Monday, September 26, 2016

Harvest Monday 26 September 2016

I finally got enough Ancho Poblanos to make a batch of chilies rellenos this week. The plants are a meter tall and very healthy, but unfortunately the weather is getting colder. It is 40 F/4.5 C this morning, which is getting uncomfortably close to freezing. The mature pepper plants can endure a little cold weather as long as we don't have a killing frost. Seems we are never lucky in that respect.  Also in the pile is a Melrose sweet red pepper, a pile of Jimmy Nardello, and a ripe jalapeno.

Another boring basket of cherry tomatoes. I already had a large number of these in the refrigerator from our Acadia trip. I ran out of time to process them so I threw two bags of them in the fridge, following Mark's lead. One bag was then slow roasted and frozen. The second bag went into the blender for gazpacho, along with onions, peppers, summer squash, and a chili. I used some of the suspect red onions I had set aside, the ones with the apparent bruise on the side.

You can see the flat spot on the top of this onion. The spot is flat but does not seem soft. I don't remember dropping any of the onions, and even so the onions are rock hard and wouldn't show a mark unless they were whacked hard. In fact, they had these spots when they were harvested.

On peeling the onion, you can see the black mold growing under the skin. So it was a good idea to set these aside and not put them in the onion storage bin. The mold must have caused the flat spots by collapsing the onion cells on the surface.

Slice off the infected spot and you can see the mold has not yet penetrated the interior of the onion, so the onion is still good. I only have  a few more to use up.

I also used garlic in the gazpacho and was disappointed to find some of the bulbs are already starting to soften and dry up. Unfortunately I just grabbed a bulb and did not notice which variety it was. From the same head, the two cloves at bottom right were white and juicy, the two at the top had yellowed and softened but were still used, and the clove on the left was brown and nasty and was tossed. So I have to get on with trying to preserve some more of the harvest this week. I plan to slice and dehydrate some, and I will also try roasting a number of whole heads and freezing them. I tasted one of the fermented cloves I made and it was eye opening. Very pungent but the clove was still firm and could be used in cooking.

That is what happened in my garden last week. To see what other gardeners around the world are doing, visit Dave at Our Happy Acres, our host for Harvest Monday.


  1. That basket of cherry tomatoes is NOT boring! Sorry about your problems with storing some onions and garlic. Hopefully you still have enough to see you through.

  2. I planted way too many cherry tomatoes this year...again! But the plants have slowed down a lot in the past couple of weeks, so I'm no longer getting inundated. That's too bad about the onion - good thing you caught those before they infected your good ones. And that's so strange about the garlic - that must be a record for how quickly any variety has started going bad.

  3. Hmmm, I'm worried now. I have been planning to have a go at growing onions next year, but it seems that it is more difficult than I previously thought! BTW, my fridge-stored tomatoes tasted just as good as the ones that didn't go in the fridge.

  4. Tomatoes are never boring! Not in season anyway ...

    I chose not to get Jimmy Nardello seeds as I assumed I'd be able to buy a plant or two from my "regular", but she had none this year. Definitely buying seeds, as I'm envious every time I see yours.

  5. I was curious about your mold problem and I've seen it occasionally in my onions so I did a little research on the UC IPM site. It's probably Black Mold (Aspergillus niger) and is most common when onions are grown in warm dry conditions. There's no treatments for it but storage between 55ºF and 33ºF helps to suppress development. I wonder if your hot dry summer has something to do with your garlic ailments also.

    And I don't find the cherry tomatoes to be boring either. In December that photo will be something to drool over.

  6. That's crazy that your weather is already getting so cold, here we have the first 10 day forecast that isn't over 90 degrees. What a shame about the mold on your onions. I have a hard time storing onions, garlic, potatoes and pretty much anything that needs cool and dry storage.

  7. Whoa, it is definitely getting chilly in your neck of the woods, looks like the end of the season though is getting close. Your peppers are looking great but it's too bad about your onions and garlic. I've seen that problem with store bought garlic before but it was in dry desert regions. The fermented cloves sounds very interesting.

  8. I sometimes have trouble with certain garlic cultivars not keeping for me, despite their being known as 'good keepers'. I guess the growing conditions have a lot to do with it too, which usually can't be controlled.


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