Monday, September 3, 2018

Harvest Monday - 3 September 2018

Here's another Harvest Monday update from Eight Gate Farm. It was a busy week, so brace yourselves! It's going to be a long one. I'll try to keep the words to a minimum.

Starting with first harvests, we got a Bride eggplant.

And Cubanelle peppers.

And "Homemade Pickles" cucumbers. While I still think the name is unoriginal, they do produce uniform fruits that taste good. I planted a hill of these just after taking down the pea vines in mid-July, leaving the trellises so the cucumber vines could have some support.

"Homemade Pickles"
Here's the first, and only, harvest of black beans. Quite a crop this year. The pods are now further drying indoors.

Midnight Black Turtle beans in the pod.
Now continuing harvests. First, a really big (1.5 lb.) Pruden's Purple tomato from The Kitchen Goddess's community garden plot.

Pruden's Purple
A few daily picks:

On Wednesday TKG finally had enough of her kitchen island being awash in a sea of tomatoes, so she canned 8 jars of crushed tomatoes and 7 jars of salsa. On the hottest day of the week. Oops!

Then, the following day, this. Hilarity ensued.

That's the last of the sweet corn, by the way. We maybe could have gotten two more nights worth, but squirrels suddenly developed a taste for sweet corn. There isn't a fence made that will keep out squirrels, unless it's electric, and who wants to deal with that?

More harvests:

Ten Anaheim peppers. Chiles rellenos incoming!

Some broccoli side shoots, and the only head of Blue Wind to survive its summer planting.

Carrots and beets:

We needed more space in the freezer, so on Saturday TKG processed all of last year's frozen strawberries and raspberries. Her mom came down to help. Here's what they made.

Many jars of preserves and sauces.

Two quarts each of raspberry and strawberry liqueurs. Very potent! And a small jar of mixed berry pie filling.

Taking a break, they went over to the community garden and came back with this:

The MIL went home with most of this, but we divided the muskmelon. It weighed almost 4 pounds, and was perfectly ripe. We had our half for breakfast Sunday, and it was wonderful.

Also on Sunday TKG did more canning. First, these are the pears I picked last week. They were put in a paper bag, and had ripened nicely. She made two pints of pears in light syrup, plus some left over for immediate enjoyment.

And 3 1/2 quarts of what she calls "Sunday Funday Bloody Mary Mix." Just four of those little tiny Thai Hot peppers were enough to give the whole batch a nice zing. She also added the horseradish harvested last fall, and still in good shape.

Then, guess what? More tomatoes were harvested. No rest for the weary.

I close with a cool picture. We leave a lot of milkweed around the property for the Monarch butterflies to feed on. One caterpillar rewarded us with building its chrysalis in a most inconvenient place...the coils of the hose we use to water the front beds. Oh well, it's watering cans for the time being.

Monarch butterfly chrysalis
Okay, enough! Thanks for reading, and thanks as always to Dave for hosting Harvest Monday at See you next week!


  1. It sure looks like you're keeping busy, lots of beautiful tomatoes, peppers, and corn. Canning is hard work, but it's incredibly rewarding. Out of curiosity, when do you plant your carrots?

    I figured out it was mostly squirrels that tore through our corn patch as well, but something bigger must've pulled down the stalks.

    1. Thanks, Phuong. We planted carrots (and beets) on April 28. With the usual spotty germination, we filled holes several times. So most have been growing since then...they just sit there until we need them! Not much work!

  2. Great harvests and what a lot of tomatoes. I tend to just bung everything in the freezer so it is really interesting to see the different ways people in the harvest group store their produce for the winter. I love the idea of 'Sunday Funday Bloody Mary mix'.

    1. Thanks Joy! There are a lot more tomatoes to ripen before the season is done, but really no new ones forming because of blight. A Bloody Mary on a Sunday morning is an indulgence, but why not?

  3. Wow, I got tired just reading about all the canning and preserving activities! It sounds like you will be eating well this winter. I think I would need to sit down with a cool glass of the Sunday Funday Bloody Mary Mix after all that work! It's good the squirrels (aka tree rats) waited till near the end to get to the corn. We have a lot of them here but thankfully they have stayed out of the garden. I think they prefer the neighbor's pecan trees, which is fine with me.

    1. I don't know what you mean, Dave. Canning is no work at all! For me. I tried to keep the squirrel population under control, but as soon as they are eliminated others move in to fill the void.

  4. What a wonderful bounty of veggies. I am quite envious. Aack, squirrels! I'm grateful that's one pest that hasn't invaded my garden. Yet.

  5. Oh I just love the look of all those jars of preserves!! Such a lovely way to end this season with so much stored away to enjoy in the Winter