Monday, August 23, 2010

Harvest Monday

First, I have to apologize for not answering any questions from last week's Harvest Monday. I was not available most of the week. I know that a lot of you were very curious about the Winter Storage Tomatoes. I will definitely write an update on them soon.

The purple pole beans are finally coming in at a normal pace. Since I was not here much last week, I only harvested a little over 2.25 pounds. I had to throw out about 5 pounds that got too big. The tomatoes are really slowing down with almost 13.5 pounds harvested. It looks like we will be having a lot of  "Matt's Wild Cherry" tomatoes for some time though. That plant puts out about 100 fruits every other day. There is also a volunteer of the same variety growing by the compost bin. That will keep "The Italian" happy, since he has a bowl every morning with his breakfast. They are definitely the sweetest cherry tomato I have ever tasted.

All of the eggplant are doing really well. I harvested 6 this week and there are many more on the plants. The cantaloupe and muskmelons have been picked. We were pleased with the flavor of the cantaloupe this year. They were all nice & juicy. The first one was not as sweet as the others. All and all they were quite good. We have yet to taste the muskmelons. I will let everyone know how they tasted a little later in the week.

There were a few bell peppers picked and frozen this week. They are really taking their good old time this year. The hot peppers are a different story though. They are coming in like crazy. I think that we will be in good shape with them for the winter.

Some of this week's harvest

Harvest Total: 30 lbs. 14 oz.

Beans - 2.375 lbs.
Eggplant - 4 lbs.
Muskmelons - 9.4375 lbs
     Bell - 1.1875 lbs
     Hot - 8 oz.
Tomatoes - 13.375

Stop by Daphne's Dandelions the host of Harvest Monday to see more harvests!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Harvest Monday

I thought that this week my harvest poundage would be way down. I was wrong! This week I harvested almost 49 pounds! The eggplant are coming in at a steady pace. There were 2 Rosa Bianca, 2 Black Beauty and 1 Lunga Violetta Di Firenze harvested. I took the last bunch of celery out of one of the back beds on Saturday. It was smaller then the other bunches and was starting to turn yellow.

The cucumbers were still coming in like mad. I harvested almost six pounds this past week. The vines were turning yellow and frankly I really don't won't to see another cucumber! We have all of the pickles and relish needed to supply a small army this year! Saturday, I ripped the vines out the and added some compost to the bed. I was planning to plant the snow peas in that bed yesterday. However, it rained all day (yeah!!) and we had company over for a fresh crab cookout.

The purple pole beans are starting to produce at a steadier rate. I harvested almost 1 pound this week. I really had anticipated quite a bit more. Hopefully they will become a lot more productive. We ate the first of four cantaloupe that were picked this week. It was nice and sweet and juicy!

A couple of eggplant, beans and a lot of hot peppers!

My messy kitchen island.
The basil needed a good trimming. That kept me busy drying for part of a day.
The bowl on the right is full of winter storage tomatoes. This is my first year planting them. They are supposed to be stored and turn red as they get older.

Harvest Total: 48 lbs. 13.5 oz.

Basil - 8 oz.
Beans - 15.5 oz.
Cantaloupe - 13 lbs. 14 oz.
Celery - 1 lb.
Cucumbers - 5 lbs. 15 oz.
Eggplant - 3 lbs. 9.5 oz.
   Bell - 15 oz.
   Hot - 1 lb. 4 oz.
Strawberries - 6 oz.
Tomatoes - 20 lbs. 6.5 oz.

Stop by Daphne's Dandelions the host of Harvest Monday to see more harvests.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I bet nobody has one of these....

I have been wanting to post a picture of this for some time now.
Does anyone know what it is???
 It looks like some mid-evil weapon or torturing device!!

It's my canning jar lifter!! I found it a few years ago when we were cleaning out my grandfather's home. I bet it's as old as the pitch fork!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Squash & Cantaloupe

The other day I was checking the Spaghetti Squash and my "Little Helper's" pumpkin plant. They are planted at the end of the herb garden and grow over the fence. I thought that the powdery mildew was taking it's toll. Oh was those darn SVB's!!!!! There were so many in the vines that I had to pull all of them! There were only two small  Spaghetti Squash and no pumpkins. I brought the squash in the house...hopefully they will ripen inside. I was so upset that I didn't even take pictures. I have never had this problem before. This year they have gotten everything!!

The cantaloupe and muskmelons vines are also dying. They are not infested with SVB's though. I think that it's the weather and the powdery mildew taking it's toll on them. There are at least 8 good size melons on the vines and a couple are almost ripe. So, I'm going to leave the vines in until I harvest them.

One of Two Cantaloupe that are almost ready!

The vines dying off

One of the Muskmelons

Monday, August 9, 2010

Harvest Monday....Cucumbers....

cucumbers and more cucumbers!! I harvested 12 pounds of cucumbers this week! I was a busy little bee finishing the sweet cucumber relish and making Bread & Butter pickles yesterday. I managed to finish canning everything and cleaning up the kitchen by about 4PM. It was just in time to sit down, relax and enjoy our anniversary together! We made a special dinner, enjoyed the last bottle of wine that was left from our wedding and relaxed outside on the deck for the evening.

OK, enough of all that anniversary stuff and on to the rest of this weeks harvest! The tomatoes have slowed down quite a bit. I harvested almost 16.5 pounds this week. There are a lot of nice large green tomatoes out there and it looks like I will get quite a bit more from them. The eggplants are starting to come in on a regular basis. I told "The Italian" that I'm looking forward to having a nice eggplant parmesan in the near future.

