Monday, September 5, 2011

Harvest Monday–5 September 2011

Since Irene we have had nothing but beautiful weather here in Massachusetts. Tuesday night my wife and I attended a Sara Bareilles concert at the Bank of America Pavilion on the Boston Waterfront. This a great venue, an open air tent on the waterfront. On Thursday, we were back down on the waterfront for a Sierra Hull concert, this time at the Institute of Contemporary Art Plaza. This was a nice break from the garden, which is starting to show that summer is coming to an end. My harvest for the week is below, and you can wander over to Daphne’s Dandelions to see how other gardens are doing.

On Monday, another gorgeous day, I got down to the garden to repair the storm damage and check the harvest. My son and I raised and re-installed the trellises. Off season I am going to change the position of the trellises to relocate them to the opposite sides, between the boxes. Having them along the sides with the wide rows blocks access to the boxes and also is shading neighboring boxes now that the sun is getting lower in the sky.

Wow, my first harvest of Swiss chard in two years. I have the worst luck with it.  Last year I planted three times and had everything eaten in the seedling stage. This year the seedlings survived but didn’t exactly thrive. A couple of plants have been shaded by the parsley, which is growing rampant in the adjacent square. I also pulled three beets. I may add some of the beet greens to the chard. The beets will probably go in a salad.

Chard and beets

These beans are mostly bean Provider, now producing its second set of beans. There are a few Jade beans mixed in. I didn’t pull the beans and replant because I’m not sure I would get anything given what is left of our growing season. I find that if you keep the plants thoroughly picked, they will produce a little more top growth and set a second crop of beans. That is proving true again this year. These beans went into a pot of stewed beans and tomatoes made with an Anaheim pepper from the garden.

Provider beans

Some more Cubanalle peppers, a bell pepper, Broccoli and Sunburst patty pan squashes. The Sunburst has been very productive but looks like it is about done. My zucchini plant is long gone.

Sunburst squash, peppers and broccoli

I harvested the entire crop of edamame and then pulled the plants. These are Shirofumi soybeans from Fedco. These will be cooked in the pod in a little salted water for about 5 minutes, then drained and tossed with tamari. They are eaten as a snack, popped out of their pods, and will be great with a beer while I am barbecuing this weekend.


Some more tomatoes, close to the last of them\. The plants are pretty much done, with a few green tomatoes still on the upper parts of the vines. A lot of these tomatoes were drops from the winds during Irene.


On Friday I got back to the garden to do a little watering. I found that the beans are now producing their second growth of beans. The Provider beans were ahead of Jade, so they are again ahead with the second set of beans. But Provider was only a week ahead of Jade, which is now starting to produce beans as well. The lighter colored, thicker beans on the right are Provider and the longer, thinner, darker green beans on the left are Jade.

Jade and Provider beans

I keep declaring the cucumbers dead and they keep struggling to pump out one more fruit to prove me wrong. I will take all I can get, they taste so much better than store bought cukes. A few more Cubanelle peppers and more Broccoli shoots. The Broccoli seems to be doing what it did last year: as the days grow shorter, it gets frantic to set seed so it keeps pumping out side shoots. I had shoots right up to hard freeze last year.

Peppers, cucumbers and broccoli

Some more tomatoes. This time, a lot of fully ripe Sungold cherries, which fortunately didn’t crack from all the rain. The yellow skinned tomato with the pink blush at the bottom is a Mr. Stripey. To its right, the green tomato showing a little blush on the bottom is a Cherokee Purple.

A pile of tomatoes


  1. Beautiful harvests!!! Congratulations!!!

  2. You got a nice harvest this week - despite the garden slowing down. The tomatoes and beans look particularly nice. I have grown Jade before with very good success but have not grown Provider. Looks like it is as good a producer as Jade is.

  3. wow your chard looks very good, not lacey like mine! Like the color, I don't have that color! Love those little patty pans, I should try those! Your harvest looks colorful and good!

  4. kitsapFG, the Provider beans were a week earlier than Jade planted at same time. The beans are shorter and fatter. The Jade beans produced over a longer period while the Providers sat there. Both types have now set a second crop, with Provider being a few days earlier. Provider is a good bean worth trying but I prefer Jade slightly. The breeder of Jade has a new bean, an improved Jade, called Fresh Pick I'm going to try next year.

    Shawn Ann, it's called artistic license. You place the lacy leaves at the bottom and the one perfect leaf on top of the pile :-). The patty pan is called Suburst and it had been healthy and prolific. I showed it to a fellow gardener on Monday and we counted 10 tiny fruit set on it even with all the downy mildew plaguing the squash and cucumbers. I'll send you some seeds in exchange for a couple of Chocolate Cherry tomato seeds.


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