Here I go again with Harvest Monday (May 31) on Friday

My raised beds in the first week of June

I am so far behind that I need another lifetime to catch up. At least I got my Black Krim, Mortgage Lifter, and Brandywine tomatoes into my raised beds, along with Black Beauty eggplant and green savoy cabbage, all grown from seed.

This tiny Black Beauty eggplant may not be as robust as ones I get from our local garden center, but I grew it myself from seed and am very proud of it.

This past week saw the last harvest of Florida Prince peaches, but the first of our blueberries. Since I’m already well into this week, I can report that my first patty pan squash and first tomato will be in next week’s report, God willing and the creek don’t rise. Both are ready to pick.

Early Girl tomatoes on June 4, 2010

This is actually the second patty pan squash to be fertilized. The photo of the one ready to harvest didn't turn out.

But all is not well in the henyard. Two-year-old Henrietta has stopped laying. No eggs from her in 10 days now. I think she may be molting. Two-year-old Henny Penny lays jumbo eggs, but the shells have gotten quite thin and half of them are breaking when she or Chicken Little step on them. That leaves the burden of providing us with eggs to Chicken Little, the youngest of our girls.

Our three little granddaughters requested that we bring eggs down to them for Memorial Day, so I gave them our last three eggs. I have to check the coop to see if we have eggs now before deciding what to cook. Right now, I have two eggs. Well, that’s enough to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Do you like the way I think?

Male squash blossoms and green onions went into scrambled eggs, along with some bleu cheese

I cut up the last of the Peruvian purple (blue) potatoes from bin # 1, along with some farmers market shallots and fried them up in bacon grease.

The result was a lovely homegrown brunch, along with English muffins from the store and homemade preserves.

I have to share a great gardening story. A neighbor boy, Kai, is about five years old. He came over a couple of weeks ago and I fed him some snow peas straight from the garden. He liked that, so I took him into the back yard and gave him some sugar snap peas. He LOVED those.

He came over a couple of days ago, barefoot and in pajamas, and asked if I had any more snow peas. Imagine, a kid coming over and asking if he can eat raw vegetables. I was thrilled!

Unfortunately, the sugar snaps are all gone and the snow peas have been overtaken by powdery mildew. He was really disappointed when I could only find one for him to eat.

Kai, who lives next door, helped me harvest blue potatoes from a Smart Pot.

I asked him if he’d like to help me dig potatoes. Since they’re growing in Smart Pots, they’re really easy to harvest. I just feel around in the soil with my hands and pull them out.  It’s like a treasure hunt and really fun.

Kai was eager to try. I showed him how to do it and he harvested the whole bag for me, 30 potatoes (2 lbs). He was covered head to toe in potting soil and grinning ear to ear. I let him pick out two blue potatoes to take home, one for him and one for his older sister.

Kai found the potatoes and put them onto the brown paper bag so I could weigh them before he took home a couple.

With both bags of potatoes now harvested, I planted sweet potatoes in one and German butterball potatoes in the other. The sunchokes are in the third bag and still growing.

My first attempt at growing sweet potatoes is off to a good start in this Smart Pot.

I got two other Smart Pots (felt-like grow bags), the 3 gallon size, and planted a Japanese eggplant in one pot, and three winter squash in the other. I may be overcrowding the winter squash. We’ll see. I planted a Red Kuri, Green Kuri, and Blue Hubbard, all mini size. I just love these Smart Pots because now I can grow vegetables in my driveway, the sunniest part of our yard.

I can't believe how robust this store-bought Japanese eggplant seeding is. What do they do, fertilize and water them? Hmmm, that's a concept.

I can’t resist showing you a preview of harvests to come before getting to last week’s harvest.

We expect to get small amounts of blueberries over the next six weeks from our two Sunshine blueberry bushes.

I don't know if it's my imagination, but these cheddar cauliflower seem to have a richer, more robust flavor compared to white varieties. Love them! And I grew this one from seed.

This promises to be our best year yet for Granny Smith apples, with three dozen having set fruit already. The tree is still in flower, so we may have an extended apple harvest this fall. Our Fuji apple has set three fruit, the Gala none, not even a flower.

Yippee, the first Blue Lake green pole beans came up today.

Here is my harvest for the week prior to Memorial Day May 31, 2010

FRUIT

1 oz. blueberries (first of crop)

2 lb 3 oz. peaches, Florida Prince (last of crop)

6 oz. strawberries

2 lbs, 10 oz. Subtotal, fruits

VEGETABLES

4 oz. beans, golden wax

2 lb 2 oz. cauliflower

5 oz. eggplant, Millionaire

1 oz. onions, green bunching

2 oz. peas, snow

2 oz. peas, sugar snap

1 oz. squash blossoms

4 oz. herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme, marjoram, oregano)

3 lbs, 5 oz. subtotal vegetables

5 lbs, 15 oz. TOTAL produce plus 8 eggs

If you had a harvest this past week, visit Daphne’s Dandelions and post a link on her blog.

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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7 Responses to Here I go again with Harvest Monday (May 31) on Friday

  1. villager says:

    Well, better late than never! Looks like a really good mix of things you harvested. And I love those blue potatoes! I can almost taste them and that brunch.

  2. michelle says:

    Wow, your garden is zooming along. Sunchokes in smart pots sounds like a great idea, you don’t have to worry about them invading the entire garden. I’m looking forward to seeing how they do. Do you give your girls any calcium? I started giving mine crushed oyster shells when some of the eggs started to have thin shells and it seems to help. They actually seem to love to eat it.

    • Hi Michelle, yes my girls get crushed oyster shells and limestone with their scratch. Maybe I’m not giving them enough. The scratch is more of a treat with laying pellets being their primary feed, along with whatever greens are available from the garden. I’ll check at the feed store how much to give them. I’m still working on the first 2-lb bag.

  3. Ali says:

    Great harvest! I’m with you on the cheddar cauliflower. I love them. I hope this year I will harvest more than one!

  4. Thomas says:

    It looks like you had a lot of fun looking for potatoes! This is how you get kids to eat their veggies!

  5. I am always so impressed with your harvests! I love your PJ-wearin’ farmhand. I think it’s wonderful that any child pesters someone for more vegetables! He looks like he had a blast harvesting those potatoes. We’re growing some fingerling potatoes in pots this year while half the gardens are under construction…now I’m hopeful that we’ll actually get a harvest!

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