Monday, July 31, 2023

Harvest Monday - 31 July 2023

Here's another Harvest Monday update from Eight Gate Farm in southern New Hampshire. On Sunday (yesterday) the relentless humidity finally broke, and it looks like we are in for an extended stretch of pleasant weather. We are finally seeing some classic summer vegetable harvests, if only on a very small scale.

I took the first jalapeno peppers. This variety is a hybrid called "Goliath," and while the name may be a bit of an exaggeration, it does produce fruit that are larger than standard jalapenos, and are nice looking without any of the netting you see on the regular ones.

Golath (F1) jalapenos

What to do with just a few green hot peppers? I made ceviche with two of them, using fresh sea scallops from Whole Foods ($27 per pound, ouch!), plus the last of our shallots from 2022. I also added some first-of-the-season cilantro. They marinated in lime juice for most of the day, and we served with blue corn tortilla chips. The jalapenos added just the right amount of heat without being overpowering.

Scallop ceviche

Not to be outdone, the first tomatoes made their appearance. I've always enjoyed Sungold when sampling them from other gardens, but never grew them before.

Sungold tomatoes

The zucchini are finally showing some growth. I picked a few this week. Here's one, along with some scallions that are also sizing up. 

Panetheon zucchini and Nabechan scallions, both hybrids

But the dreaded Squash Vine Borer has made an appearance! I've already had to discard two zucchini plants. There is really no remedy for the SVB. On a positive note, the Squash Bugs that were so numerous last year are not being as much of a problem.

I pulled the last, and largest, fennel bulb. Now I have a small empty bed, in which I will probably plant spinach to overwinter.

Orazio hybrid fennel

Loose leaf lettuce is still producing nicely.

Fresh homegrown lettuce for summer salads

I only used half of the scallops in the ceviche, so I thought I'd give smoking them a try. The Kitchen Goddess dusted them with her special spicy dry rub, and did the same to some chicken breasts. Smoked for about 2 hours, the result was quite good.

Smoked sea scallops and chicken

That's all for this week. Thanks for reading, and thanks as always to Dave at for hosting Harvest Monday!

Monday, July 24, 2023

Harvest Monday - 24 July 2023

July is winding down, and we're just now starting to get some large harvests. As usual, I'll start with the "first harvests of the season." 

On October 15 of last year, I planted 48 hardneck garlic cloves, anticipating that a normal cool fall and cold winter would put them into dormancy. Well, it was the opposite. They immediately began to grow and sent up leaves, only to have those leaves killed by the arrival of true winter. So I had fears that the plants would be harmed by this. That turned out not to be the case, fortunately. We harvested the entire crop this week.

2023 garlic harvest

From left, Vietnamese Purple Striped, which had the smallest bulbs. Then Spanish Roja, a new variety for me, which is supposed to be strongly flavored with red-clad cloves. Finally, Katterman, a variety that as far as I know is only produced by one grower, whom we buy from directly, at the Vermont Garlic Festival. It makes huge bulbs and cloves.

We also did first harvests of a number of greens. This is "Top Bunch 2.0" hybrid collards. It's the only collard I've ever grown, and I'm very happy with it.

Collard greens

Next are two types of Swiss chard. This one is "Oriole" (hybrid).

Oriole chard

And this one is "Peppermint," also a hybrid.

Peppermint chard

There's no difference in taste between the two; I just like the color contrast.

We also did a first picking of kale. They come from a mesclun mix, so I don't know the actual variety.


Some of the above greens were given away, and the rest we chopped and froze raw for use in our breakfast smoothies.

My sweet pepper plants are still pretty small, so I took some of the early fruit to hopefully encourage them to put on stronger growth. This is "Ace," a hybrid bell type.


I also did a first picking of carrots, to see how they're doing, and also to add to a recipe I was going to make (broccoli cheddar was good). This variety is called "Newhall," and is new to me, so we'll see how they progress They are still small now.

Newhall carrots

Among continuing harvests, we cut more broccoli, both main heads and side shoots. We've really harvested a lot of broccoli, and are trying our best to use it up fresh.


There is still loose-leaf lettuce growing, and it has not turned bitter yet.


More artichokes (hooray!) and zucchini. We expect the artichokes to be petite, and they are, but the small size of the zucchini is somewhat puzzling. I think the're not getting pollinated well. There seems to be a lack of male flowers for some reason. But no matter, they taste really good.

Imperial Star artichokes and Pantheon (F1) zucchini

Wrapping up, more fennel was cut, including this really large specimen.

Orazio (F1) fennel

So, a pretty good week! Hope your harvests pleased you too. Thanks for reading, and thanks as always to Dave at for hosting Harvest Monday.


Monday, July 17, 2023

Harvest Monday- 17 July 2023

Here's another Harvest Monday update from Eight Gate Farm. The weather has been so incredibly humid, and for so long, that we feel we are living in the Deep South. We are no strangers to some summer humidity, but never in my memory for as long as this. It isn't pleasant, for sure.

I really didn't think I'd have much to report this week, but on Sunday (yesterday) we dashed out to the garden early in the morning just as it began to rain. This netted us some "first harvests," which I always like to feature, plus some continuing ones.

The first first is our favorite, an artichoke. Only one, but we share nicely! This was a purchased plant, since I accidentally cooked the seedlings I raised back a few months ago, by leaving them in an unvented greenhouse during an unexpected heat wave.

