Monday, August 22, 2011

Harvest Monday: Mid-August Pickings

Backyard garden, from above

a violent end
It's amazing how much more efficient the community plot is at growing vegetables than my shady backyard beds.   The plants have migrated over there once they've gotten a few inches high. The biggest lesson learned this year is not to plant vining squash -- it took over the plot and I had to wrestle it out of the ground and finish it off with loppers in the compost heap before it could even set fruit.  The Great Squash Vine Massacre of 2011.

Arugula is one of my favorite crops because in three years I've never had to re-plant it, and it's always there.  Lately I've been letting some of the pretty yellow flowers go to seed, and some are being clipped and put in salads or bouquets. 

This Savoy cabbage is at least 365 days old.  I planted it midsummer last year, overwintered it here (with no protection whatsoever) and moved it to the community plot in May.  Two more heads should be ready before the end of the month.

Delicata winter squash was one of my first squashes to mature.  I love the way they look and the fact that they keep so long.  I've saved seed and definitely plan to grow them next year. "Minnesota Midget" cantaloupe are fun to grow -- the vines are easily trained into a 1'x3' coil.   I typically get 2-3 fruits per vine.  You can tell when they're ready because they turn from green to yellow.  I like to combine cataloupe with different herbs. 

I finally bought some glass jars and plan to try my grandma's recipe for bread and butter pickles later this week -
my first time pickling cucumbers for storage.  (Stand back! )

After the heavy rains of the past week or so, many of my tomatoes split.
  Although the taste is nothing special, I love the mottled skins of the "Elberta Peach" and "Big Rainbow."  Also growing "Brandywine", "Sungold" and "Sweet 100."

A few bush beans were grown on my deck and in the backyard.  Nobody here really eats beans - not even me.  I just like to have a few to freeze for recipes.
Eggplant is another veg that's not so popular here, but I couldn't resist this pretty "Little Prince" variety offered by Hook Mountain Growers

Flat leaf parsely was grown from seed and has been cut back at least once already this summer. 

"Bright Lights" swiss chard also went into the plot fairly early - in May.  The yellow and red stalks have been about 1/4 the size of the white ones.  Whats' up with that?   I made a casserole that was sauteed onions, peppers and swiss chard with layers of tomato and cheese.  The leftovers on toast was my favorite meal of the week!

Yeah, okay --  the onions need a little grooming.  But they're all out of the ground now.

And don't forget the flowers! Chinese lantern, purple phlox, black eyed susan, arugula, zinnia, scarlet runner bean, anise hyssop, sunflower and hydrangea.

Want to share your harvest?  Head over to Daphne's Dandelions  for "Harvest Monday!"


Allison at Novice Life said...

I love the bouquet! Nice harvest!! I will have to remember that melon for next years planting.

~Holly~ said...

Nice harvest!! My melon's have yet to form fruit (and it's likely way too late). Your savoy cabbage is beautiful!!

Dave Velten said...

What a nice harvest. The savoy cabbage looks beautiful. I agree with your question about Bright Lights chard. The different colors grow with differing vigor and you don't know what you are planting. Next year I think I will just plant a ruby or yellow chard and the heck with multi-colors.

I can see what you mean about vining squash. In my raised beds I planted a patty pan squash called Sunburst, which has a yellow color with an attractive green pattern on the blossom end. It is vigorous but retains a bush form. Even better, the fruit is delicious with a smooth, creamy texture and nutty taste, far superior to zucchini.

Barbie said...

Great harvests!

Anonymous said...

the great squash massacre...hahaha! :) you have a nice harvest- i love that your cabbage has lasted so long.

kitsapFG said...

You have a wonderful variety in your harvest - Well Done!

I had to laugh at the great squash plant massacre - someone honestly should have warned you about that before hand! LOL! You have to give running squash plants a small acreage of their own to play in. I kind of enjoy the jungle feel they give to the garden though in late summer.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Many variety of harvest! Happy Birthday to your savoy cabbage. You sure are very patient. I have to remind myself as well.

Hook Mountain Growers said...

I hope you got more than 1 Japanese eggplant! They have been producing for us like gangbusters since early July. We then take them to Murasaki in town and Ume makes his own special dish from his childhood.

Can't believe your savoy didn't bolt!

Daphne said...

I treat my butternut squash like you treat your melons. I just turn the ends into the bed when they start to come out. My problem is when I'm away they take over. It doesn't take long when I'm not here everyday to make them play nice.

Anonymous said...

The mom of Dennis has e mailed you.

flats in pune said...

nice harvest....!!

Lorilee said...

I'm so jealous that you are still harvesting so much from your garden! Mine is dead and so dry the weeds are barely growing. We have had almost no rain this YEAR, and then 100+ temps much of the summer. Thankfully, we haven't had the wildfires in my area of Texas. They have destroyed so many homes, businesses and grass.

garden girl said...

What beautiful veggies (and flowers!) Have you thought about trellising your squash? It's so easy and inexpensive - you can even use fallen branches if you have any, or just a few stakes and some trellising fabric. Growing squash vertically works fantastic and takes up so little horizontal space.

flats in lucknow said...

Hat’s off. Well done, as we know that “hard work always pays off”, after a long struggle with sincere effort it’s done.