Monday, September 5, 2016

Harvest Monday 5 September 2016

Not much is coming from the garden except tomatoes. Here I did get a few beans, a Romanesco squash and the first Super Shepherd pepper. The squash is very stingy this year, with a squash per week if I am lucky.

I am still picking tomatoes as they start to color, but the birds seem to have backed off a bit in their attacks. On the right, the three tomatoes at the top are Rose de Berne,then a Black Beauty and a badly cracked Pink Berkeley Tie-Dye, and my first Sunkist at the bottom.

A basket of cherry tomatoes. From the top clockwise: Bing, Juliet, Sweet Treats, and Black Cherry. That is another Rose de Berne in the middle.

I used my four heads of cabbage to make sauerkraut. A lot of the outer leaves had to be discarded because there was mold and discoloration, so I only got a quart of kraut from about 2.5 pounds of cabbage. The jar is topped with a nifty silicone rubber lid called a Pickle Pipe from Masontops. You use it with the standard band to seal the jar while it ferments. It has a tiny slit in the top of the "pipe" that releases any fermentation gases.

Here is another Pickle Pipe on my jar of garlic cloves, now going into its second week of fermentation. You can see how the top is bowed out from the pressure, which I consider a good thing. It does occasionally burp some gas, but the bulging indicates that the slit is tightly sealed and only releases under enough pressure, keeping contamination from getting into the jar. I almost photographed the two jars side-by-side but decided that would look a little obscene.

I also made a batch of tomato sauce from a bag of tomatoes I purchased from a farm stand. I used my Ninja Ultima blender so there was no need to peel or seed the tomatoes, just cook down for a few hours. I am not really getting enough of my own tomatoes to use for sauce, but I may roast some of the cherry tomatoes and freeze them.

That's what happened in my garden last week. To see what other gardeners around the world are doing, visit Dave at Our Happy Acres, our host for Harvest Monday.


  1. Well, at least you are getting some beans. The only ones left on my vines are just too tough for my tastes so we've been beanless, in the case of fresh beans, for quite some time. I've decided to leave the vines, though, in the hopes that some cooler fall weather may give them a 2nd wind.

    I looked into those jar toppers & it seems like a great idea - certainly a lot more practical than the other type of tops. If your success with them continues, I'll have to add them to my purchase list for next year. Ha ha...side by side took me a moment to get what you meant :)

  2. Well at least you have a nice wide variety of tomatoes! Like Margaret, I hope that cooler weather may prompt some things to produce a second flush. My beans have been disappointing this year, if that's any comfort!

    1. At least the cooler weather has allowed me to get fall peas and spinach to germinate. Planted turnips and radishes this morning hoping for rain from Hermine, but no luck.

  3. That Pickle Pipe - what a brilliant idea! Seems much easier than some fermentation equipment I've seen.

    I still haven't got a single zucchini yet but one is looking very promising. Stingy year for sure ...

  4. The Pickle Pipes look great for the job. I've been too cheap so far to buy any special tops for fermenting. I'm hoping your area gets some rain out of the hurricane, or what's left of it.

    1. Would be nice to get rain, but its blue sky and sunny today and only 25% chance tomorrow so I think we "escape" from any moisture. What the hey!

  5. I too think the Pickle Pipe is a great idea. Looking forward to reading more in your future posts.
    I was hoping for rain from Hermine but like you we got zero.

  6. What an amazingly simple design the Pickle Pipes are and they look like they are very well suited for their purpose.

    I think your zucchini are resenting your drought conditions. My Romanesco zucchini is one of the few plants in my veggie garden that I give supplemental water. It just doesn't seem to get enough water from what the drip irrigation supplies, it's definitely more productive when I give it a couple of extra gallons of water a few times a week. The celery also gets extra water.


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