Monday, July 21, 2014

Harvest Monday - 21 July 2014

Welcome to this week's harvest report, courtesy of Daphne's Dandelions.

The Kitchen Goddess accompanied me on a business trip to Cancun (I know, tough life) from the 10th to the 13th. This was what awaited us on Monday morning:

We picked all remaining Mokum carrots (12 squares) and most of the Kestrel beets (8 squares), both of which are supposed to be best at this smaller size. All of these were planted April 28/29. Total weight of carrots was 3.84 lbs (~1.75 kg), not bad for being picked slender. I grew Mokum at the suggestion of many of you, and I sure am glad--they are superb. But I still can't be persuaded to like beetroot.

We got our first eggplants, which are beauties. Total weight slightly over 2 lbs (1 kg). The variety is Amadeo, obtained from Park Seed. I'm sold on it. They were transplanted June 1.

We also got our first zucchini. This variety is Tigress. I grew only 2 plants this year, as we had a glut last year with 4. These were sown May 25. I am now out of these seeds (which were from Territorial), and shopping for a new variety from the Fedco or Johnny's catalogs, the companies I am trying to concentrate on.

We picked a mess of broccoli sideshoots. If you're keeping score, the hands-down winner of sideshoot production is Blue Wind. Arcadia is decent in this regard, but Fiesta is doing practically nothing, so out they come.

The blueberries are rolling in, and there were still plenty of peas and lettuce.

Here's what went into the freezer on that Monday:

TKG's mother watched the farm and the cat for us while we were gone, and picked all she could eat, so this is clearly a bounteous time in the vegetable garden. While I still feel I'm behind other gardeners, I'll confess to being slightly less envious!

Speaking of carrots, have I mentioned that while I absolutely love them, I also hate growing them? The seeds are so tiny, and the seedlings so weak. I may put 3 seeds in each hole to try to get one strong seedling. One hole will have all 3 come up, and thus will need thinning, while the hole next to it has none. Sigh.

I think next year I might give up the Square Foot method for carrots (16 plants per square), and plant them in rows instead. I'm figuring a double row along each of the 4 drip lines in the beds (which are 4 feet wide). There will be better irrigation coverage I think. Also quicker to plant. What do you think?

Pickings of peas, lettuce, broccoli, and zucchini continued through the week, along with the first beans (green and purple filet). Here's a typical basket:

On the weekend I made a decision to pull the pea vines as they weren't really producing much more.
Here's what I gleaned from the vines (with more blueberries for color contrast):

Also, the Green Ice and Red Romaine lettuces were pretty much bolted (but not bitter at all) so we took them all. The New Red Fire lettuce is still in fairly good shape. Now we sure have a lot of lettuce in the fridge! The smaller bags in this picture are one-gallon size.


Can anyone tell me when we can expect to harvest potatoes? I keep waiting for the foliage to die back but it is stubbornly refusing to do so. I'm pretty sure I can take some new potatoes, but I want to wait for them to size up for storage.

With the peas and lettuce (mostly) gone, we are transitioning into summer crops. I'm feeling a little sad, as I will miss the ritual of going out to the garden in the evening to pick our nightly meals. But I do love zucchini in any form. Here's a before and after of something new and delectable from TKG's clever hands: Roasted Zucchini Tart, seasoned with winter savory, which we had with...what else...salad.

That's it for this week. Thanks for reading and thanks again to Daphne for hosting Harvest Monday.


  1. I'm with you on the beets. I just can't develop a taste for them. I usually grow carrots in short single rows about 8 inches apart. I'm still experimenting with the optimum growing of them though.

  2. Oh now. That tart looks like something I must try. YUMMY! Wonderful harvests. I don't know the trick to the potatoes, but I would dig under and see what size you have already. The one year I had the plants take longer i ended up with some serious whoppers!

  3. The zucchini tart looks delicious! And you have eggplant already, I'm still waiting. Who's envious of whom now?

  4. Carrots are a pain, hard to seed and then you have to babysit them until they size up. I always have to talk myself into planting them. All in all a nice harvest.

  5. As far as the carrots (I hate starting them too) I am going to try Granny's seed tape method to see if it works for me. I've always been a 'drop and hope' person so hopefully if I get the time this weekend I'm going to try it. Need to get them started anyway. Potatoes I try to wait until the tops die off, but after about 95-100 days they haven't I harvest them anyway. Any sized potato is a good one.

  6. I love beets, but I read somewhere that there is actually a gene that determines whether or not a person will like their taste. I have no idea if this is true. As for potatoes, last year I waited (in vein) for mine to die back but they never did. I ended up harvesting them in late September and had a huge harvest, but I suspect that I could have harvested earlier. Whenever I get around to it, I'm going to dig around underneath my fingerling variety to see if there are any tubers.

  7. Those are some lovely carrots! I'm still waiting for mine - I think I sowed them a bit late compared to everyone else. I would say that the eggplant is a winner - that is so quick, especially for the round kind. And that tart looks delicious.

  8. Beautiful harvests! With carrots, I use vermiculite when I plant them and it seems to help with germination in our dense, clay soils.

  9. That's a great haul of carrots and beets for a raised bed garden. And I'm impressed with those eggplants, from a June 1 planting. Have to check out Amadeo.

  10. That's a very impressive harvest you had this past week. Your potato plants are looking great too. Enjoy this time of bounty in the garden. And you could post the recipe for that tart as well :)

  11. That zucchini tart looks very appetising! I love to read about what people do with the veg they grow. Gardening is great, but it is only a means to an end - the eating of the veg is the high spot of the cycle!
    BTW, I am a beetroot lover. I find the earthy flavour very much to my liking, but I can fully understand how some people dislike it. I'm the same with Okra, which I find repellent.

  12. I love Mokums too. They are very sweet and tasty carrots. I tend to plant in rows 4" apart, but I overhead water so it doesn't matter where the rows are. I hate broadcast seeding for the most part as I have trouble figuring out which seedlings to thin. So I do them in close rows. But I always cover them with a double layer of remay (agribon row cover) to keep the soil moist. And I water every day until they are up. Since I've started doing that I've never had germination issues. Occasionally I'll have gaps in the rows, but it is never bad.

    I've never grown Blue Wind. I have grown Fiesta (one year lots of side shoots, the next barely any) and I'm growing Arcadia for the first time this year. So far I'm liking it.