since I missed last Harvest Monday - with Halloween it was just so busy and I didn't really harvest that much aside from the carrots - this time round there are 2 weeks worth of harvests.  Well, actually, a few of the "harvests" were from a few months ago and I only now got around to cleaning them up and adding them to the tally.

First up in these "old" harvests was the garlic, which I had to get in the ground last week:


The best performer was Music but almost all of the varieties I grew did much better than last year, thanks in large part to the additional amendments incorporated into the bed.

The onions, unfortunately didn't do nearly as well.  All of those were also cleaned up and tallied and there was a big drop from last year, both in terms of quantity and size:

Copras...not to be confused with shallots (yes, some are that small)

The Golden shallots also didn't do overly well on the size front but they multiplied like crazy with most clusters having 8+ bulbs (vs. last year when we had large shallots but each clump only contained 2 or 3 bulbs).

After sorting through them, I picked the largest ones for planting stock - those were planted this past weekend - and the rest were bagged for storage:

Golden Shallots

More details on all of these harvests to come on my end of season reviews, which I hope to start shortly.

Now on to some "real" harvests.  First up is the Swiss chard, which was not taking kindly to our recent freezes:

Variety of chard:  Peppermint, Fordhook Giant & Bright Lights

About half of the leaves on the plants were harvested and the rest went into the compost.

The carrot bed was cleared - and whoa, it was a banner carrot year.

Napoli & a few more Starburst carrots

This last pile included a few more Starburst that I missed the last time, all of the Napoli and the remaining Mokums, which I've been picking for the past few months.


All of the carrots taste really nice - sweet and crunchy.  I think they enjoyed those frosts we had.

Also in the carrot bed was a first in the garden - parsnips.  I only ended up with 3 (which is actually one more than I originally thought) as I had dismal germination.  I'm thinking this was mostly my fault as I didn't keep up with the daily watering over the month they take to come up.

Harris Model Parnsips

I ended up with one not so good parsnip, one ok parsnip and one "wow - now THAT'S a parsnip" parsnip :)  The big one in the middle weighed in at almost a pound (428 grams) and was 18" long.

The only harvestable veg left on the hilltop now are the bunching onions and leeks.  I have 4 varieties of leeks but the labels had all but faded (a problem this year when I switched markers to Sharpie "Extremes" which should stand for extreme fading), so I'm using a best guess approach when it comes to identifying them.  None of them did particularly badly or well with each variety having a few large, medium and small leeks.

Autumn Giant leeks & Arcadia broccoli

The large leek on the right weighed 146 grams (5 oz) after trimming the leaves and the white portion of the stalk was about 12" (30cm) long...not too bad.

The broccoli is still producing and I harvested a huge side shoot which rivaled my main heads - that guy on the left in the basket weighed in at 246 grams (8.7 oz)!  I think the plants may be nearing the end of their production but there is still one more big head, similar to this one, to be harvested.

A few more raspberries were to be had but I think this is the official end of the season for them:

And lastly, I cleared the kale bed and harvested a tiny bit of Starbor kale in the process (which I forgot to get a photo of).  Every other variety had a bad case of powdery mildew so off to the compost they went.  As a side note - I soaked the kale (Starbor is VERY ruffly) and, even though I didn't see any cabbage worm damage on any of the kale, there were 5 of the buggers hiding in there.  You would think that the couple of hard freezes we had would have gotten them.

My harvest totals this week were:

Broccoli - 372 grams (0.82 lbs)
Carrots - 20,084 grams (44.28 lbs)
Garlic - 6,324 grams (13.94 lbs)
Kale - 146 grams (0.32 lbs)
Leeks - 284 grams (0.63 lbs)
Onions - 10,721 grams (23.63 lbs)
Parsnips - 776 grams (1.71 lbs)
Shallots - 1,544 grams (3.40 lbs)
Swiss Chard - 376 grams (0.83 lbs)
Raspberries - 50 grams (0.11 lbs)

Total for Week – 40,677 (89.68 lbs)

Total to Date – 307.82 kg (678.62 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.


  1. Reading about your harvests makes me miss my garden!! Your garlic looks great! Nancy

    1. Thanks Nancy - it won't be too much longer until you get your hands dirty once again!

  2. Whoa, 44 pounds of carrots! It was a banner year. I always have problems with parsnips germinating, my patch is really thin this year. Next year I'll sow about 4 times the number of seeds it seems necessary. It's sad to see you clearing out the garden, but at least you will get a break. I guess I could take a break too, if I really wanted, but I can't resist growing things if it is possible, which of course it is here. No garlic for me this season though, but that leaves more room for onions...

