Harvest Monday August 2, 2010

My "driveway garden" has Amish pie pumpkins, sunchokes, German butterball potatoes, eggplant, and three mini winter squash growing in Smart Pots.

One day’s varied harvest: red and yellow onions, komatsuna, a Valencia orange, eggplants, peaches, tomatoes, a lemon, eggs, and purple broccoli.

This was a good week in the garden, with both harvesting and summer planting. I’m way behind in my summer planting I’m afraid. I have some Amish pie pumpkins that I just now started in Smart Pots. They take 90 days to harvest and can weigh up to 90 lbs. Given my late start (they should have been planted in June), I kind of doubt that I’ll get a pumpkin. But if I don’t plant the seeds, for sure I won’t get a pumpkin. Hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

My late-planted miniature Red Kuri, Green Kuri, and Mini Blue Hubbard squash are showing their first female flowers, so I have some hope of getting a winter squash or two.

For planting tiny seeds like carrots, I put down a row of toilet paper, sprinkle the seeds on top, fold it over, cover with dirt and water. The seeds stay in place and I'm getting better germination with this techique.

My second planting of Blue Lake pole beans is up. I planted Cherokee Trail of Tears black pole beans, a new variety for me. In front of the beans, I planted some late carrots and beets.

Scarlet runner beans

Is anyone else out there growing sweet potatoes? This is my first year growing them and I don’t know when to harvest them. Do I wait until the vines die back like with white potatoes?

blackberries

Blueberries

A small handful of blackberries and a small handful of blueberries every few days may not seem like much, but when I put homegrown berries on my cereal, that’s a day when I don’t use a banana shipped up from Central America. Every little bit helps combat global warming.

This Mediterranean buffet feast features tabbouli, a Sicilian double-crust pizza filled with potatoes, chard, onion, garlic and mozzarella, salad Nicoise and pita with hummus.

We had friends over for a vegetarian Mediterranean feast that used a lot of my garden produce: eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, green onion, chard, garlic, lemon, mint, and parsley. I’m out of lettuce and my green beans weren’t quite ready yet, so I used store-bought for the salad Nicoise.

Here’s the week’s harvest for the week ending August 1, 2010.

FRUIT

2 oz. Blackberries

0.5 oz. Blueberries

10.5 oz. Lemon, Eureka (1)

4 oz. Orange, Valencia (1)

12 oz. Peaches (3)

Subtotal fruit 1 lb, 13 oz.

VEGETABLES

4 oz. Broccoli, Purple (1 head)

9 oz. Chard

5.5 oz. Cucumber, Boston Pickling (2)

10 oz. Eggplant (Millionaire and Pingtung Long) (3)

1.5 oz. herbs (mint and parsley)

4 oz. Komatsuna

12 oz. Onions, Red

2.5 oz. Peppers, Bell (2)

1 lb 4.5 oz. Tomatoes (13)

Subtotal vegetables 4 lbs 6.5 oz. (69 oz.)

TOTAL PRODUCE  6 lbs 3.5 oz. plus 9 eggs

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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14 Responses to Harvest Monday August 2, 2010

  1. Judi says:

    Having been invited to partake of this Mediterranean medley I can say the food was enjoyable as was the company. It was a pleasure to sit on the deck overlooking the garden, listening to the happy chickens nearby. Thanks!

  2. Tonie says:

    Lou,
    It all looks yummy….I have had my first ripe tomatoe of the year !!!! LOL…..lots of greens ones on the vine too. I have no idea what variety they are. They are shaped like a roma, yet they are larger. I will get the info from my father on the heirloom tomatoes he has. It is amazing he is still planting seeds from my Grandmother’s tomatoes. She would have been 113 years old this past June.
    Love to you all, Tonie

    • Tonie, email a pic of your tomatoes. George says that they’re covering the bird feeders. Must be a good year for tomatoes. I really want to grow your family’s heirloom tomato seeds next summer, so ask your dad to save some for me.

  3. vrtlaricaana says:

    I have never seen this carrot sowing method. It’s very interesting! Can carrot seedlings grow through the paper?

    • Yes, Vrtlaricaana, the seeds grow right through the paper. The toilet paper holds the seeds in place so they don’t scatter with watering, and the paper also helps retain moisture until they sprout. Toilet paper degrades quickly, but it lasts long enough to get the seeds going.

  4. kitsapFG says:

    Lovely harvest! The spread on that table looks pretty great too. 😀

  5. Daphne says:

    Your meal looks delish. Yum. I keep debating what to do about carrots next year. I go back and forth on the best way to plant them. I think the burlap method works best for me, but I hate smelly burlap.

    • Hi Daphne. I didn’t even think about burlap. That would stay in place better than the toilet paper does. I have to weight down the paper with a bit of dirt before putting the seeds down.

  6. thyme2garden says:

    I like your carrot planting method, in that you don’t have to bother with glue to keep the seeds on the toilet paper. I might just have to try this for my fall planting of carrots. Also wanted to say that your outdoor living space looks so inviting and wonderful!

  7. Katiekats says:

    Hi there Lou!
    I just found your garden site. Thanks for shareing this with us, it is very lovely! I’m a new gardener. And live here in Long Beach, CA . I’m growing some nice things. Is it too late I wonder to begin more Green Beans? It’s almost mid. March, so it’ll be warm soon. I harvested about 2 lbs. this fall/winter. I hope I can grown a few more before we get to hot over here. I live about 0.5 miles from the Marina, the Coast that is. But it still gets hot and sunny!!
    Thank you again for the great Blog you have!
    Kathy

    • Kathy, thanks for stopping by. It’s actually just about time to start green beans in our area. My Southern California Planting Guide suggests that the earliest they can go in is late February, and can be planted until August for bush beans and July for pole beans. March, April, May and June are good months to plant them sequentially.

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