Monday, February 7, 2011

Harvest Monday - 7 February 2011

No harvests this week. We had two more storms last week. The first one gave us another foot of snow. The second gave us 0.4" of rain. I'm glad the second one turned to rain because it helped a little to melt it out. Yesterday was warm too so we got a bit more melting.

And though my SuperBowl food was not at all grown here, the rest of the week I did OK. I made chili, which uses some of my tomato sauce and tomato juice. Sadly the beans weren't mine. If I had known in the morning I was making chili I could have cooked up my beans as I have both black and kidney in my jars, but I had half an hour which is not long enough to cook them. Next year with more dried beans, I'm going to have to get a pressure cooker. Too often I want to use my beans last minute. So I ought to can my own. The nice thing about beans is that I won't have to do it over the summer rush. I can do it whenever I have time.

I also made a lentil and tortellini soup. It featured some of my frozen squash and applesauce. In addition it had some of my coriander. This was my lunch all week long. I really ought to freeze some and have varied lunches, but I tend to make one thing and eat it for the rest of the week. I'm sure other things that had minor ingredients were made too. I know I made a chicken dish that used some of my homegrown sage, but I have a tendency to forget what I eat. Luckily I take photos some days.

I am starting to buy some plants for next year. I still haven't made up my mind about things, but I think I want to see if I can grow figs along the fence. They don't have a lot of room there, but I'll see if I can keep them pruned to 6'. I'll also get a plum tree to espalier. I can't make up my mind between Santa Rosa and Green Gage. Anyone grow them both and have an opinion? I'd better figure it out soon as it has to get ordered. I'm wondering if I ought to keep the fruits separate from the veggie tally. I never have before, but they are so different. The veggies are mostly annuals and start producing very quickly. The fruit trees and bushes are an investment in the future. Eventually they will pay off, but it will take a very long time. What do you all think? Should I do two tallies? Or one? If I do fruits it might be kept a different way on the sidebar. It would be one that has every year with the outlay and the income. It might be fun to see how long it takes to break even over the years.

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to show off, add your name and link to Mr Linky below.


  1. I love my pressure cooker for beans. I used it to fix black beans yesterday, and they were done in no time.

    No help with the plums. I've never grown either of them.

  2. Definitely get a fig. It should do fine if kept to 6'. I try to keep mine at about 8' for easy picking. I like Brown Turkey but other varieties may be better for your area.

    Since your tally includes pounds harvested, you may want to keep fruits separate. Once fruit trees start to bear, the pounds add up quickly and would skew your comparison to the veggie-only years.

  3. That lentil and tortellini soup looks and sounds very yummy. I like to pressure can beans because it is so convenient. I have not done any for a while though and have had the same dilemma you had - beans in the pantry but had to use commercial canned beans because I did not plan ahead enough.

  4. Santa Rosa plums are yummy. Don't know anything about growing them, though.

  5. Looks so yummy...we made chili too but sadly we have feets of snow to harvest before we see any green.

  6. I love my fig trees! They are very forgiving.

    A pressure cooker is a must for dried beans. I use mine often.

    The soup looks scrumptious!


  7. Yummy! That soup looks great and very hardy. You amaze me with all that you manage to do, Daphne! I really want to start putting up some things as I often have a lot of extra. I've also thought about giving my excess to the food bank here. This year that won't be the case, as we're just getting things going.

    Glad you had some snow melt :)

  8. Yeah! For melting snow! I'm sure you are ready to go see what is left of your tunnel!

  9. How about preppring for harvest??? I just spent fun sunday participating in Super Sow Sunday and planted my spring greens / peas for the year - what fun!

    I've missed our regular Monday get-togethers since I haven't had much going on harvest-wise. Nice to see everyone again :)

  10. That soup looks delicious! I have a tendency to make a lot of something, and eat off of it for a while. I'm always nervous to freeze things. If you enjoy your leftovers, I say why not keep it simple!

