I love gardening this time of year. The pace is slower for one thing. And most of the vegetables don’t demand daily harvesting. I did cut quite a bit of broccoli the other day before our first hard freeze – over three pounds of it actually. We’ve been enjoying it a lot, especially since we got very little of it this spring.
But most of the greens are harvested on an as needed basis. I cut some of the Beira Tronchuda for a lentil kale soup I fixed. I cut the stalks away from the leaves, and my wife and I ate them raw for a snack. We were amazed at how tender and tasty they were! And the large lower leaves were mild and tender in the soup too.
I harvested the first fall spinach this week and used it for a wilted spinach salad. That made for a nice lunch one day. The spinach is coming from a sowing I made back in August in one of the cold frame beds, and is a mix of Viroflay, Giant Winter and Space varieties.
I’ve been harvesting lettuce as needed for salads too. The Anuenue and Red Sails made a nice and colorful combination.
The hard freeze last week finally got the tomato vines, but we still have a few fresh ones ripening. They don’t have a lot of flavor but we’ll use them anyway for cooking and on salads. It will be along time before we have fresh ones again!
I also got the first figs of the season, mostly the Hardy Chicago variety. The figs were not great producers this year, though the plants themselves grew well. And they were loaded with figs, but most just didn’t ripen in time. There’s always next year I guess.
And my wife and I harvested the luffa gourds that were mature enough to use. I didn’t weigh these, since we’re not eating them, but there were quite a few. There were about a dozen of the large luffas, and a shoe box full of the little hedgehog luffas. We put them out in the garage for drying.
That’s a peek at what we’re harvesting here in November. For more gardeners’ harvests, visit Daphne’s Dandelions.
I had a similar experience with my fig tree this year, its second year: vigorous growth, lots of fruit but very late to ripen, so late that most fruit did not ripen. I live near Boston and grow the fig in a large container so I can move it to the garage for shelter during the winter.
I sort of wish I had a fig or two growing in containers, instead of having them all planted in the ground. I might just get a start from one of ours and grow it on in a container next year.
I really like Beira Tronchuda too. A suprisingly productive and very tasty variety.
The broccoli, spinach, lettuce, and tomatoes are beautiful and the louffa gourds are just plain fun!
my figs were the same size. I didn’t bother putting them in my post there were too few. 🙁 Guess that means LOTS next year!
What are hedgehog luffas? I’ve never heard of that kind before. I used to grow luffas up and over my rabbit barn (when I lived in TX) for shade, love the lemon yellow flowers. I have a big trellis I’m going to try them on next year.
They are small, egg shaped gourds that have a spiny exterior. Once dried, there is a little sponge inside. Here is a link to a photo I took of them earlier in the year: https://www.ourhappyacres.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/hedgehogs.jpg
How come you don’t eat your luffa? What do you do with the mature ones
We eat some of the young ones, but the big ones are for soap making.
Great harvest. Seeing those beautiful tomatoes in November from a Hoosier garden is something. I’ve never seen luffas as they’re harvested, just as the bath luffas. How do you get the outer part off?
The skin is peeled off when dry, then the spongy part is washed and the seeds removed.
I’m envious of your tomatoes. You’re right, it will be quite some time before we have fresh ones again, sadly. Your lettuce looks great, I grew red sails earlier this year and was quite happy with it.
Our fig tree is about on par with yours, but it’s also young. I know however, there will likely come a day when we’re both drowning in figs!
I’m really impressed with your luffa harvest! I’m definitely going to try growing them here in the future, if only to incorporate bits of luffa into some soap as an exfoliant.
When you say “for soap making” can you explain a bit more? I know you can use it like a sponge but how do use it to make soap?
You can cut cross sections of the luffa and pour soap around it, so the luffa is surrounded by soap. And you can grind up the luffa and put the powder in soap as an exfolient. Of course you can always use it as a scrubber/sponge too.
Great harvest! What do y’all so with the loofahs?
That is really fascinating about using the luffa gourds. I was reading your post thinking what on earth would you use them for and now all is made clear – love it!
I have to say that I have broccoli envy. This has been the worst year ever for broccoli. Boy, tomatoes in November….mine have been gone for some time now!
I hope that you or your wife do a post on using that luffa.
It is too bad that the figs didn’t ripen in time. I planted my first fig trees this spring. They were 8″ tall when they went in. I was shocked to find that one of them set figs. Not nearly early enough to ripen, but still it tried. Maybe next year they will set earlier. I know nothing about growing figs so it will be fun to learn about them.
I love Tronchuda cabbage. Have you made any Caldo Verde with it yet? I grow that cabbage just so that I can use it in that soup, mmmm. Unfortunately, I got my Tronchuda off to a very late start this autumn and it doesn’t look like it will size up. Great looking harvest. Better luck with the figs next year.
I will be making some Caldo Verde soon!
Great looking harvest! I so wish I could have grown a fall garden, but circumstances this year prevented it.