Harvest Monday – 23rd January 2012

23 Jan

I was a bit lazy with my harvesting this week. Some things are overdue but still sitting on the vine, bush etc.

1 Lebanese Eggplant

First up are the Lebanese eggplant.  I have loads of these on my 9 plants. I only harvested one this week, which I used in a warm vegetable pasta. The remaining truckful are getting bigger, and I’m not completely sure what the best size is for harvesting.

10 Golden Nugget Pumpkins

My golden nugget pumpkins are slowing but still productive. I harvested 10 this week, but let them get slightly larger.

2 Crystal Apple Cucumbers

I think I’ve neglected the cucumbers. Instead of training them up the trellice I’ve let them sprawl out along the ground. I think they have succumbed to some mildew and are looking a bit shabby. I picked 2 large crystal apple cucumbers this week, but I’m not enjoying their bitterness.

500 grams Dwarf Bush Beans

The dwarf bush beans are powering along. I’ve harvested approximately 500 grams this week, with no signs of slowing. Tonight they featured in a chicken and coconut curry, and I ate another serving (on their own) during the week when I was cooking only for myself. Steamed green beans are pretty much all I need for dinner when it’s only me to please.

A couple of tomatoes

The tomatoes are coming along. I’ve only harvested a couple this week, but I can see that the plants in the front bed are setting loads of fruit and the potted tomatoes are showing more promise. Here are some friends of mine, checking out the low-hanging fruit this afternoon.

First cob of corn

The corn is teasing me. I’ve planted several blocks and the main block is huge – much taller than I am, but the cobs aren’t so big. The silk is definitely starting to die off and I take it that that is a sign, but I harvested one cob during the week and it was still white like young corn. The kernels are definitely developing, so I don’t think it’s a pollination issue, but I guess they just need more time. The cob I harvested was delicious, despite its immaturity.

This one is more of a potential harvest, or a ‘should have’ harvested. This is the first of the okra – I blinked and it was huge. I think next year I need to grow a few more plants, because I’m not harvesting enough at once to make anything worthwhile.  Maybe I should keep this one for seeds 🙂

Tomato Canning

Today a few friends came around to preserve a box of tomatoes that I bought from a roadside stall yesterday. I’ve love to say I grew them myself, but alas, I think it’ll be April before I have an excess.

Here is a jar just before I put it into the Fowlers Vacola preserving unit.

We started off canning the tomatoes whole, then discovered that it was hard to pack them tight enough that way. In the end I was mostly quartering them.

My box of tomatoes filled 15 600ml jars (Fowlers #20 and #200 jars). Only 14 fit into the preserving unit, so I think I’ll be using the remaining jar shortly so I don’t need to can it properly.

After the water bath they are considerably less vibrant, but hopefully more sterile.

This post links up to Daphne’s Dandelions. Head on over there to see what else people are harvesting across the world.

28 Responses to “Harvest Monday – 23rd January 2012”

  1. Sarah January 23, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    The tomatoes look wonderful! It’s a shame we couldn’t make it over today but the little guy really wasn’t up to it. I did manage to make a couple of jars of pickled zucchini 15c – I’m very interested to see how these turn out – I have one jar in the fridge that didn’t seal properly, so in a week or so I can find out how they taste.

    I have a recipe for a sugar free pickled eggplant recipe if you are interested. I think the lebanese eggplants are best when at least an inch in diameter, but you don’t want to let then get too big because they will start to get bitter.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney January 24, 2012 at 9:05 am #

      I think the eggplants will have to go into dinner tonight. Unfortunately it seems to be a cold day, so something where I can stew them down.

  2. Norma Chang January 24, 2012 at 1:01 am #

    I am drooling oveer your harvest. Our ground is covered with snow, I gave up growing corn years ago, the squirrels always get to the ready-to-pick ears before I do. Yours look lovely.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney January 24, 2012 at 9:07 am #

      Thanks Norma. I hate it when the wildlife take off with my crops. I have a cockatoo population that lives across the road who like to take off with the best part of my sunflowers just as they look their best. I suspect they are responsible for eating my cabbages too!

  3. Daphne January 24, 2012 at 1:15 am #

    Those eggplants look so pretty. And nothing is better than fresh corn out of the garden. I have the same trouble though. I never know exactly when to pick.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney January 24, 2012 at 9:11 am #

      Thanks Daphne. I think I’ll have to peel them in order to disguise them in dinner – kids all seem to hate eggplant 🙂

  4. kitsapFG January 24, 2012 at 1:16 am #

    I love visiting sites like yours that are on the opposite side of the world growing conditions! I can enjoy your summer harvest bounty while we have snow on the ground. Beautiful harvests this week.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney January 24, 2012 at 9:10 am #

      Thank you Kitsap. My kids always lament that we never get any snow here, but the garden is grateful.

