Monday, August 4, 2014

Harvest Monday 8/4/14

This week has been a wash out.  Thursday evening it started raining.  Of course I had watered the garden that morning because I looked at the weather earlier in the week and every day had about a 30% chance of rain,but we hadn't seen any in awhile.  That is typical for our summers.  There will be scattered storms that are very patchy.  Then it rained all Thursday night and Friday morning and we ended up getting six inches of rain!  Needless to say the garden was a muddy mess.

I was worried about my newly sprouted bean seeds.  I was so sure they had washed away.  Luckily they were fine, although they were standing in about an inch of water.  The biggest problem was the sunflowers and amaranth.  They had come toppling down, roots and all.  The good is that I guess the corn was too short to fall down!



I tried to right the fallen plants.  The amaranth aren't as top heavy as the sunflowers and they seem to stay standing.  The sunflowers just won't stay up.  I would need to stake them.  I am out of town (again!) and didn't have time or the stakes to deal with it.

Well that was the bad garden news for the week.  The good garden news is harvests are rolling in and I can't believe I beat last week's record of 66 lbs.  This week was 80 lbs!  It was a big week for melons and winter squash.


That giant squash is a 13 lb Green Striped Cushaw.  It is a Cucurbiat mixta and I am happy to report that the vine borers did not touch it.  Something did, however, bore a hole into the squash.  If you can see the hole in the picture, it is right above that small cucumber.  When I cut open the squash there was nothing inside, but obviously something was munching away at some point. It was surprisingly not impossible to cut open the squash.  I peeled it, cut it into big chunks, covered it with aluminum foil and then roasted it for about an hour.


We ate some out of the oven with butter, salt and pepper and it was delicious.  It is mild, a little nutty and sweet.  The rest I pureed.


You can use it in the place of pumpkin or other winter squash.  It is a bit more watery, so either strain it or reduce the liquid in the recipe.  I used a recipe for sweet potato patties and turned it into Cushaw patties (left out the water in the recipe) and it was delicious.  The rest of the puree I froze for now.  The next day I picked another 10 lb Cushaw that didn't make it into a photo.  There is a third one that I have yet to pick.

In other winter squash news, I picked the first spaghetti squash and a little pumpkin.


I really should stop growing pumpkins.  The vine borers just love them.  For the same space I got this one 2 1/2 lb pumpkin compared to over 30 lbs of the Cushaw squash.  The pumpkin also has one of those holes in it too.


I picked the biggest ears of corn so far this season.  Unfortunately one of them had been eaten quite a bit by earworns.  It seems this time in the garden is a peak for pests and fungus! The peppers are producing quite a bit while the tomatoes and cucumbers are struggling.  All that rain is not going to help the tomatoes with early blight.  I pruned all the dead leaves and added another row of wire to the Florida weave in an attempt to get them higher.

The other harvest that has been exceptional this week have been the melons.


I harvested almost 27 lbs of cantaloupe this week!  I binged as much as possible.


But that was too much for me to handle in a week!  The neighbors got some melons and the rest I cut into chunks and froze for future smoothies.

If you recall last week I was overwhelmed with all the banana peppers.  I also gave a bunch to the neighbors, but then I canned some marinated peppers.  I don't know how they taste, but I think they look pretty in the jars.


Finally I harvested a bouquet of flowers from the garden.  I'm not good at cutting flowers from the garden because I feel like I am stealing from the bees and butterflies and hummingbirds, but there were so many blooms that I thought they may not notice if I took a few.  They definitely brighten the kitchen table.


Weekly harvests (lbs):

Onion 0.67
Summer squash  1.19
Peppers 6.24
Cucumber   3.22
Beans 0.71
Tomatoes 10.53
Corn   1.29
Melons 26.69
Dried beans  0.09
Winter squash 29.74

Weekly total: 80.4 lbs
Yearly total: 301.13 lbs (surpassed the 300 lb mark this week!)

That's all the harvests coming from my garden this week.  To see what others are harvesting check out Harvest Monday at Daphne's Dandelions.

18 comments:

  1. So jealous of those gorgeous melons and winter squash harvested already?? Mine won't be ready till much later. Gorgeous flowers :)

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    1. The winter squash seemed early to me too, but the vines were dying and they looked ready. I have some later plantings of winter squash that won't be harvested for awhile.

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  2. Great harvest. I envy those melons. And good job on the winter squash. Squash in the moschata family like butternut are supposed to be resistant to the borers, and apparently the cushaw squash (C. argyrosperma) is resistant as well. So you made a good choice to grow those.

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    1. I think I should really only grow butternut and cushaw, but I'm concerned that if that's the only options the vine borers will decide to try them. I have had vine borers in butternut vines before.

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  3. Oh wow that is a lot of melon to get all at once. My melons are slowly sizing up. Slowly. At this rate I'll be harvesting them in September.

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    1. I think all that rain made them ripen faster. I would have tried to not pick them all at once, but they detached from the vine on their own.

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  4. I haven't ever grown Cushaw but I have heard a lot about it. If you could get 30 pounds in the space that one pumpkin would grow, it sounds like something I would like to try for next year. :) Congratulations on your great harvests! 80 pounds in a week!

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    1. Cushaw is definitely going to become a regular in my garden. I can't believe I had 80 lbs in one week. I've definitely never had that much before, although my garden is almost four times as big as my old garden and that deer fence has made a big difference in how much veggies I get.

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  5. Wow - blight does not seem to be hurting the quantity of your harvests at all! I can't get over the size of that squash...and it sounds delicious. Must give it a try - just would have to figure out where to put it. Congrats on the 80 lbs. I was happy when I hit 80 for the year...I can't imagine harvesting that much in one week!

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    1. The cushaw squash vine is definitely rampant. It does not cooperate with staying in its bed, but for the size of the squash and the lack of vine borers I let it grow where ever it pleased!

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  6. Well, I think melons are a great thing to binge on! We're still waiting on our first ones to ripen. It's too bad about the toppled plants. The amaranth is so pretty. Do you harvest the seed?

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    1. My plan is to harvest the amaranth seed. This is my first time growing it, so we will see how it turns out. If nothing else, it is a very pretty addition to the garden.

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  7. You sure are having a bountiful squash and melon season. Perhaps the pumpkin is keeping the squash borer from your other plants and for that reason worthwhile planting.

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  8. Wow, your harvests are so impressive! I can't get over all those squash and melons. And 80 pounds in one week is amazing!

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  9. Wow over 80 lbs of harvest per week, the flowers are beautiful, I should grow more flowers where I couldn't grow veggies.

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  10. I'm once again jealous of your melons. It's been a long time since I've been able to grow decent tasting one. My melons this year don't seem to be doing much of anything.

    That's quite an impressive number this week. I'm expecting next week to be a big one for me as the tomatoes are starting to ripen in droves.

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