Harvest update for 2012

It’s too late for last Harvest Monday, and too early for next Harvest Monday. What is a garden blogger to do? The answer is…catch up with the Excel spreadsheet of my harvest to date.

The grand total for 2012 so far is, ta-da, 260 eggs, 59.1 lbs of fruit and 125.7 lbs of vegetables for a produce total of 184.8 lbs.

I don’t think I’m going to meet my harvest goal of 350 lbs this year, but I should beat my past harvest totals of 224 and 225 lbs. I hope, I hope, I hope.

I will need another 170 lbs of produce by December 31 if I’m going to reach that 350 lb goal. I don’t think it’s possible. My home summer garden is about shot, but the community garden plot is just now coming into production. I have watermelon, corn, cantaloupe, cucumbers, tomatoes and both winter and summer squash at the community garden, which are heavy crops. I also have some relatively lightweight crops there like lettuce, green beans, wax beans, dried black beans, bell peppers, and eggplant. Still coming at home are the last few avocados, my apple crop (which is going to be small with about 10 Granny Smith apples, 5 Fuji, and 3 Gala), yams, pumpkins, and lemons.

Cukes and summer squash are helping bring up my total poundage of harvest.

Some of my plants don’t seem to be on board with my harvest goals. My Fuyu Persimmon tree dropped the five fruit that it set. No persimmons this year. My grape vines bloomed for the first time this year and grapes started to grow, but they shriveled on the vine when still the size of currants. No grapes this year.

The good news is that my 21st Century Asian Pear bloomed for the first time this year, and set one pear. I may get my first Asian pear from that tree. My other tree, the Shinseiki Asian pear, didn’t set any fruit this year. Win some, lose some.

Green onions and squash blossoms go into scrambled eggs, using eggs from our own hens. The strawberries were the fruit for this breakfast. Beautiful and tasty, but this harvest didn’t weigh much.

But gardening isn’t just about how many pounds of produce are harvested. It’s also about winning prizes at the county fair!

Our 4-year-old granddaughter Megan grew these radishes herself. I entered them in the fair for her. Not bad for radishes in August.

Megan’s radishes won first place! She was so happy. She said that she wants to be a farmer when she grows up. “But I don’t know how to grow animals,” she said. I asked her what kind of animals she would “grow” on her farm. “All of them. Mostly ducks,” she replied. So cute.

My giant beet entry at the fair two weeks ago won second place in Most Unusually Shaped Vegetable. I entered my smaller giant beet pictured here last week and won first place for Largest Beet. It weighed five lbs.

My community garden plot is looking good. It is just now starting to produce, but I planted it only a month ago. Not bad for a one-month-old garden, huh?

I have three Crimson Sweet watermelons set, a Sugar Baby watermelon, and a Hale cantaloupe. I’m hoping that more will set in the next few weeks. They should be good and heavy.

My corn went in really late, but this is a short season variety. I hope I will get at least a few ears of sweet corn before fall. Or maybe the cornworms or raccoons or rats will get them all, like last year. We’ll see.

I’ll close with one last view of my community garden plot. It is looking so much greener and fresher than my nearly spent home garden.

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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10 Responses to Harvest update for 2012

  1. Daphne says:

    Your garden is looking lovely. I hope the corn has time to grow. I think my late planted corn is going to produce for me but only about half or less of what I was hoping for.

  2. Bee Girl says:

    Everything is looking great! Congrats on your wins at the fair! Perfect proof that things are going well!!!

  3. A 5lb beet? Wow, that’s a monster, congratulations! Congratulations to Megan on her radishes too!

    You have to love summer squash, it’s always very happy to fill in any void in the garden harvest. I’d definitely make some zucchini pickles with those yellow ones 😉

    Our persimmons were a wholesale failure this season too. I’m blaming the dry winter, and ill-timed spring rains.

    Our eggplants are doing amazingly well for us this year though. Which varieties are growing there? The little Japanese eggplants we’re growing seem quite prolific.

  4. Lyndsay says:

    Wow! I love having a local blog to follow and see what to plant, when to harvest, and get tips on growing here in OC. Thanks for the hard work.

  5. Nichole McDonald says:

    I am new to your page. I sat here with tears brimming in my eyes…..reading stories about Yellowstone National Park, looking at pictures of your vacation to Mexico, and more importantly reading the story about your grand baby wanting to “grow animals”. I was fortunate enough to grow up on a farm and I assumed that’s where life would lead me. I figured I would never venture far from the fields that I love so dearly. We all know how things turn out when we assume…..the family farm that transferred three generations has been sold. My hope though is not lost. The man who bought the farm has lovingly repaired and refurbished this amazing home and one day I hope to buy it back. (A girl can dream) reading your blog has further grown my love for our Mother Earth and my belief that the best thing for my family is to get back to where we belong…..dirty, happy, and helping those who need it most by providing healthy, un messed with food! Thank you again, Nichole~

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