  5. Barbie January 24, 2012 at 1:18 am #

    Okra will do that. Here we only have 2 days window to pick! I grow 6 or 8 plants and it’s enough to keep it on the table for me. G/L!!!

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney January 24, 2012 at 9:08 am #

      I’m definitely learning a few lessons! How do you like to cook your okra Barbie?

  6. Julie January 24, 2012 at 8:21 am #

    What a lovely harvest! You have me dreaming of summer. Enjoy!

  7. Andrea January 24, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    Oh those eggplants look great, im feeling a little green! do you have a favorite recipe for them? Lovely crop of tomatoes coming along.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney January 24, 2012 at 7:31 pm #

      Andrea, I must admit I’m struggling a little because all the standard recipes (moussaka, eggplant parmigiana etc) all have dairy products in them. My youngest has an allergy to cow’s milk protein, so counts them out. Tonight I made Liz’s eggplant masala http://suburbantomato.com/2011/04/eggplant/ and I’ll write a post about it shortly.

  8. Lilian January 24, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    Aw man I’m having serious harvest envy. I guess the only consolation I have right now is that I spy some fruit on our Passionfruit vine… and am holding out hope that we’ll get some there. The glut of strawberries is gone as are the tomatoes – what’s left hanging on the vines look like they’ve succumbed to blossom end rot with all the rain… no joy in the cucurbit department either in our backyard… no pumpkins/melons/cucumbers… maybe I’ll start up some quick growing Chinese veggies – but Grandma Shirley informs me that I’ve left it too late… sigh…

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney January 24, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

      Oh Lilian – you were away for so long, I’m surprised your garden survived the summer at all! Enjoy the holiday memories and start preparing for Autumn/winter crops.

  9. Liz January 24, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

    Wow, your eggplants are doing well – mine are still a long way off. And your tomatoes plants look great – mine are frankly are disgrace to kitchen garden bloggers everywhere but hopefully they will pull through.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney January 24, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

      I refuse to believe that your tomatoes could be anything but perfect. Mine are a very late salvage after discovering that tomatoes in pots are a bad idea in years with constant rain. So the plants you see are very young specimens – too young to have succumbed to anything.

  10. Norma Chang January 24, 2012 at 11:21 pm #

    Here is a link to a recipe I posted some time ago about cooking okra let me know how you like it.

  11. maryhysong January 25, 2012 at 12:50 am #

    your eggplants look yummy; I stir fry thin slices with other veggies if they are not too bitter; add to the end of soups and I love the dip Baba Ganush (probably not how it’s spelled)

  12. Rick January 25, 2012 at 2:34 am #

    Once again those of us in the Northern hemisphere are jealous of your weather and harvest. Please keep posting as it is the only thing getting me through the winter. We woke up to 3 inches of snow this morning!!

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney January 25, 2012 at 8:45 am #

      Oh Rick, it must really be discouraging tending the garden in the autumn/fall, knowing that it is about to be snowed upon all winter 😦 Thanks for the perspective – we are so blessed to be able to grow during all four seasons!

  13. Tricia January 25, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    Your garden is looking lovely.

    I’ve been doing loads of tomato preserving recently also. Semi-dried, tomato paste, passata, tomato sauce. I was absolutely amazed at how many tomatoes goes into making tomato paste. A huge pot made only a few small jars. But atleast it is delicious and will be nice on pizza bases.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney January 25, 2012 at 11:04 am #

      I’ve never tried to make tomato paste Tricia – have you covered it on your blog, or is there are particular recipe you use?

  14. Lynn's Urban Garden Diary January 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    Looks like a lot of good stuff going on in your garden! I’m jealous! 🙂


  15. Rebecca January 31, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    Very Nice! Having trouble growing tomatoes this year due to all the rain!

    Fowlers Vacola service and quality has gone down hill and there accessories prices have gone up big time ever since it was sold to a corporation (I know your thinking how usual 🙂 ). I use Ball Mason Jars now much easier to use and very pretty with the antique designs also the Ozfarmer preserver is much bigger than the FV and has an concealed element so you can do soups, jams etc. You get them at http://www.ozfarmer.com and they are much cheaper.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney January 31, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

      Funny you mention that Rebecca- I was looking at that the other day and thinking it looked good. My husband just raised his eyebrows when I mentioned that I was tempted to buy another unit! Thanks for the info.

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