Monday, August 22, 2011

Harvest Monday: August 22, 2011

Each Monday, Daphne’s Dandelions hosts “Harvest Monday” where everyone can share links to their harvest for the week. It’s fun to see what everyone is harvesting from his or her gardens in different areas.

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.

Delicata Squash

I am harvesting string beans every other day. The first canning took place this weekend providing 12 pints for storage.

Mixed Beans

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.


  1. I discovered Delicata squash at our produce stand last year. They are wonderful! I'm growing them this year and thanks for doing the research to tell when they are ripe.

  2. Your eggplant look great! Mine are so so small this year. Sorry to hear that you have diseased tomato plants too. It's been a very difficult year.

  3. Ahhh, those tomatoes look so good. I wish mine would do that. My eggplant is almost ready too, and that is what I am making. Great harvests.

  4. Look at those tomatoes! They look great. I'm hoping to get enough for a batch of salsa soon.

  5. You are managing the tomato harvest quite well. Getting the fruits matured despite the disease issues by ripening off the vine and then putting in the freezer to hold until volume is sufficient to process - is an optimal way to maximize the harvest potential under the circumstances.

    That bowl of the mixed green and purple beans is just beautiful. I think I have mentioned before how fond I am of that color combination. :D

    I have never grown delicata squash before but I think I may have to give it a try. Do me a favor and give a review of how you liked the taste after you have had a chance to cook and eat some of them. I am interested in knowing how the flesh compares to other winter squashes.

  6. We got Delicata squash from the Amish store-it's delicious-I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Figuring out when things are ripe is tough for me-especially when it comes to squash and melons.

  7. The squash look very nice! It is on my "list"! ;) My tomatoes are pretty diseased too, but many have tomatoes on them so I just keep pruning away until there is nothing left! So disappointing! Especially the Brandywine, I had some huge ones to start off and now, not much of anything and small if there is! You have a very pretty harvest this week!

  8. We love the delicata squash. I use them first because they don't keep as long. I was surprised to find out it is actually an heirloom that fell out of favor, then was 'rediscovered' and now is enjoyed again. Yours look great!

  9. Your squash is beautiful. We love romas around here. They seem to keep their firmness in salsas and other recipes better than many varieties. Yours look perfect.

  10. Well I hope your plants keep pumping out tomatoes despite the disease.

    How do you can your beans? This is my first year canning and sometimes looking at all the different canning recipes is overwhelming! It took me days to figure out which method to use to can some peach jam.

  11. Great harvest! Our vegetable garden is doing better than previous two years, but it's still is not as good as 3-4 years ago. You should be very proud of yourself!

  12. I think we've all reached a point where we're thinking about next years garden. It's not for another 6-7 months for many of us, but having a game plan is always a good idea :)

  13. Deb Fitz: I haven't tried Delicata squash yet, but am looking forward to trying this simple recipe

    Robin: We had Eggplant Parmesan last night and it was very, very good. My tomatoes usually become affected by early blight by the end of the growing season, but this year it began early. So far not the dreaded late blight, but it had been spotted in Maine and I wouldn't be surprised if it reared its ugly head.

    Kris: Your Tomatoes should begin ripening really soon. Luckily, you have more time for fruit to develop into early fall. A few of my eggplant went from glossy to dull in just a day, but they still tasted really good.

    Henbogle: I can't believe the amount of tomatoes that has come in over the last few weeks! My countertop is heaping with them. Yours should be pouring in really soon.

  14. Laura: The amount of tomatoes ripening is increasing every day. It looks like I will have enough to make a large batch of sauce in another week or so.

    I haven't tasted the Delicata squash yet, but will in the next couple of days. I will definitely let you know what I thought of the taste.

    Sue: I like melons that slip from the vine when ripe. That way I know for sure :) Squash, watermelons, and even eggplant are a challenge for me to tell when they are ripe. Trial and error, I guess.

    Shawn Ann: I was pruning the diseased foliage of the tomatoes quite a bit in the beginning, but now it has progressed so that I don't even bother anymore. I am not sure it helped anyway. I am just thankful for the tomatoes that are still healthy and ripening little by little.

  15. Villager: Delicata was recommended by a fellow garden blogger (Allison at A Tasteful Garden). We live in the same town, so I knew it would grow well here. I am intrigued by the history. I wonder why it fell out of favor. It is easy to grow and matures quickly. Maybe because it doesn't store as long as other winter squashes?

    Jody: I have always grown roma tomatoes for sauces and salsas. They also hold up well roasted in the oven with other veggies.

    Prairie Cat: A pressure cooker is needed to can beans. I follow the raw pack method from this website. There are also some good and safe canning recipes at the Ball website.

    Tatyana@MySecretGarden: Each year is so different. Last year I had so many tomatoes that we still have some canned sauce left over. This year, we won't have as many, so it will even out.

    Ben Czajkowski: I am certainly planning for next year. I need to work in a better crop rotation.

  16. Beautiful harvest. I love the mixed bean colors. I wish I had the purple ones as they would be easier to find in the foliage, but the reality is that I want the one variety that I eat because I like the taste - Kentucky Wonder.

  17. I have not tried Delicate Squash. It looks very pretty...I wonder how it tastes. Your harvest looks beautiful and delicious.