Monday, October 3, 2011

Early Fall Harvest

We had an amazing harvest this past week. Our fall garden is at its peak right now and there is so much to choose from. We'll see how long this will last as our first light frost should arrive soon.

All of our broccoli plants matured this past week. We picked 15 good-sized heads and have been eating broccoli almost everyday. As you can see, a couple of the heads were beginning to flower.

Next year, I'm planning on growing even more broccoli. It's one brassica that produces reliably in our garden and is fairly easy to grow. I like to allow the individual buds to get fairly large (unlike supermarket broccoli) until they are on the verge of flowering. Personally, I think the texture and taste is better at this stage.

In addition to the broccoli, we also harvested some carrots and Chinese broccoli (gai lan).

I'm really happy with my 'Napoli' carrots this fall. Last year, the field mice did away with our entire crop. Growing them in taller raised beds seems to deter them.

I really like Chinese broccoli, which is grown primarily for its tender stalk. Ours are as thick as silver dollars this year. (Thanks again for the seeds Mac!) I stir-fry them peeled and sliced on a bias. Also, they stay crispy when cooked.

I also picked most of our remaining peppers and chilies and was amazed by how healthy the plants still look.

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I'm planning on fresh pickling the pepperoncini (right) and most of the Hungarian Wax peppers.

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I'd like to make hot sauce from the jalapenos (if someone has a recipe, please pass along!) and chili paste from the Thai chilies.

The poblanos will be roasted, peeled and frozen for winter use.

The last 'Sunshine' watermelon of the year weighed in at 10 pounds, which is average for this particular variety.

I waited until the tendril closest to the melon had died back, which seemed to work this time. The flesh was perfectly yellow and very sweet.

I tried to salvage as many green tomatoes as I could from the now dead vines. Hopefully they'll still ripen indoors.

Finally, I pruned back my Kaffir lime tree this past weekend. The leaves are now frozen and will be used to flavor curries and soups.


  1. What a great harvest, do you do anything special to the lime leaves before freezing?

  2. That is an amazing harvest! The broccoli looks great, almost "fluffy" :)

  3. Great harvest, I'm envious of your broccoli, they are beautiful, how many plants do you have?

  4. That calabrese looks good; mine ended up with a few tufts and that was all. I'm not sure where I went wrong, but it wasn't a good experiment!

    I must find out what climate a Kafir Lime tree needs; I use the leaves all the time.

  5. I have to admit that I am jealous of your broccoli! Hopefully we will have some good heads from the plots this fall.

    You definitely had a great fall harvest this week!

  6. Beautiful harvest as usual. Your broccoli is perfect. I am hoping to have a fall harvest this year but I am still waiting for heads to form.

  7. As usual, your pictures and produce blow me away!

    You might consider digging up a few of the pepper plants and potting them. They make beautiful houseplants in my opinion.

  8. Thanks for your comments everyone! Becc - I don't. I just make sure bag is well sealed with little air in it.

    Mac - I grew 15 plants. I wish I had planted more!

  9. I think between you, Robin and I, we need a pepper intervention LOL... have fun with it all!

  10. Tremendous harvest Thomas! Must grow broccoli again next year. It didn't do well for me, but...seeing yours makes me hungry for it!

    Oh those chilli's...beautiful!

  11. That is one good looking harvest.

  12. Beautiful harvest! Is it regular Gai lan? I need to plant some up, last year they did not do well, but I should try again this year!

  13. Fantastic harvest! I see many delicious meals in your future.

  14. Our broccoli main heads largely matured last week as well. Unfortunately I was traveling all week and came home to alot of them being too far along in flowering. I cut and fed them to the hens and will have to enjoy the later heads and side shoots. Timing is everything and I was just not at the right place at the right time.

    Gorgeous harvests this week! The peppers are particularly nice. I harvested the last few from my plants and pulled them to make way for some direct seeded green house crops.

  15. Wonderful broccoli harvest (and harvest in general)!

    We posted a recipe for a hot sauce a few weeks ago. The link is:

  16. Oh my word, all of your harvests looks truly outstanding. From the broccoli, gai lan, peppers, and kaffir lime. Wonderfully good!

  17. Adding my voice to the chorus of praise! Your garden is such an inspiration.

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