The vegetable garden may have slowed down here but it’s not done by a long shot. This past week we harvested a nice and diverse mix of veggies that are possible here in fall with a little planning (and planting).
The small-fruited tomatoes (Juliet, Sun Gold, Black Cherry, Sapho, Golden Rave) yielded almost four pounds of fruit. They made three full pans of oven roasted tomatoes. But the early planted tomatoes like Early Girl and Champion aren’t done either. We had enough of them to put on burgers, and to enjoy a nice October BLT using some local bacon and our own sliced Honey Flax Bread.
Also gracing the BLT’s was some leaf lettuce from the greenhouse. It’s finally cooled down enough here (at least at night) to allow lettuce to shine again. We harvested it all summer but the quality went way down as the temperatures went up, up, up! It’s nice to have the good stuff back again. Add some grilled eggplants (mostly Fairy Tale) and we had the makings of a great lunch.
We also got our first taste of fall turnips here this week. I cleaned out some old seed back in August and planted some each of three different small white “salad” turnips: Hakurei, White Lady and Oasis. I figured that with our heat and drought this year, these smaller and quicker maturing varieties would stand a better chance of doing well than the old standby Purple Top White Globe (which I also planted). So far that has proven to be true.
I fixed the turnips greens one night along with some chopped turnips I threw in and they cooked up in no time. My wife is more fond of the turnip greens than she is chard, but I have to say my favorite green is whichever one I am eating at the moment because I like them all!
We actually had some very light frost this week. It wasn’t enough to kill anything, but some of the sweet potato vines did get nipped and turned black so I decided to dig them up. They weren’t going to get much bigger without some rain anyway. The yield was disappointing. Last year we had 27 plants that made 69 pounds of sweet potatoes (2.56 pounds/plant). This year we had 18 plants that made 25 pounds (1.4 pounds/plant). The Centennial variety yielded a bit more than the Beauregard.
Both are curing before they go to the cellar. At least they were nice sized, if not plentiful, and had no major rodent damage. And also on the brighter side, this year we planted more winter squash than last year and they did outstanding. No doubt the fact that the squash sized up earlier while there was more moisture available made a big difference.
I harvested more sweet, yummy figs this week (about a pound) and more Swiss Chard. I also picked two of the greenhouse cucumbers that we made into refrigerator pickles.
The cucumbers were planted in the greenhouse bed on August 1st. It remains to be seen how well they will do in this fall planting, but at least we’re going to get a few cukes out of the experiment. I’m not going to heat the greenhouse to keep them going, so I’m guessing by early November they will get pulled to make room for some Asian greens I’ve got started.
That’s what was going on in the gardens here this week. We harvested 38 pounds, which makes our yearly total 798 pounds. For more harvests, visit Daphne’s Dandelions.