Since it is Harvest Monday, I thought I would take a little break from catch up and post our totals for the last few weeks.
It saddens me that I have missed three Harvest Mondays. I love Harvest Mondays. However, with the crazy schedule we have had, I was lucky to get things picked and documented on a piece of paper. For those of you who are new to the blog, Daphne’s Dandelions Hosts Harvest Monday’s and it is a day to show off your harvests, show how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. Check out Daphne’s Dandelions blog to see all the other gardeners from around the World who are participating in Harvest Monday.
On August 6th, my last blog recorded harvest, I showed you all the great peppers I harvested. I mentioned that I picked a lot of the red and yellow peppers before they had turned their proper color. Well the yellow peppers sat on my counter and I could smell this very strong acid smell. I figured that I had picked them too quickly because they just didn’t smell right. Well within the next week a majority of those peppers turned yellow and the red ones turned also. Just like tomatoes they ripen off the vine.
I was thrilled. I had beautiful green, red and yellow peppers to enjoy in our relish, cooking and I was able to store a bunch in the freezer.
The last three weeks of harvesting has been the last of the summer crops in the back garden. Although it is nice to start a new season, it is sad to see all the great tomatoes, cantaloupes, watermelon, squash, onions and brussel sprouts leave. The front garden and herbs are still going strong so that is good news.
Our watermelons finally produced fruit but so far none have been as sweet as we would have liked. Two of the watermelons were passed on to our friends and family but we kept four for ourselves. Two are currently sitting on the counter ready for family to arrive this weekend. Hopefully they will be sweet. We have had them on the counter ripening for over a week.
Our watermelons were a good size. The largest watermelon was 17 pounds and our smallest was 12 pounds. I am going to venture out and actually make watermelon rind jelly after we cut into them. I will let you know how it turns out. In one of my gardening books it says that this jelly is a must. Watermelons that you get in the store don’t have good thick rinds because they are altered but home grown produce great rinds and are perfect for jelly. If the watermelons themselves are not sweet enough I think I will find a jelly for them too. A friend mentioned that I should cut them and place them in the freezer for a easy snack for our youngest daughter. The cold fruit makes a good fruit pop and the sweetness isn’t noticed as much. I believe that will be done also.
We have had a few more tomatillos come in but not enough to make salsa. I guess we have made all the salsa were going to make this year. Next year I will definitely grow more plants. Daniel has already almost eaten all the Tomatillo salsa I canned. We continue to get an abundance of bell peppers, jalapenos and banana peppers. I used some of the Jalapenos and banana peppers to can some Basil Banana Pepper Jelly/Marinade. I am hoping this is not too hot for Daniel. I hated to see all the peppers go to waste so I got gutsy and made a bunch, 12 pints to be exact. Yikes! It better be good We had over 4 pounds of jalapenos come in so I also bagged a bunch for freezing. They will be good for jalapeno poppers.
If you notice in the photo to the left, we got some of our first pears of the season. This is very exciting as this is our first year. These are Asian Pears and they are a cross between apples and pears. I love these far more then regular pears. The regular ones are too soft for me. The Asian pears have a great crunch to them.
Of course, last but not least was the last (yes, the very last) of the cucumbers. I thought I had the last of the cucumbers on August 6th but it took us another week or so to clean them up, so we got yet another 18 pounds. Yes, you read that right, 18 pounds. You know what I did with those…. Yep more relish. Sadly, because of the craziness around here a lot of them ended up in the trash because they sat on the counter too long. But 7 pints of relish survived.
All in all the last three weeks have been good. Our totals are:
Banana Peppers: 2 lbs, 8 oz
Cucumbers: 22 lbs, 15 oz
Green Peppers: 2 lbs, 13 oz
Jalapenos: 4 lbs, 13 oz
Pears: 2 lbs
Red peppers: 1 lbs, 1 oz
Tomatillos: 4 oz
Watermelon: 55 lbs