  11. No harvest for me...just some potatoes from storage...

    The soup looks great, Daphne...and definitely a pressure cooker...I can have a small batch of beans ready to go in about 20 minutes...

  12. I'd get both plums :) And I would do two seperate tallies. I'm heading for the garden in an hour and will post my harvest at that time.

  13. That soup looks delicious!! I love dried figs.

  14. I think that you should definitely get a fig. I can't help you with the plums though.

    Definitely two tallies.

    Your soup looks yummy :)

  15. It's good to hear that you're getting a bit of a break from the nasty cold weather, enough already...

    Often times I will cook up enough beans to make two dishes and freeze half of them in their cooking water. Then I just have to warm them up when I don't have time to cook them from scratch. The cooked beans freeze really well.

    I do love my pressure cookers but I find that I don't generally cook my beans in them since it's so easy to over cook them, especially really fresh home grown beans that seem to cook so much faster than the storebought stuff.

  16. I managed to post my harvest on my blog.

    Broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, carrots, rosemary, chard and oranges. Eggs and daffodils.

  17. Enjoy your blog. I linked to my blog today because I "harvested" some fava bean tips and made a delicious fritatta. My blog covers much more than gardening, but that is one of my loves!

  18. I loved my pressure cooker and miss it so; hmmm - quicker beans might convince hubs that we need to replace it!

    Fruit trees are an investment for the future in more ways than one; not just harvest but home value also. I've got a post in progress about our new fruit tree christmas tree tradition; based in part on reading "Backyard Orchard Culture Is High Density Planting And Successive Ripening" at So two tallies; and include home value equity - IMO.

  19. I'm inspired to can some of my tomatoes now!

  20. villager, I might end up deciding to use a pressure canner and can the beans. That is pretty easy and then they are not time at all.

    Grower Jim, I will get a fig. I've been doing the research and think I might need three of them along my fence (so it looks nice, not because I think I need three figs). I called the Boston fig expert Joe and he told me to get Brown Turkey and if I wanted a second variety go for Paradiso. And I have to cover them over the winter. I've been looking at how the Japanese trellis their figs for commercial production (very interesting). I might use a modified form of it since I'm growing flat and they aren't.

    kitsapFG, isn't it sad when you don't plan that far ahead. But that night we were thinking of going out but decided not to because of the weather, so dinner had to be quick.

    Karen Anne, I may have to toss a coin to decide which ones I want. I wish the door in my fence where they will be espaliered was moved over a bit then I could get two plums and two figs. But I think it would look better to have three figs and one plum the way it is laid out. Such are the issues when you edible landscape your property.

    Donna, yeah me too. Too many feet of snow. I can't wait for spring or at least a thaw.

    Mary, I'm going to have to get one.

    Tessa, I've thought about the food bank too. I really like our town's food bank, but they don't take fresh produce. Too bad. I wonder if I can get one of the people in my neighborhood that needs it to sign up for my extras. I'd be happy to deliver. lol I'll have to see how things go once the garden is up. Right now I have friends that are hoping for my extras.

    Barbie, I wish it would melt out that much, but sadly it isn't going to. I'm really hoping for a good February thaw. It doesn't have to take all the snow, but a a foot or two would be nice.

  21. Stevie, nice to see you again too. I planted my onions already, but I'm not going to plant anything else until I get more soil. I've been looking for my bag of peat moss that should have moved with us but I don't see it anywhere. I'll have to dig through the basement more or get another bag.

    Megan, I do, but sometimes I want more variety. I have been freezing about one bowl of each of what I've made over the winter. I'll have to thaw them out when I get board of the same thing every day.

    Deb, That is a very nice number. Right now it takes me hours.

    Holly, thanks

    Lynda, I've thought of it, but to make it look nice in the front yard I just don't have room for a lot of plums (and for me who is not a big plum eater two is a lot). I think you are right. Two tallies would be best.

