October Bounty

The vegetable garden may have slowed down here but it’s not done by a long shot. This past week we harvested a nice and diverse mix of veggies that are possible here in fall with a little planning (and planting).

bucket of small fruited tomatoes

The small-fruited tomatoes (Juliet, Sun Gold, Black Cherry, Sapho, Golden Rave) yielded almost four pounds of fruit. They made three full pans of oven roasted tomatoes. But the early planted tomatoes like Early Girl and Champion aren’t done either. We had enough of them to put on burgers, and to enjoy a nice October BLT using some local bacon and our own sliced Honey Flax Bread.

BLT sandwich with grilled eggplant

Also gracing the BLT’s was some leaf lettuce from the greenhouse. It’s finally cooled down enough here (at least at night) to allow lettuce to shine again. We harvested it all summer but the quality went way down as the temperatures went up, up, up! It’s nice to have the good stuff back again. Add some grilled eggplants (mostly Fairy Tale) and we had the makings of a great lunch.

We also got our first taste of fall turnips here this week. I cleaned out some old seed back in August and planted some each of three different small white “salad” turnips: Hakurei, White Lady and Oasis. I figured that with our heat and drought this year, these smaller and quicker maturing varieties would stand a better chance of doing well than the old standby Purple Top White Globe (which I also planted). So far that has proven to be true.

Hakurei, White Lady and Oasis turnips (L to R)

I fixed the turnips greens one night along with some chopped turnips I threw in and they cooked up in no time. My wife is more fond of the turnip greens than she is chard, but I have to say my favorite green is whichever one I am eating at the moment because I like them all!

Beauregard sweet potatoes

We actually had some very light frost this week. It wasn’t enough to kill anything, but some of the sweet potato vines did get nipped and turned black so I decided to dig them up. They weren’t going to get much bigger without some rain anyway. The yield was disappointing. Last year we had 27 plants that made 69 pounds of sweet potatoes (2.56 pounds/plant). This year we had 18 plants that made 25 pounds (1.4 pounds/plant). The Centennial variety yielded a bit more than the Beauregard.

Centennial sweet potatoes

Both are curing before they go to the cellar. At least they were nice sized, if not plentiful, and had no major rodent damage. And also on the brighter side, this year we planted more winter squash than last year and they did outstanding. No doubt the fact that the squash sized up earlier while there was more moisture available made a big difference.

bowl of fresh figs

I harvested more sweet, yummy figs this week (about a pound) and more Swiss Chard. I also picked two of the greenhouse cucumbers that we made into refrigerator pickles.

Sharon cucumbers and early tomatoes

The cucumbers were planted in the greenhouse bed on August 1st. It remains to be seen how well they will do in this fall planting, but at least we’re going to get a few cukes out of the experiment. I’m not going to heat the greenhouse to keep them going, so I’m guessing by early November they will get pulled to make room for some Asian greens I’ve got started.

That’s what was going on in the gardens here this week.  We harvested 38 pounds, which makes our yearly total 798 pounds. For more harvests, visit Daphne’s Dandelions.

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16 Responses to October Bounty

  1. kitsapFG says:

    Beautiful mess of sweet potatoes! I know you were dissappointed somewhat with the yeild but they still are very nice sized and plentiful from my perspective. The BLT looks delicious!

  2. Daphne Gould says:

    I grew the salad turnips too. They sized up nicely in the heat. I was surprised how well they did. I planted another set of seed, but I don’t think they have time to mature.

  3. Shawn Ann says:

    Wow, I am very jealous of your harvest this week. I would say that your sweet potatoes don’t look too disappointing at all! What a great harvest. And those figs are so beautiful!
    The turnips look good too. I have never had a turnip, do they taste like radishes? I don’t like radishes… But if they don’t maybe I’ll have to try some sometime.
    Everything looks so good! I can’t wait till I have more time to plan my fall harvest better…little ones kind of take up most of my time. I’m lucky to get what I get! Great harvest!

    • Villager says:

      I’m not sure how to describe the taste of turnips. I don’t think it’s like a radish, but they are crunchy raw.

  4. thyme2garden says:

    I feel the same way you do about greens – I like them all, too! What an impressive haul you got here of all sorts of vegetables and fruits.

  5. Emily says:

    I enjoyed one of the last BLTs of summer this past week too. Your sweet potatoes look great even if the yield wasn’t as good as last year. Something is always better than nothing!

  6. Angela says:

    Oh, those sweet potatoes! I should give them a try some time. They are not part of my cooking tradition, so I never think to plant them. I need to keep your nice box of sweet potatoes in mind come spring.

  7. Barbie says:

    Throw some avocado on that sammie, and you’ve gt my version of heaven. 😀

  8. Looks like a wonderful bounty! Even though your yields were down with Beauregard, I still think your sweet potatoes look great. Do you think the difference in yield was mostly variety, rather than weather related? I’d like to try growing some sweet potatoes here next year, as we’ve never grown them. That BLT is making me hungry…

    • Villager says:

      The weather had a lot to do with the yield. Both the varieties we grew are good performers here. Sweet potatoes are easy to grow, with few pests…though I bet your deer would love to much on the vines! 😉

  9. Christina says:

    Beautiful! I just had to pull all my tomatoes out to make room for the incoming garlic. My peppers are going strong though. I should have written about them today, but I just ran out of time to do everything I wanted to do, and I’m not even done yet!

    I have been growing sweet potatoes for the first time this year, Violetta and Red Wine Velvet. They seem to be growing very well, but I won’t harvest probably until the beginning of November, or maybe even later. I’m excited about the prospect of homegrown sweet potatoes, as they’re some of my favorite things to eat. You may be disappointed by your crop, but to me it looks mighty delicious. MMMMMMMMmmmm, sweet potatoes.

    The Japanese garlic is going in the ground this week to try its hand growing here in Southern California!

  10. What a gorgeous harvest! So many different varieties! I seem to be stuck in a tomato/cucumber rut right now, but looking forward to at least pulling a few carrots later this week.

  11. I forgot to add, I was in Wal-Mart today, and they had these HUGE plastic containers, about the size of those whiskey half-barrels, and they were on sale for only $5 each! They would have made great sweet potato growing pots. Mr. Granny wrestled me to the ground and took them from my desperate grasp, so I came out empty handed. Well, actually that’s not exactly what happened, but I didn’t get any containers.

  12. debsgarden says:

    Villager, every time I check in with you, i come away hungry! The produce from your vegetable garden is evidence of your skill and care as a gardener. Gorgeous veggies!

  13. Everything dynamic and very positively!

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