Harvest Monday in southern California, Nov. 30

December is when our citrus begin to ripen. Here is a navel orange.

OK, technically, this is Wednesday Dec. 2, but I’m really running behind because of the Thanksgiving holiday and a particularly difficult column I was writing for the newspaper. My husband began the column (we co-write it), leaving it to me to do the research and interviews. That particular column took about three times longer than our normal columns. It will be out Dec. 3, and you can see it by clicking on the link at the bottom of this post.

The last Granny Smith apples from my tree for this year

On to Harvest Monday. Daphne at Daphne’s Dandelions has a Harvest Monday on her blog. If you harvested anything from your garden in the past week, go to her blog on Monday and post it through Mr. Linky. It can help bring others to your site as well. Daphne keeps careful records, weighing everything and noting the monetary value of her harvest. Her record-keeping skills are awesome.

The apples went into a pie crust with sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace and the juice of Meyer lemon

I’m doing good to even note that I picked something. I have a Kew Five-Year Garden Diary, and this is the first year that I’ve continued making entries beyond April. This year, I’m still keeping records–such as they are–in December. And thanks to this blog, I’m doing better at recording my harvests in photos as well.

Topped with a crumb topping, this was an awesome pie.

I could have harvested more from my garden last week, but there was a complication. In order to write about the topic in our newspaper columns, I signed up for a CSA box (community supported agriculture). I got my first box of produce last week, and it has filled my refrigerator. This means that I picked less from my own garden. Look at all that food! Turnips, beets, a butternut squash, sweet potatoes, two head of lettuce, green beans, carrots, apples and Fuji persimmons, all local and all organic.

All of this produce was in my CSA box. It filled my refrigerator!

 Here is my harvest from last week from my own garden, which included what I picked for Thanksgiving.

1 navel orange, the first of the crop

2 Meyer lemons, the first of the crop

6 Granny Smith apples, the last from the tree

3 bell peppers

3 green onions

chard

lettuce

Only one out of three of my raised beds is in full production. The one on the left just got planted two weeks ago, and the one on the right still has bell peppers in it from summer.

Now that I’ve seen Daphne’s good records, I’m going to try even harder in 2010 to keep track of my harvest and expenses.

(To read more of Lou Murray’s environmental writing, see her weekly column, Natural Perspectives, in the Huntington Beach Independent at www.hbindependent.com/blogs_and_columns/)

About Lou Murray, Ph.D.

I'm a professional writer/photographer, avid gardener, and active environmentalist living in southern California. I am retired from writing a weekly newspaper column on environmental topics in the Huntington Beach Independent, but I am still teaching at the Orange County Conservation Corps. This blog chronicles my efforts to live a green life growing as much food as possible for my husband and myself on a 4,500 sq ft yard that is covered mainly by house, garage, driveway, and sidewalks.
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9 Responses to Harvest Monday in southern California, Nov. 30

  1. Daphne Gould says:

    Now I’m hungry. That pie looks wonderful.

    I got a CSA box once when one of my friends left for the week and I got to pick it up. It was quite a fun thing, but pretty silly for me since I grow enough veggies for me to eat over the summer and fall. The concept has become really popular for my friends though.

    • I wish I still had some of that pie left. I love being able to make pies with things I’ve grown myself. I see a key lime pie in our near future.

      I’m wondering if I’ll continue with the CSA. As my new garden plan takes hold, I envision being able to grow most of what we want. But then my vision and reality often clash in this area. Hope springs eternal.

  2. Tonie Barrett says:

    Oh Lou, Thank you !
    I found an organization that provides the locally grown veggies here in Indianapolis, as suggested from your article. You have inspired me !
    Love, Tonie

    • Hi Tonie. Did you sign up for the CSA, or are they operating this time of year? We grow things year round here, as you can see by my garden. But Tanaka Farms has something I don’t–sunshine! I have one more box coming, and then I’ll decide if I want to continue. Hmm, but they include their fabulous strawberries in the spring, so that might be reason enough to continue.

  3. Barbara says:

    I do so envy you being able to harvest oranges and lemons from your own garden! What do you grow on that lattice in the left-hand raised bed? Next year when I get the first real harvest from my garden I’d like to keep a record, but I bet it affords lots of discipline, indeed. Nice post. Barbara

  4. Hi Barbara. The lattice trellises are for the dwarf snow peas that I just planted.

    I have been keeping my 5-year diary open next to my computer, which has made it easier this year to keep up with hand entries. I confess that 20 years have gone by between the first year’s entries in this book, and the current year. I spent a lot of time not keeping track at all. I got back into the habit at the first of the year and hope to keep with it. I think a computerized garden diary would be nice, but haven’t found a suitable program.

  5. vrtlaricaana says:

    How nice to have home grown oranges!
    My grandfather had a tangerine tree, and he grafted lemon branch on one of the branches. It was very interesting to see tree with lemons and tangerines growing on it.

    • Fascinating. Did the lemons taste like tangerines? Or vice versa? Yes, it’s very nice to have citrus trees in my yard. I recently bought three new dwarf trees, a Valencia orange and two more lemons. The Valencia will produce at a slightly different time than the navel, so our orange harvest will be extended.

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