    Melissa, thanks

    Robin, I beginning to think three figs. It is so hard to figure out how much of what I want.

    michelle, I've done that in the past - freezing cooked beans. I like them that way, but I find their skin gets just a bit tougher. I also don't have a lot of freezer space left. Well technically I do but then I wouldn't be able to get to anything without totally taking it apart.

    Lynda, It was a great harvest too. I'll look forward to that kind of harvest in June I think. I have so long for the snow to melt out.

    Patricia, the fritatta looked delicious. I've never heard of eating fava bean tips. I've heard of pea tips, but not bean tips.

    tervy, I haven't counted home equity. But for the vegetable garden I've decided to not take into account anything I would have to do anyway. If there weren't a veggie garden there there would have been lawn or shrubs, so if I would have done it anyway I'm not adding it in. It is hard when you start with just subsoil in your yard.

    Funkbunny, you certainly are raking in the tomatoes now. It is a good time to start to can.

  22. If you keep a combined harvest list of fruits and vegetables, you can always subtract the weights of the fruits for vegetable only weights. If you're using a spreadsheet, just make seperate columns for each, then a cell for total weights. Personally, I combine all mine on one spreadsheet. I can manipulate it later to extract information. I also don't amortize my expenses. I just take them off in the year they occur, because it all works out in the end. My goal is to produce as much as I can of things we use from the land that I have to work with. That includes fruits and vegetables. It's personal preference.

    As far as your fig tree(s), why limit them to six feet? If close to the fence, I would position the branches so they reach out away from the fence and just let them grow as they please until it's difficult to reach the figs. Then I would prune for convenient access. I would not limit the height just because a fence is six feet (if that is the case). A regular "reach" is more than six feet. I plan on my brown turkey fig, which is right by the fence, growing ten feet high before I prune the height. Fig trees are pretty wide. About 15 feet wide, so be sure to plan for growth, especially when planting multiple trees.

    If it's in your yard, it's your vertical airspace.
    Good luck with yours.
    Veggie PAK

  23. I responded to Ali in my blog. She, you and Ottawa Gardener all wanted to know how to grow ginger in the northeast.

    I had only a tiny harvest this past week and it all went into a stir-fry.

    I grow a Santa Rosa plum. I don't like the idea of a green plum and have never tried the green gauge. I'm hoping for my first real harvest of plums this summer now that the tree is mature.

    As for tallies, I keep the fruits and veggies separate, then total them up for total harvest.

  24. VeggiePak, I limit my fig to 6' because I have a tiny space for them in the front of the 6' fence. It would look weird to have a few feet go above if I espaliered them. If I didn't the branches would get in the way of the road. The road is very narrow and right next to the wall. I can't allow the trees to grow normally here. Also in my zone the tree will die back to the roots if not covered. I was told I'd have to wrap it if I wanted to keep the above ground alive in most years. I'm getting older and don't want to wrap things that I can't reach. Too hard. No place to put a ladder here. But I've figured out how I want to espalier my figs. The Japanese use a system to grow figs that I quite like. Mine will be flat and not v shaped but still the main trunk will be horizontal about a foot above the soil. The branches will go up from there.

  25. Lou, I like the idea of a purple plum too. That way my jams will be pretty. But a lot of people love the green gage. I was hoping for someone that grew both, but I guess I'm out of luck.

  26. The soup looks yummy Daphne! I don't know about you but our snow isn't melting very quickly.

  27. I just found your blog and must say I'm really impressed. What first caught my eye was. . your profile says you were a chemist. I figured what are the chances of running into another chemist with a garden blog (I took early retirement when my company had a purge)- so I had to check out your site. I'm a relatively novice, having started in 2008, and just started a blog. Still trying to figure out how to do some of this. Good luck with the new season, it looks like you've undertaken a major expansion of the vegetable garden. It's near 50in Btown IN, the sun shining and the crust of ice is melting fast. The soup looks fantastic.