The potaotes have all been harvested.....what a failure! Next year they are going back in the ground! Do you believe that we only got 5.5 pounds of potatoes this year??? It's a good thing that we don't eat many potatoes around here.

Black Beauty eggplant on the left and Black Egg on the right.
I got a picture before "The Italian" took off with them!

This is the second head of Savoy Cabbage weighing 1 lb. 10 oz.

Yukon Gold & Caribe Purple potatoes.
We didn't even get any of the beautiful Cranberry Reds...the voles ate all of those!

Bread & Butter pickles on the left, Sweet Cucumber Relish on the right

Harvest Total: 41.3125 lbs.

Beans - 9 oz.
Cabbage - 1 lb. 10 oz.
Celery - 1 lb. 1 oz.
Cucumbers - 12 lbs.
Eggplant - 2 lbs. 11 oz.
Onions - 6 oz.
Peppers - Hot- 7.5 oz   Sweet - 1 lb. 9 oz.
Potaotes - 3 lbs. 14.5 oz.
Strawberries - 10 oz.
Tomatoes - 16 lbs. 7 oz.

Stop by Daphne's Dandelions host of Harvest Monday to see more harvests!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

2nd Anniversary of....

our Marriage!! Although we are grandparents, "The Italian" and I were married two years ago tomorrow! I didn't want to interfere with "Harvest Monday" so, I posted this a day early.

We met seven years ago, a little over one year after my dear daughter passed. I feel that my dear husband "The Italian" really saved my life. He is the most wonderful man in the world! We were together for nearly five years, lived together a few months before the wedding (due to selling a house), engaged for one day (I didn't want to get engaged...but "The Italian" insisted) and then married.

We married in the community "Rose Garden" which is a few blocks from our home in the early morning. Later in the day, we had our marriage celebration with friends and family here at the house. We entertained about 60 guests. "The Italian" and I made all of the food. The food was "gourmet" to say the least. I'm sure that it would have been $200. a person at one of those fancy facilities. We did hire a bartender and waiters to serve the food though.

I hope that you enjoy the pictures.

Our Favorite Picture
Now you know what we look like!
Our flowers were made with herbs & hydrangeas from the garden 5 minutes before we left for the Rose Garden

A nice view of the ceremony

My dear friend cut and arranged flowers for the tables

The Bar, which was in my son's yard
You can see the onions hanging on our porch in the background

A view between our houses...awaiting the arrival of our guests.

Some food prep in the kitchen.

My dear husband "The Italian" cooking in the back garden.

Yum, the Dessert table!

The next morning.....the chocolate fountain was still running!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Good Things & Happy Faces

There are many good things going on in the garden. The cantaloupe and muskmelons are growing like crazy. I am hoping for a ripe melon in about a week. I usually grow a small variety of cantaloupe. Therefore, I'm not sure how big these will get before they start to ripen.

The cucumbers are non-stop at the moment. I have given several pounds away and am still up to my ears in cucumbers! I am presently making a batch of dill, bread & butter and cucumber relish. I have no idea what I'm going to do with the rest of the cucumbers!

This picture is from two days ago. They have grown quite a bit in the past two days!

Happy Hibiscus
I planted these hibiscus last year for my "Little Garden Helper". The seeds were given to me from one of my clients in 2008. Last year, there was one plant. This year, there are several plants. They are so big and beautiful! They look fake!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

No Zucchini Here this Year!

I only plant one zucchini plant every year. There are two reasons for, I don't have the room and two, how much zucchini can two people eat? The plant has been growing really well. However, it wasn't setting any fruit. This past week, it was not looking well at all. I told "The Italian" yesterday, I am going to go rip it out! With knife in hand I cut it down. Look what I found!

I stabbed that worm with a knife!
Now I have room to plant something else there.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Harvest Monday

It was another great week for the garden! I harvested almost 29 pounds of tomatoes. Most of my tomato plants aren't looking real good. They are getting a lot of yellow leaves that then die. I had to pull out one of the plants earlier in the week. I don't know how long the plants are going to last.

The cucumbers are still coming in like crazy. I harvest over 7 lbs this week. Most of the celery was starting to turn yellow on the outer branches. So, I harvested 6 bunches, froze 3 lbs, gave one bunch away and have some in the refrigerator.

With all of the harvesting and canning this week, I didn't take a lot of pictures. The first Rosa Bianca eggplant was so beautiful and tastey. "The Italian" cooked it before I got a chance to take a picture!

4 bunches of Celery

A full bowl of Cherry Tomatoes
My "Little Garden Helper" wasn't around much this week. So, I managed to get a full bowl for us!

Harvest Total: 50.5 lbs.

Celery - 6.375 lbs.
Cucumbers - 7.375 lbs.
Eggplant - 11 oz.
Onions - 1.25 lbs.
     Bell - 2.625 lbs
     Hot - 14 oz.
Potatoes - 1.5625 lbs.
Strawberries - 15 oz.
Tomatoes - 28.8125 lbs.

Stop by Daphne's Dandelions the host of Harvest Monday to see more harvests!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Finally...WE'VE GOT BEANS!!!

Well, I guess that it was the excessive heat we were having that made the beans not produce. Yesterday, I decided to check the purple pole beans again. To my surprise, we finally have beans! They were planted at the end of May and have grown to be at least 12 feet tall. I didn't think that they were ever going to produce. This week our temperatures dropped and we have beans!!

You really can't tell by this picture how tall these plants are.
They have grown up 6 feet, down 6 feet and across.
I estimate their height at at least 12 feet.

Purple Beans!
I am sure in about a week, I will be complaining about how much they are producing and that I can't keep up!

Jacob's Catlle dry beans planted at the beginning of July.