Things have certainly picked up in the garden over the past week and daily harvests have become normal. The first few Delicata Squash surprised me. Since it is the first time growing these, I wasn't sure how to tell when they were ripe. I looked it up online and found it is when the white changes to beige and the green lines thin out. Hmm... So I peered into the foliage to see what the Delicata looked like and was shocked to see that two of the oldest had already detached themselves from the vine. A third popped off the vine with only a gentle touch. We will try them this week. I hope they taste good.
I am harvesting string beans every other day. The first canning took place this weekend providing 12 pints for storage.
The tomato plants are terribly diseased, but the tomatoes are still unaffected. They are harvested partially ripe and allowed to ripen fully on the kitchen counter. Some were used to make a batch of salsa this weekend. Each day, I go through them and pluck out the ones that are fully ripe. Then they are washed and added to gallon-sized zipper bags and frozen. I keep adding tomatoes as they ripen and will make tomato sauce once a large batch is ready. There are still a lot of green tomatoes on the diseased vines.
|Roma and San Marzano Tomatoes|
Peppers very rarely mature to red in my garden. Lately, I have to watch them carefully for insect damage. Once the flesh is pierced, water gets in and the fruit rots. So any fruit that has holes gets harvested and the bad parts cut away. Most of these peppers were used in a batch of salsa and the rest were frozen.
|Marconi Rosso and Jalapeno Peppers|
|Quadrato Rosso D'Asti Peppers|
We had our first harvest of Black Beauty Eggplant this week. I am looking forward to having some Eggplant Parmesan this week.
|Black Beauty Eggplant|
|Cucumbers, Beans, Black Beauty Eggplant, and Japanese Eggplant|
Not pictured but still part of the harvest are more zucchini and summer squash. They are growing crazy this year in the newly dug garden bed. Most was frozen and some were given away.
Preserving the harvest also officially began this week. String Beans were canned, a batch of salsa was made and canned, the small onions from last week's harvest have mostly been cleaned chopped and frozen, and summer squash has been frozen.
It was a hot and humid weekend but I did achieve some progress in the garden. The beds where the onions were harvested last week were weeded, amended, and plotted out for fall crops. I have two trays of crops growing under lights that will be ready to harden off soon. I am just waiting for cooler temperatures.
Even though I have all winter to plan, I can't help but think about next years garden. I think we are going to make some changes to the SFGs and add another in-ground garden bed. This will give me more space to include additional crops and allow me to work in a yearly crop rotation by full garden bed instead of sections. More detailed planning will occur over the winter.
Be sure to visit Daphne's Dandelions to see what others are harvesting this week.