Harvest Monday - October 23, 2017
The season is coming to an end as are the harvests. In a way, I'm relieved - it's been the kind of year that's best when seen through the rear view mirror.
Late summer/early fall harvests are always the most varied - let's start with the fruit.
The Haralson apple tree gave us a decent quantity of apples for a 3 year old tree. I checked the tree every couple of days and only picked those that slipped off the tree with little resistance, in order to ensure perfect ripeness:
We harvested a couple more figs:
Moving on to the veg, the peppers are done for the season and all the plants were pulled a couple of weeks ago. I did still manage to harvest enough to pack a few bags in the freezer, so that's a plus.
One of the final pepper harvests
Clockwise from the left:
Summer Dance, Garden Sweet, Green Finger
(plus a Tromboncino squash on the far right)
In a previous post, I spoke about some volunteer potatoes growing in last years potato bed (which was supposed to be this years squash bed until the rabbits ate the squash plants). I left the volunteer potato plants to grow but then I found potato beetles on some of the leaves - a first in the garden. I picked off the beetles and, even though my head said to pull the plants my heart didn't have the...well, heart. So I left them. Luckily, after that 1st round of beetles, I didn't find any more. The potato plants did their thing and - surprise, surprise - I had a pretty incredible harvest with over 19 lbs (almost 9 kilos) of volunteer potatoes gathered over the last couple of months.
A box of volunteer potatoes
Another rabbit casualty were the beans - several varieties suffered early on in the season as the bunnies chewed their stems down to stubs. One of these was the new-to-me variety Queen Anne which is a type of black-eyed pea. I thought the plants were goners but they came back, albeit weakly, and gave me a small yield of beans:
|Queen Anne Beans|
The Tromboncino squash, not surprisingly, knocked my socks off once again:
The Arcadia broccoli was another winner:
The winter squash was a big disaster - only 5 squash harvested in total. They were all tiny and, to add insult to injury, three of them were damaged, either by sow bugs or slugs - the jury is out on which one was the culprit.
Note the damage on both squash
(left has damage on the front; right has damage beside the stem)
I harvested all the leeks, or what was left of them, and they just barely verge on ok. Something got to the leeks in one of the beds which pretty much devastated that harvest and the small section of leeks in a 2nd bed had quite a bit of leek moth* damage.
Leeks - trimmed down to whatever was salvageable
From left to right: Mokum, Yaya, Bolero, Cosmic Purple
The rocks were made into "labels" for shrubs & perennials that went into the side border 😁
The remaining eggplants were harvested in mid-September:
|Eggplant varieties this year: Ping Tung, Thai Green, Farmers Long & White Princess|
October 10th harvest
Our nights are now rather chilly - still not below freezing but getting close - so I'm picking the tomatoes as soon as they start to change colour and leaving them to ripen indoors. One bed was more or less done so I decided to clear it out but there are still two left. I won't be clearing those until the daytime temperatures are consistently 10C (50F) or lower. From the looks of the long range forecast, that will probably be in another week or so.
Speaking of the weather, for the past few weeks, the weather has been AMAZING and I've been catching up like crazy in the garden. Our average first frost date is October 3rd so we are almost 3 weeks past due. We did have one "barely-there" light frost a few weeks ago but since it didn't do any damage other than singeing the edges of some of the bean plants, I'm not counting that 😀.
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.
*I originally thought that the alliums were being attacked by onion maggots but have subsequently realized that, in fact, I was dealing with leek moths so have adjusted this post accordingly.
