Monday, September 18, 2017

Harvesting Before the Rains Return

Some much needed rain is in the forecast for the next few days. It will be our first substantial rainfall since the first two weeks of June. While the rain is desperately needed to help put out the fires raging all over the West, it does cause some concern in my garden. First in mind were my dry bush beans. So Saturday night I went down with a bucket and harvested all of the dried pods. I am guessing about 1/4 of the beans have yet to dry, but I am really happy to have 3/4 of the crop already harvested and stores for the Winter before the first rainfall. It makes the job so much easier.
  • "Titus" Cannellini Dry Bush Bean; 1 lbs. .8 oz

I am learning that the "Pride of Wisconsin" melon go from ripe to over-ripe very quickly. I need to do a better job next year really looking at the skin color and giving them a few gentle squeeze now and then. I am afraid I have lost 2-3 as they are now overly mature and splitting open. But I was still able to harvest 4 good melon this week. I have also been saving all of the seed, with the hopes of growing my plants from my own seed next year. This week's harvest:

  • "Pride of Wisconsin" ; (4) 7 lbs. 10.8 oz

I was pleased to be able to harvest the first of my "Black Krim" tomatoes this week. "Black Krim" always takes a long while to set and mature here in Oregon. And more often than not, almost all of the fruit ripens within about 20 days, so you end up with a lot of it at once. 
  • "Black Krim" ; (17) 5 lbs. 13.8 oz

The rest of the tomatoes are also rolling right along.  I am really enjoying the beauty of the "Blush" cherry tomatoes. I love the conical shape and the bold yellow color, splashed with red, is really pretty. One of my co-workers has declared this one her favorite tomato this year.
  • "Blush" ; (25) 11.5 oz
  • "Galina" ; (58) 9.6 oz.
  • "Chef's Choice Orange" ; (1) 2.6 oz
  • "Ukrainian Purple" ; (38) 5 lbs. 10.1 oz
  • "Wapsipinicon Peach"; (25) 1 lbs. 7.6 oz

Monday, September 4, 2017

Bean and Melon Harvest Time

I can't begin to write about this week's harvest without first mentioning all of the smoke and heat in our area. Like all of the West, we had a very warm August that sparked fires all across Oregon. There are major fires burning in my county and many others in nearby counties. As the winds shift, our air quality drops and more smoke moves in. The picture above was taken at 2:00 PM yesterday. Our air quality dropped from Very Unhealthy to Hazardous in that hour. While it is making gardening and all outdoor activities nearly impossible, my thoughts go out to the firefighters working around the clock and the poor folks who have been displaced or lost their homes. We desperately need some rain.

I did make it outside to work in short one-hour increments this weekend. On Saturday I picked all of the dried pods from my bush "Titus" cannellini beans and shelled them inside. It would guess a little over 1/2 of the pods were fully dried on my three rows, so I think I will be able to match this harvest again in a few weeks.
  • "Titus" Cannellini Bean - ( 3 cups) 1 lbs. 4.6 oz

It wasn't just dry bush beans that were ready for their first harvest of the year. My very late planted "French Emerite" pole filet beans were also ready to pick this week. It wasn't a huge harvest, but I wasn't sure I would get anything this year with such a late sowing date. They also aren't loving this current heat wave, so this might be the largest harvest that I have this year.
  • "French Emerite" Pole Bean - (43) 8.9 oz.

Continuing with my theme of "first of the year" harvests, I picked my first melon last night. I am growing a small patch of "Pride of Wisconsin" melon this year. It is a "new to me" variety. The plants seem to be doing pretty well. My melons do seem to be much smaller than the 4-8 lbs size melons described in all of the catalogs though. But that said, the melons look perfect. This one smelled heavenly when I sliced it open tonight. Taste results will have to wait as it is getting saved for breakfast!

  • "Pride of Wisconsin" Melon - (1) 1 lbs 15.8 oz.

The tomatoes on the other hand are loving the heat. This is my biggest weekly harvest yet.
  • "Ukrainian Purple" - (49) 9 lbs. 7.6 oz.
  • "Wapsipinicon Peach" - (19) 1 lbs. .9 oz
  • "Blush" - (37) 1 lbs. .2 oz.
  • Galina" - (108) 1 lbs. 4.7 oz.

And lastly, I harvested another batch of potatoes from my first grow bag. We had family over for a last minute dinner. It was so nice to go right outside to the Kitchen Garden and harvest a nice bunch of brand new potatoes. It took only a few minutes to clean them off and they were enjoyed simply steamed with a bit of butter. Nothing better!
  • "Dark Red Norland" potatoes - 3 lbs. 6.1 oz.