It has been a few weeks since I have done a official Monday harvest report. So I thought this week would be a good week for a report on our cold weather harvests. As with most of country, our weather has turned bitterly cold. We are seeing temperatures that we don’t usually see until late December and January. Burr!! We have had lows in the teens for the past few nights and even a little snow. I’m worried about the quick drop in temps and the effect it will have our our cold frame crops. I’m worried they won’t deal with it well because they didn’t have a chance to slowly adjust. We went from 60’s in the day and high 30’s at night to 30’s in the day and mid teen’s at night in one day! That can be pretty rough on plants. I’ve been scared to even look! I did check on the spinach yesterday and harvested a little and it seems fine but I’m sure the lettuce is suffering!
So what are our cold weather harvests from the garden in November? Lets start with tomatoes. These of course were harvested green several weeks ago and have been setting in the garage. We have used up or given away all of the tomatoes that were ripe when harvested. What’s left is the big box of green fruit. They are ripening a little faster that I would have liked. That has to do with all the warm weather we were having up until last week. It was pretty warm in the garage so they all took off quickly. The ripening has slowed down this week as the garage is now like sitting at fridge temperatures. But we have used about 4 of the 20 pounds that were in the green box so I’m including those in this weeks totals.
This was a small crop of oak leaf lettuce that was growing in a shaded corner of the garden. It was away from the cold frames and was unprotected so we pulled the whole section up about two weeks ago. It came in at only 3/4 lbs but the light beautiful leaves actually made several salads and lasted about a week.
We also had one last picking of strawberries. About 1/2 pound. These were picked November 1st. We have had a lot of freezing nights since so the fruit that is left on the plants is ruined and we are done with fresh strawberries for the year.
Another harvest of lettuce from last week. I cut these the day before all the cold weather set in. This is a little more oak leaf and a head of Nevada. The Nevada head was very dense and delicious!
The biggest harvest over the last few weeks was the last of the herbs. I just cut these yesterday. Two big bunches of fresh parsley and a small hand full of chives. That’s 3 pounds of parsley! We will eat some of it fresh, give some away to the neighbors and dry the rest to use until next year! The chives came from two new plants that we started from seed this year. That actually represents the whole harvest for the year from those two plants, I put off harvesting any of them until now so that the plants could get well established so that we will get large crops starting next year!
Not pictured but included in our cold weather harvest are 2 pounds of broccoli, the only harvest we got from our aphid damaged fall planting. Also we picked several handfuls of spinach to add to different meals over the last two weeks. I’m estimating that we picked about 1/3 of a pound total.
Although the popcorn was included in the harvest totals several weeks ago I thought I would show you a shot of the finished product. Our youngest daughter and I sat for about 30 minutes on Saturday and removed all the popcorn from the cobs. I used a pair of rubber gloves to protect my hands (popcorn can be a little rough on bare hands). The gloves also really helped make things go faster by improving my grip and tearing the kernels off quickly. We had about 70 ears of corn that have been drying in the garage for about 30 days. I knew we had our best harvest ever but I was surprised by the final volume. The total came in just short of 11 pounds.
We put them in canning bottles and we came in with the equivalent of 5 1/2 quarts of popcorn! Valerie is very excited because a supply this big will last us a long time even with as much popcorn as we eat around here. I’m excited because it proves that I really can grow a grain crop (popcorn can be ground to corn meal) in my small garden. Next year we are going to try and plant about twice as much so that we have all our popcorn and corn meal needs taken care of from our garden.
Here’s the harvest totals for the last 3 weeks:
Strawberries – .50 lbs
Lettuce – 2 lbs
Spinach – .33 lbs
Ripened Tomatoes – 4 lbs
Brocolli – 2 lbs
Parsley – 3 lbs
Chives – .20 lbs
Total – 12.03 lbs
That makes our annual total for the home garden 704 pounds . We finally broke the 700 pound mark before the year ended! There’s no way we will make our goal of 775 pounds because we lost all of our fall/winter kale this year to the aphids. But I think we still have a shot at 725 pounds!
We will be joining several blog hops this week including the Tuesday Garden Party at an Oregon Cottage, Garden Tuesday at Sidewalk Shoes, The Homestead Barn Hop at The Prairie Homestead and of course the Monday Harvest Report at Daphne’s Dandelions!