Monday, August 31, 2015

Harvest Monday - 31 August 2015

Welcome to another Harvest Monday update from Eight Gate Farm. Here are the week's harvest activities.

Our Monday harvest. This "Soloist" Chinese cabbage was over 3 pounds.

On Tuesday The Kitchen Goddess took the clusters of grapes that were most ripe. The plan is to freeze these and wait until the others are ripe before we press for wine. I'm embarrassed to say that I don't know what varieties are represented. Some were there when we bought the property, but I've planted vines too, and trusted memory to tell them apart. I know there is Vanessa and Canadice, but which are which is lost to me.

Thursday's pickin's. We were finally accumulating enough sauce tomatoes for TKG to start a canning batch soon. And we treated ourselves to four ears of Honey Select corn. I swear I could eat a dozen. OK, not really, but since I don't add butter or salt, I bet I could make a good dent in it.

On Friday, more grapes to add to the freezer. 

They are in a food-grade bucket, not a toilet, in case you were wondering.

On Saturday, some new crops. First, some watermelon radishes, shown here to the right of the last of the beets.

This variety is "Chinese Red Meat" from Baker Creek, and they are lovely (and pungent).

Watermelon radish

My calendar said it was time to pick potatoes, so out they came. They'd been curing in the ground for two weeks since I clipped the foliage.

Kennebec potatoes

I only grow one variety, "Kennebec." This year's total was 29 pounds. That's good, but less than 3/4 of last year's 42 pounds. I sort of figured that would happen, as the foliage got nowhere near as lush as last year. I don't know why.

Also on Saturday, beans, chard, and lettuce.

Beans 'n' greens

The lettuce is "Mottistone," one of two varieties of "summer crisp" I planted this year, the other being "Nevada." I love red speckled lettuce, and the Mottistone sure was pretty, but it has bolted, whereas the boring green Nevada hasn't yet.

On Sunday, while I went on a mountain bike ride, the ever-resourceful Kitchen Goddess canned seven pints of tomato sauce and four pints of our pears in a brandy sauce.

When I got back, we went to the garden for the last harvest of the week.

There are three "Caspian Pink" tomatoes, the largest being 1 pound 5 ounces, and another Chinese cabbage, this one 3 pounds 12 ounces. The cabbage is piling up no matter how much we eat, and there are three more still to go in the garden. What oh what was I thinking?

Oh, more grapes too (not shown).

I want to praise all of you who knew or deduced what this year's Crop of Mystery is. That's right, it's tobacco (variety "Orinoco"). Actually Michelle of the fabulous blog From Seed To Table guessed this way back when I first showed it in June. Why tobacco? Well, I do enjoy an "occasional" cigar, but I don't think I'll have the time to learn how to roll a professional corona. It's just for fun. I'll probably buy a pipe and try it after it has cured.

That's it for this week. Thanks for reading! Head back over to Daphne's Dandelions for more Harvest Monday.


  1. Very nice harvest, love how huge that cabbage is, and those lovely grapes. Fabulous color on the watermelon radish.

    1. Thanks, Jenny. Believe it or not, the cabbage volume is a problem!

  2. Another beautiful cabbage, and then another. You are going to need that food grade bucket to make some kraut or kimchee for the winter. You can use some of your beautiful radishes in the kimchee for color.

    1. Thanks, Dave. It looks more and more like kimchee is in the cards.

  3. Look at all those grapes. I had a friend just stop by and pick up my victorio strainer to deal with his grapes. And that watermelon radish looks so pretty. Those won't grow here over the summer. The radishes just sulk until it gets cooler.

    1. Thanks, Daphne. Yes, technically these radishes are a fall crop, and maybe I planted them a little early. But they are doing well. I didn't think they would get large so quickly.

  4. Beautiful harvests - I'll probably be canning some tomatoes at the end of September. I'm trying to do variety specific tomato sauces this year, but am not getting that much from any one variety at once, so this means I have to do your grape trick with the tomatoes (freeze them as they come in & bag each variety separately).

    I still make the mistake of thinking I'll remember something (what, when, how I sowed things, etc.) and almost always end up regretting it. Very funny potty humour, btw ;)

    1. Thanks, Margaret. I must say it's ambitious to make sauce from one variety only, unless you only grow one. For us, anything ripe (and red) goes in the sauce when it's time to can. As for potty humor, once a boy always a boy.

  5. That is a lot of Chinese cabbage to deal with! I have never had that much luck with getting it that big, so I wouldn't know what to do with it. And I make tomato sauce like you do - anything ripe (not always red) goes in it.

    You are a lucky man if you can go bike riding and come home to canned tomatoes and pears!

  6. Thanks, Dave. Yes, this cabbage is getting out of hand. Next year, only 3. I am a lucky man...there was even fresh tonic water out of the SodaStream waiting for my G&T.

  7. You are a spoiled, um, lucky man - just like my Dave. Well, I'm not exactly suffering either, after my bout with the canner I got taken to REI where I got to pick out a brand new backpack. The trails beckon...

    Love the shot of the beets and radishes lounging on that spiffy restored bench. It reminds me that it's about time to sow some winter radishes.

  8. I do think you are very lucky to get to go bike riding and come home to canned goods! I do have to agree with you, I don't know how much fresh corn I could eat in one sitting. I ruse to buy it out of season so each ear is wonderful and precious.Be sure to write down somewhere, less cabbage and more corn next year!

  9. Love those watermelon radishes. I had wild grapes at a previous property and tried to make jelly. I gave up at the juice stage (too lazy) and decided we'd all just drink straight grape juice. Ooh, we had some nasty bellyaches for a while! Wine is so much more civilized. :)