The summer vegetable harvests have slowed down considerably here, and I must say we have mixed emotions about that. The heat and drought have definitely made for a lousy year for peppers and eggplant, and the pole beans suffered as well. Last year was a banner year for all three.
But in a flip-flop, last years tomato harvest was terrible, but this year we have been up to our ears with them! So far we have harvested 174 pounds of tomatoes. We still have a few on the counter, but I’m planning on using the ripe ones in some spaghetti sauce tonight, and frying the green ones. There’s a few more on the vines, but they are nearing their end.
So despite the weather, we have harvested 736 pounds of fruit and vegetables from our gardens so far this year, and we are very thankful for that. But we are ready for a slower pace – ready to enjoy autumn, and yes winter too. We’re well prepared when it comes to food. Our freezer is crammed full of goodies.
We have lots of winter squash in the cellar.
The Gold Nugget squash was very prolific this year. The size is just right for a serving.
But the gardens aren’t done yet, not by a long shot. The Fairy Tale eggplants I have growing in pots are blooming and getting their second wind, as it were. I gave them a drink of fish emulsion a while back, and they have responded with a new flush of blooms. These eggplants have given us over 4 pounds of their tasty little beauties this year.
I also planted an heirloom long-neck pumpkin vine back in early July, and it has taken over the lasagna garden area where potatoes grew earlier. The plants are just now starting to set some pumpkins. With 60 days left until our usual first frost date, they should mature in plenty of time – at least I am hoping they do!
The necks are already curved, and the shape is distinctive. These pumpkins can weigh up to 20 pounds, so even if we get a few of them we will have lots of pumpkin for pies and such. Lynn over at Wood Ridge had a great post last year about how to cook and process them.
I’ve also got my eye on two Asian persimmons that are on one of our two small trees. This is the Ichi Ki Kei Jiro variety (say that three times fast!). The other variety we have planted is Gwang Yang. These non-astringent persimmons are marginally hardy in our area, but we are hoping these varieties will make it here in our zone 6b climate.
One interesting thing I harvested last week was a volunteer ‘mystery’ squash that was growing over by the compost bins.
It’s a mixed variety, sort of resembling a cross between a Delicata and an acorn squash, though I didn’t grow any acorn squash last year! I have no idea what they will taste like, but we’re going to bake them up soon and see. Hopefully they will at least be edible.
So that’s a look at some past and future harvests here at HA. Last week’s total harvest was about 11 pounds. Check out Daphne’s Dandelions for more harvests!