Mid October Harvests

The garden is still giving us plenty to eat in the middle of October, but not so much as the fevered pace of summer harvests. Much of the veggies, like chard and lettuce, are harvested as we need them. We got a little bit of each last week, enough for salads and some sauteed chard.

leaf lettuce

Not harvested was this leaf lettuce that was in planters just outside the greenhouse. The deer decided we had put out a salad bar for them, and ate 2/3’s of it. I can’t blame the deer for trying to get a free lunch. I will be more careful in the future about leaving things unprotected.

lettuce eaten by deer

Other things are harvested now because they need to be, like the figs. The Brown Turkey and Hardy Chicago fig plants have rewarded us with over 6 pounds of figs so far this fall, almost 2 pounds of them this week alone. The Brown Turkey is the larger of the two, but while the Hardy Chicago figs are much smaller, they are just as tasty and sweet – maybe even sweeter. I’ve got enough to bake some fig bars later today.

basket of fresh figs

Once again I got just enough small fruited tomatoes to oven roast another pan of them this week. Some went into a frittata, and the rest will go into a pasta dish tonight. We have gotten so much use out of the smaller tomatoes that I will plant even more of them next year. I’ve already scouted out some new varieties to try next year (among them Red Pear, Red Fig, Beam’s Yellow Pear and Black Zebra) .

pan of roasted tomatoes

The Long Neck Pumpkins are still not quite ready to harvest. It looks like we’ll get one really nice large one, while two smaller ones are still questionable. I said I would be happy if I only got one, and it looks like I might get my wish!  I made some soup with one of the butternut squashes harvested back in August. I cut the squash in half, scooped out the seeds, then drizzled it with olive oil and sprinkled it with chipotle powder before baking. I also baked a head of garlic at the same time. When the squash was tender I pureed it and the garlic with some chicken broth and added a bit more chipotle. It made for a spicy and filling soup.

butternut squash soup

A few slicing tomatoes, a cucumber and some Fairy Tale eggplant rounded out the harvests, and the total haul for the week was 6.8 pounds. For more harvests and gardener’s reports, visit Daphne’s Dandelions.

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15 Responses to Mid October Harvests

  1. Kelly says:

    Nice to see you are still getting a little bit of this and that from the garden. I have fallen for the oven roasted cherries myself, and also plan to grow more next year. They really are so nice to have in the freezer to jazz up just about any dish. That soup is making me hungry, I think it will be on my menu soon.

  2. kitsapFG says:

    Something chomped down my fall crop of lettuce as well – not deer but likely slugs. Those figs are absolutely gorgeous! How long have you been growing them?

    • Villager says:

      I planted the 2 largest plants in 2008. This year they have gotten huge, with no fertilizer or additional watering.

  3. Kaytee says:

    I planted Red Pear tomatoes this year, and most of them had cracking pretty much the whole growing season. They are a great looking tomato, I just wasn’t able to harvest many good ones. Just a heads up. Maybe you’ll have better luck.

  4. Martha says:

    Sorry about the foraging deer, but the lettuce you did get looks lovely. Will save your instructions for squash soup. I’ve made it before but not your way. I like the twist (to me) that you give it.

    I understand about harvesting the bounty as it comes in. With just one person here I do that as well and struggle to find enough to lay claim to for a Harvest Monday.

    Happy gardening

  5. Tyra says:

    Ah Your’re lucky, those figs looks delicious and that soup both sounds and looks yummie…I have to leave the computer to go and make some food 🙂

    Tyra

  6. thyme2garden says:

    Those figs continue to look so delicious week after week. You’re definitely inspiring me to try growing a fig tree next year. Did you have to special order your tree, or is it something that I might be able to find in a local nursery in Indianapolis? I also really enjoy seeing pictures and reading about how you prepare your harvested vegetables into yummy meals. Thank you for sharing it with the rest of us!

  7. michelle says:

    Those danged deer, they just don’t miss an opportunity! LOL I’m envious of those figs, I have to buy them until my little trees grow up (any year now…). Isn’t it nice to be able to harvest as you need it, you’ve deserved a well earned break from the bountiful harvests of summer.

  8. Ouch, sorry about the lettuce. Darned deer. We had a buck almost crash through our deer fence this weekend, darn near knocked a whole fence post over. They can be awfully determined sometimes.

    I hope you’ll be as happy with Beam’s Yellow Pear next year as we were. It was just phenomenal for us this year.

    That butternut squash soup looks divine, and is hands down one my fall favorites…which reminds me, I haven’t eaten lunch!

    • Villager says:

      I’ve grown the Yellow Pear and Red Pear varieties before, and I remember them as being prolific growers. I also remember making preserves with the yellow ones.

      Roasting and dehydrating tomatoes has changed the game for us when growing tomatoes. Now we are finding the smaller fruited varieties to be more and more useful, and I’m growing more of them as a result.

  9. Daphne Gould says:

    Well I’m right before dinner and you made me hungry too. Last year I roasted tomatoes, but this year I just never did. The temps were too high to want to turn the oven on when the tomatoes were pouring in. Now I don’t have very many.

  10. Shawn Ann says:

    Wow, fig bars! I wanna do that! Ya, I’d like to grow a fig tree too! And the soup looks yummy!

  11. Angela says:

    Having enough growing that you can pick any time you need to eat, but not so much you have to slave endlessly over the stove is the perfect balance. I hope that with your greenhouse and you freezer stash you’ll be able to stay on that balance point for the whole the winter

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