Imperial Star artichoke

The second first is zucchini. We picked them small in the hopes it would encourage the plants to really ramp up production. Since the plants struggled during the beginning of summer due to cold, I'm glad they are finally putting on a show.

Pantheon (F1) zucchini

We also took the last iceberg lettuce. This one had some damage on the side, so we only got half, but we're still happy.

Last iceberg lettuce

And a huge quantity of loose leaf lettuce. We are planning to give a lot of this away.

Loose leaf lettuce

I cut another fennel. This was the smallest, but the plant wasn't looking so good.

Orazio (F1) fennel

The Kitchen Goddess also cut a lot of herbs. From left is Thai basil, Italian Flat-leaf parsley, and Genovese basil. This too is destined to be given away, since we have a lot already. The kitchen smells heavenly!


Earlier in the week I took the last of the mangetout and pulled out the plants. It was not a great year for peas.

Snow and snap peas

I also cut quite a few "Green Magic" broccoli, some shown here. I have not made up my mind about this new variety. It does not make very big heads, and they seem off-color. Maybe it's just the weather. They taste fine, of course, but looks are important!

Green Magic (F1) broccoli

Finally, in Wildlife Notes, a remarkable thing happened while we were having our morning coffee. A huge turkey vulture soared in and landed on a bird house, where it rested for awhile, warming its wings. They are common here, but you don't usually see them perched.

Turkey Vulture, you are too big for the birdhouse!

That's all for this week. Thanks for reading, and thanks once again to Dave at for hosting Harvest Monday.


Monday, July 10, 2023

Harvest Monday - 10 July 2023

Hello again from Eight Gate Farm! This weekend brought some relief from the oppressive (by our standards) heat and humidity. Now, while I'd rather be too hot than too cold, at some point it makes the garden chores even more of a chore. So they get deferred. On a positive note, the tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers are starting to put on some strong growth, after languishing for many weeks in the cool, rainy weather.

I managed to eke out a few harvests, including some "firsts of the season." One of these was Green Magic (F1) broccoli, a variety I'm trying for the first time. It's supposed to not mind summer temperatures. We'll see how that pans out.

Green Magic hybrid broccoli

Another new harvest was Orazio fennel, which I've been growing for several years, and am happy with its performance. To be honest, I haven't tried any other variety.

Orazio hybrid fennel
For continuing harvests, I picked another iceberg lettuce head. I really like iceberg more than any other lettuce.

Iceberg lettuce

Also a generous picking of loose-leaf lettuce.

Assorted loose-leaf lettuce

I picked that last three kohlrabi. We really enjoy it cut into spears and added to salads.

Kolibri hybrid kohlrabi

And another bunch o' bunching onions. 

Nabechan hybrid scallions

The Kitchen Goddess and her mother spent all Saturday morning working at the community garden plot they share. "Mom' went home with an impressive haul, their first harvest of the season. TKG likes to document them this way.

Community garden harvest

That's all for this week. Thanks for reading, and thanks as always to Dave at for hosting Harvest Monday.

Monday, July 3, 2023

Harvest Monday - 3 july 2023

We came home Saturday afternoon from our week at a secluded lakeside cottage to find the garden out of control, as was to be expected. I'll talk a little about our trip later, but first, the harvests over the two week interval since my last Harvest Monday post.

We got the first kohlrabi. We like the bulb raw in salads, and use the greens as we would any brassica green.

'Kolibri' (F1) kholrabi

We picked the first Super Sugar Snap peas. These we typically eat raw, as an appetizer and in salads.

Super Sugar Snap peas

We picked the first Avalanche snow peas. These we typically add to stir-frys. This variety suffered from poor germination this year, which is puzzling, since the seed was new.

Avalanche snow peas

We picked the first scallions/green onions/bunching onions/spring onions (why so many names??). These were slender, but so tasty!

Nabechan (F1) scallions

We took the first harvest from the many loose-leaf lettuces I planted this year.

Loose-leaf lettuce

I took the last of the Asian greens (bok choy. tatsoi).

Last harvest of Asian greens

Very early Sunday morning, I went out to the fenced garden just before it began to rain. I saw that the first broccoli was ready, based on the heads starting to separate a little. This is Blue Wind, an extra-early, reliable variety I grow every year. It also produces abundant side-shoots.

Blue Wind hybrid broccoli

This tableau is the other stuff I picked Sunday morning. From left, snap peas, snow peas, kohlrabi, and the last of the garlic scapes.

Sunday general harvest

We enjoyed the week at the lakeside cottage so much, even though it rained for the first couple of days. The quiet and serenity cannot be expressed. We can't wait to go back.

Here's the view from the spacious screened porch.

Lake view from porch

The lake is home to a pair of Common loons, a threatened species. Their haunting cries speak to me of wildness. If you've seen the movie On Golden Pond you know what I mean. I took this picture with my drone. I was hovering as they swam toward it. I probably shouldn't have done that, but they did not seem the least concerned with the little buzzing thing.

Common loons

We were visited by family and friends over the week. Here's a picture of our son with his girlfriend, whom we haven't met before. She completely charmed us.

Canoeing on a calm evening

Thank you for reading! And thanks once again to Dave at for keeping Harvest Monday going.