Mary's Veggie Garden

August 7, 2017

8/7/2017 High Summer Harvest

Filed under: Beans,Carrots,Cucumbers,Onions,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 2:07 pm

The weather for the last couple days has been cool, and today rainy, more like mid-September than early August. Summer crops are starting to peak but already it feels like fall.

Cabernet and Copra onions curing is a shaded area on the patio.

I’ve been harvesting Cabernet onions for two weeks and most are cured and ready to go into storage. This is the entire crop of Cabernet but only about half of my Copra onions. The plants were shredded by hail in early June but recovered remarkably well – these are the biggest onions I’ve ever grown of both varieties. I attribute this to the regular rains we’ve been getting.

Each of these onions weighs about 7 ounces, together 1 pound including foliage. Typically, the Cabernet would be about 4-5 ounces and the Copra about 3 ounces.

The Yaya carrots are not as happy as the onions without supplemental watering. The split carrots require some carving but still taste great.

We’ve had a couple of periods of 8-9 days with no rain when I wasn’t watering. The carrots probably split after the next rainfall. I finally laid out the soaker hoses two weeks ago so subsequent plantings should not have this problem.

I’ve been checking for cucumbers but found only one – I picked the first last Thursday. Suddenly there are a gazillion and by their size several of them were there and ready last Thursday. Strange how they suddenly snapped into focus.

Cucumbers, H-19 Little Leaf. This is a pickling type with high resistance to bacterial wilt. The taste is good.

I’m not able to judge the resistance claim yet as the plants were protected by a row cover until the start of flowering. The foliage was clean when I removed the row cover but it is starting to show signs of disease now.

Tomatoes – 3 pounds of Sungold cherries and 1 pound of Garden Gem.

I cut then slow roasted (275°F) the Sungolds with garlic, basil & olive oil. I freeze them on a tray then pack them into freezer bags for use on winter salads. Summer has been cool and my biggest tomatoes are only just starting to show a bit of color.

One pound bush beans – most are Bush Blue Lake. The darker green beans are Hickock.

Lettuce Rouge Grenoblais and Muir. Muir stands up to hot weather much better than Rouge Grenoblais.

Everything above came from my community garden plot. I try to alternate harvests. Every second day at home I harvest a basket of beans and a handful of Jasper tomatoes. Zucchini is rarer, but still sufficient, since I prefer not to freeze it. Plus there is a daily harvest of greens – chard, kale, or Tyfon-Holland greens.

Helda pole beans, zucchini and Jasper cherry tomatoes.

Linking up with Dave at Our Happy Acres where the season is much more advanced.

August 26, 2013

Harvest Monday 8/26/2013

Filed under: Beans,Cucumbers,Tomatoes,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 12:43 pm
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It feels like the end of summer at the Vassar Farm community gardens. Last weekend a row of 4 Port-A-Potties was installed at the edge of the playing field across the dirt road, and all week Vassar teams were exercising in the field within sight and sound of the gardens.  “Push-ups – Count – In Unison – ONE – TWO -…-FIFTEEN”. The amusing but sad part is that the dorms on the main campus are .5 -1 miles away, but all the students drive to practice.

FAQ: what is under that white thing and why?

FAQ: what is under that white stuff and why?  A: It is a floating row cover with Edamame Soy growing underneath to prevent insect damage

“Out of sight, out of mind” – this saying is certainly true for crops hidden by a row cover. I planted my soy beans under a row cover and have only peeked under a few times very briefly: once to place a soaker hose, once to pull a couple of weeds that were taller than the soy plants and once to make sure the beans were pollinating under the cover. (Yes the pollination was as good as without a cover.) Because I mulched thickly before planting, and only moved the mulch aside a little to plant the seed, there were very few weeds.

Tohya edamame soy: a great pod set.

Tohya edamame soy: a great pod set.

Last year I lost most of my soy crop to the combined effects of Mexican Bean beetles eating foliage and Stink Bugs feeding on the beans through the pods. See the post here. The row cover solved those problems. A close look at the first picture (click any photo to enlarge) reveals at least one hole in the row cover (probably my fault – I managed to snag it a couple of times.) A bean beetle managed to find that hole, get inside and start laying eggs. I found and crushed both the beetle and several clutches of eggs during harvest.

Without seeing the plants, how can I tell when to harvest? I did the math: Planting date of 6/11 plus 78 days to maturity equals Aug. 28. I prefer my edamame on the green side and don’t like any beans to start drying so I usually harvest before the maturity date. I checked on 8/16 and the beans were full-sized and the raw beans tasted unexpectedly sweet. I started harvest Monday 8/19 and finished 8/21. The beans were fuller (noticeably more mature) on the last day of harvest, but I had too many plans to delay harvest by a few days.

Tohya Edamame Soy pods.

Tohya Edamame Soy pods. Harvest total = 15.62 pounds.

Each evening I steamed the pods for 6 minutes, shelled out the beans, froze them in a single layer on a cookie sheet, then packed into plastic containers.

Soy was only the beginning. While sitting outside the garden snipping pods from the plants a neighbor came by to ask if I’d had anything stolen. (A: Not yet this year.) She’d lost a melon and an eggplant. By the week’s end there was news of several more break-ins – a garden stripped of tomatoes, two melons from another, a big sunflower gone, etc. I decided to harvest whatever I could carry on my bike each day.

Tuesday 8/20: how am I going to fit this stuff into my panniers?

Tuesday 8/20: how am I going to fit this stuff into my panniers?

The bags of edamame went into the bottom of each pannier – they conform easily to the tapering shape of the pannier. On one side my gardening clothing was next as padding with the tomatoes on top. The other side got the hard stuff – a spray bottle, the corn, Tetsukabuto squash, and carrots. Some stuff didn’t fit – the onions were hung from the back of the seat and my purse was carried as a belt pack.

The gardener arrives at home...

The gardener arrives at home with bike fully loaded

My garden at home is also producing. I picked several pounds of pole beans but didn’t photograph. The 5″ of rain on 8/9 pushed production into a high for this year. Unfortunately we’ve gotten no rain since.

Cucumber: top Summer Dance, bottom Salt & Pepper

Cucumbers: top Summer Dance, bottom Salt & Pepper

The three Summer Dance cucumbers pictured are the first of the sixteen harvested this week. Yes, I’m giving them away.

For the last several years we’ve had a bad problem at the community gardens with bacterial spot on peppers – so bad that my plants produced very little last year. This year I made an effort to find the varieties resistant to the most races of  bacterial spot and ordered Vanguard & Naples from Stokes. The seed was expensive but the plants are doing fantastic. The largest of these bell peppers is almost a pound.

Naples (tapered peppers) and Vanguard (bell peppers)

Wed. 8/21: Naples (tapered peppers) and Vanguard (bell peppers)

I prefer my peppers red ripe, but I’d rather have green peppers than loose the crop to stink bugs or thieves. So I harvested.

Thursday 8/22

Thursday 8/22

A typical daily harvest from Vassar Farm: 1-2 pounds of Sungold cherry tomatoes, two ears of Incredible corn (21 ears this week), and some bigger tomatoes. These are all Opalka, from a single plant. For some unknown reason the plant is dropping a lot of partially ripe tomatoes.

Friday 8/23 slicing tomatoes

Friday 8/23 slicing tomatoes from my plot

These are all varieties I’m trying for the first time. The three on the left are ‘Mountain Fresh’. That weird, deep stem scar seems characteristic of the variety.

Totals this week: 30 pounds of tomatoes, 64 pounds of everything else.

Total for the year: 353 pounds

It’s time to get off the computer and into a garden for more tomatoes and corn.

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