You are right about the bean seed packets. Usually I make do with the smallest size of packets, but for dried beans, I opt for the 8 ounce jobbers. So glad to see so many nice things coming from your garden despite all your setbacks. And 19 pounds of potatoes from your volunteers is amazing.ReplyDelete
Fava beans are especially bad when it comes to seed count - the last time I purchased a small packet of those, I got a ridiculously low number like 20 beans. And yes, I'm mighty glad now that I didn't pull those volunteer potato plants!Delete
Some lovely harvests Margaret! Here in the UK our weather in unseasonably warm too.... weird but kind of good right nowDelete
Thank you Kathy :) I'm so close to finishing up outside but it was rainy and windy today so nothing got done. We are, however, getting another moderately nice spell in a couple of days so I'll be back at it.Delete
I know you've had a challenging year in one way or another but you wouldn't think so to look at this harvest, and at this time of year too. My tomatoes were quite pathetic this year, I know I cut down drastically on numbers but the plants I did grow didn't do as well as in previous years. Still, they did provide me with enough tomatoes for my needs so that's all that counts really. A shame about the squash but just look at all that lovely brocolli and the carrots, you won't go hungry.ReplyDelete
The tomato season wasn't going that well earlier in the summer around here either as we had a lot of rain so blight came early. Had it not been for a hot, dry spell in early September, the plants would likely have been goners by now.Delete
The squash situation this year was frustrating - but I actually still have cooked squash in the freezer from last year when we had a bumper crop. Turns out "too much" squash (which is what I complained about last year) will be just enough to carry us through until next season.
Oh my, your critter travails rival mine, you have my fullest sympathy. The season wasn't a total disaster though, look at all those tomatoes! And good old Tromba squashes are always winners for me too. Oh and broccoli, what would we do without broccoli in the garden?ReplyDelete
It was a challenging year for you in many ways. I hope the next one turns out to be a winner.
Thanks Michelle - The one good thing about a really bad year is that there is all the more to look forward to the following season when we will "fix" all the problems, right?? ;)Delete
Oh, you said it about broccoli - once you hit on the right variety, it's the veg that just keeps on giving. I don't think I've purchased broccoli from the grocery store in 3 years!
It's amazing you still have tomatoes on the vines! And more so given the challenging year it has been. The volunteer potatoes are quite a good surprise too I'm guessing.ReplyDelete
The potatoes were a very good surprises - I expected maybe a quarter that amount. I'm really surprised we still have tomatoes too - this is definitely the latest we have ever kept them going, probably by 2 or 3 weeks. Will have to look that up to see when the latest harvest was in prior years.Delete
That fruit looks amazing even if the critters did steal some. I wish they would let me put an apple tree in the front yard here! Wouldn't it be wonderful to garden with perfect weather and no bug problems and (no rules here)! NancyReplyDelete
Perfect weather, no bug problems (and no rules!) - will probably never happen but that doesn't stop us from hoping!Delete
I find every year growing veggies is a challenge. I think you still have a very impressive harvest for this late in the season! Our peppers are still going strong but I pulled out the summer garden to plant our fall/winter crops. Deer or rabbits keep eating my sweet potatoes!ReplyDelete
Thanks Karin :) I'm missing fall veg this year, especially the greens - it's such a treat to harvest lettuce in November/December. Ugh - those rabbits! My sweet potato slips didn't even make it into the ground this year as the rabbits got to them while on my deck waiting to be transplanted.Delete
What a fabulous late harvest. I love plums, especially the sour kind. Especially when cooked into jam or tarts.ReplyDelete
A good chunk of our plums were put into the freezer - there will be some plum jam exploits this winter!Delete
Wow, so much fruit! The plums look particularly yummy. And I can't believe your carrot harvest. Wowza!ReplyDelete
I had some bad carrots years due to things like germination issues and slugs/earwigs but the last couple have been great - just goes to show, it pays to keep at it!Delete
Our carrots were one of our biggest disappointments this year. You certainly still have lots to harvest.ReplyDelete
Nothing is ever a sure thing, is it? Each year has it's fair share of disappointments (and successes too!).Delete
It's the same story here, Margaret. Still getting warm days (occasionally) so I'm still harvesting a few courgettes. Allotment squashes suffered through lack of attention on my part but at least I had a couple of beauties, and the sweet corn had to be brought in as birds were pecking at it! I'm just grateful for what I've had and planning for next year!ReplyDelete
That's precisely it - be grateful for what you do harvest - we can't expect to have a stellar year every time.Delete
Oh, sweet corn - yum! I've had issues growing it in the past couple of years as some unknown critter(s) keep attacking the stalks (that's right, the stalks!). I'm lucky if a few plants mature enough to form ears before they are chewed to the ground. Next time I try corn (I'm not giving up that quickly!), I'll likely try some sort of chickenwire contraption for protection.
Planning next years garden is one of my favourite things and I'm now in the thick of it :)