    1. I think that sowing thickly is the key when it comes to parsnips as everyone seems to have issues with them so I'll be doing that next year as well.

      It's hard to resist the growing bug, isn't it? But I'm glad for the "forced" break so that I can recharge my batteries, especially when there is still so much to do on the ornamental beds. By February, I'll be tired of winter and raring to go once again.

  3. That's a very nice selection of veg. Shame about the onions but your shallots look to have made up for them. When we moved allotment sites and took on a new plot, the previous tenants had left rows and rows of parsnips in the ground, we did really well that year. I never had such a good harvest of them again.

    1. I think the onions were a bit thirsty early in the season this year. Now that the drip is all set up, next year should be much better on that front. Oh, ready-to-pull parsnips with no germination worries? If it were only that easy every year!

  4. Hi Margaret
    Still getting goodies---hooray!
    And your carrots did very well. You must be so pleased!!
    I grew the Scotch kale this year---extremely curly. Though I didn't "find" any critters, I'm wondering if I had some extra protein in some of my dishes. Ah well, can't bear to think of that! LOL!
    I still have the Brussels Sprouts and Kale going strong. About another 5 dozen carrots. This year is just crazy, isn't it? I think with the climate warming every year a bit more (or so it seems), I'll shoot for more fall crops from now on. A little part of me wishes stuff was done, but then another part of me is excited at the prospect of having FRESH greens with Thanksgiving. Too hopeful????
    Have a terrific week , Margaret. And congrats on another fine post!
    (and darn it--think GOURMET onions!!!) Teehee

    1. Oh yes, gourmet onions...I like the sounds of that! It has been a crazy year - I still have fresh tomatoes on my countertop that just ripened up in the past week!

      Ha, ha...I know what you mean about the extra protein :) I took the netting off the kale bed a few weeks ago as it had gotten cold, and now I'm thinking that may not have been the best idea. I was considering using the kale fresh in a salad but then the thought of finding another critter on my fork didn't sit well with me - much better that it's cooked up with other stuff where I won't be able to tell the difference ;) Good thing my kids don't read my posts or I may end up with issues at the dinner table!

      With the way things are going, I think you have a VERY good chance of digging up some fresh goodies for your Thanksgiving table. Have a great week - I think we are nearing the end of this mild spell...the calm before the very cold/snowy winter according to the forecasters.

  5. Those shallots really do look nice. I'm growing them again for the first time in years and I have no idea what to expect. And let me add my WOW to your carrot harvest! The one pound parsnip is pretty impressive too.

    1. Shallots are one of the first things I ever grew in my tiny, shady 1st backyard...I still remember being absolutely amazed at how long they stored. I think my carrot harvest this year is making up for a series of bad carrot years :)

  6. Your carrots definitely made up for the lackluster onion performance! Oddly I also harvested 44 lbs of carrots this year. I've never attempted growing parsnips, but I've heard that they take forever to germinate and aren't easy to get to germinate, so I say any parsnips is a feat- not to mention a parsnip that weighs a pound!

    1. Thanks Julie - Every year there are winners and losers...it's just a matter of which veg will be on which list!

      I'll be sowing those parsnips thickly next year - I always thought carrots were tricky when it comes to germination but parsnips have them beat for sure.

  7. Yum! Thanks for sharing this post today. I really needed a hopeful view of life. Your harvests are always so impressive. :)

    1. Thanks Beth - The harvests are almost at an end, but many of them are enjoyed over the winter which is when I'm glad I put in all that extra work preserving them. And then planning for next year starts which is one of my favourite things :)

  8. We still have to 'explore' our parsnip bed, Margaret until then we never know whether there is something underneath that is useBle or not. You still have a great harvest..

    1. That's exactly what I was afraid of...the leaves looked great, but that's not necessarily an indicator of good quality roots in the ground.

  9. I'm intrigued by the idea of growing my own garlic. I've heard that fresh garlic has a sweeter, mellower taste.

    1. It depends on the variety - some are stronger, some are milder but they are ALL a taste revelation compared to the dried out specimens at the grocery store. Garlic is SO easy to grow - just plop a clove into some fertile ground in the fall & harvest the following summer. Worth a try, Jason, and I promise you will be amazed and want to grow it every year :)


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