Monday, October 31, 2016

Harvest Monday 10/31/16

Last weekend we camped in the mountains of North Carolina and explored the Blue Ridge Parkway to view autumn leaves.  I missed harvest Monday last week because of our trip, so today's report is a two week harvest.  I love autumn with all the beautiful leaves, blue skies, cool weather and garden harvests, especially pumpkins!

Autumn along the Blue Ridge Parkway
In honor of Halloween, I'm updating the status of my big pumpkin that fell off the vine before it ripened.  I'm happy to say it is much, much more orange than before, but it does have a soft spot on one side.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my big pumpkin continues to ripen and not rot.

My slowly ripening Dickinson Pumpkin
On the topic of pumpkins, I harvested another almost 2 lb Seminole pumpkin.

Seminole Pumpkin
I have gotten creative with cooking pumpkin.  My latest concoction is pumpkin pizza.  Instead of tomato sauce I used pumpkin puree with onions, garlic and fresh thyme.  I topped it with sauteed sweet potato greens, onions, mozzarella and parmesan.  I thought it was delicious!  J refused to try it, so I don't have a second opinion to report.

Pumpkin, sweet potato leaves and onion pizza
The biggest harvest over the past two weeks are peppers at 7.4 lbs.  I chopped and froze a bunch of them.  The rest have been roasted or sauteed with eggs for breakfast.  Peppers broke my harvest record this year at 77 lbs while last year I had 68 lbs.

Peppers and more peppers
I finally picked a descent amount of tomatoes this week.  I haven't harvested many tomatoes since August.  It looks like we don't have a first frost in the ten day forecast, so maybe I'll get even more tomatoes.  Our average first frost date is usually the end of October, but this year it looks like we should make it to at least the middle of November.

Paste Tomatoes
Green beans and okra continue to produce a bit each week.  Roasting is still my preferred cooking method for okra.  On our camping trip we cooked green beans and potatoes over the fire one night and bell peppers and onions another night.  We also had pumpkin muffins along with the greens and cheese hand pies I had made previously and froze.  It's fun to take the garden harvests along on a camping trip!

Green beans and okra
The first of the fall peas ripened in the garden.  Germination was not very successful, so I doubt there will be very many peas this fall.  We devoured these as soon as I took the photo!

The first of the fall peas
I finally shelled the dried cowpeas that have been sitting in the garage for at least a month.  This year was a very good year for cowpeas.  These jars hold 8 cups and there's still some cowpeas in the garden.

Dried Cowpeas
This is the season of digging in the garden for me.  The peanut leaves began to yellow, which meant it was time to harvest.  I dug up the peanuts and now they are drying on the fence.  I'm hoping the squirrels don't steal them all!  They need to dry for at least a week.  For once I am happy to see no rain in the weekly forecast so that my peanuts can dry.

Peanuts drying on the fence
Peanuts hang all around the garden.  The peanut harvest appears to be abundant this year.  We will see how many I end up with after the drying period.

Peanut harvesting and drying

Two Week Harvests (lbs):
Peas 0.14
Peppers 7.40
Okra   1.36
Green beans  2.39
Tomatoes   4.14
Eggplant 6.38
Melon  3.93
Winter squash 1.94

Yearly Harvests: 933.8 lbs

That's all the harvests coming from my garden this week.  To see what others are harvesting, check out Harvest Monday on Our Happy Acres.


  1. Peanuts, what a fun crop to grow! Good luck with the squirrels. I just went camping with homegrown veggies too, but mine were dehydrated because we were backpacking. It is indeed fun and satisfying to eat homegrown veggies out in the woods. Winter squash is great on pizza, I put grilled slices on top of mine, never thought of making it into a sauce - great idea.

    1. I'd like to try dehydrating more veggies, I got a dehydrator last year and I haven't really used it much.

  2. Your garden and harvests are such a source of inspiration to me Julie.

  3. That's a lot of peanuts, hope the critters leave them alone. What variety do you grow? Envious of your jars of cow peas, would grow if I had more garden space.

    1. I believe my peanuts are Jumbo Virginia ones. I bought seeds locally several years ago and have been replanting every year. Your black peanuts made me curious about trying some other varieties. I want to attempt making peanut butter this year because I have a new food processor that should be able to handle it and I think there are other varieties that are better for peanut butter than the Jumbo ones.

  4. Wow on that 77 pounds of peppers! And that's a lot of dried cowpeas too. I never dried that many when I used to grow them, I usually froze the fresh ones. I do hope your pumpkin holds up for you.

    1. What I've learned from weighing harvests is that I eat a ridiculous amount of vegetables. Last year's pepper harvest wasn't enough to get me through the winter, so I'm hoping this year will be enough. I do love fresh cowpeas, but just couldn't keep up with them this summer when so many other things needed harvesting and preserving.

  5. Until I read another blog only today, I never realised that people grew peanuts as a harvest in their gardens. Is it a common crop in your part of the world.? I have only ever grown them in a pot.

    1. Yes, peanuts are commercially grown in this part of the world, more so south of me closer to the coast where the soil is more sandy. I have more clay in my soil and they do best in sandy soils, but I have a long enough and hot enough growing season for them. I don't think a lot of people grow them in their gardens because they aren't the most efficient in terms of space versus productivity, but I think they are fun to grow.

  6. What a great harvest of beans...dried beans are one crop where a few cups can last you a year so that is a very impressive harvest. Congratulations on your record breaking pepper year! I haven't done any comparisons yet but I think I will also be beating my numbers from prior years, thanks to our super hot summer (one of the few benefits!).

    And around here, those peanut plants would be stripped in a day - you must have much nicer squirrels ;)

    1. It seems that peppers, pumpkins and cowpeas did really well this summer, probably because of the heat. I'm hoping for some nice squirrels!