Monday Harvest – 20th Feb 2012

Another week of summer harvest, but still no eggplant – there are fruit on the bushes but none is quite ready for picking yet – perhaps next week.  What I have been picking is tomatoes:


For all my angst about my tomato plants I forget that I am picking enough for all our salad and slicing needs as well as enough for the kids to eat a punnet a day of cherry tomatoes.

If the tomatoes are producing just enough then the chillies are producing more than enough.  I have a big bag full in the fridge that I plan to preserve this week.

The chard is producing really well.  We had spanakopita again this week, we also ate some with a roast chicken.  The beans went with the roast chicken as well.  We also had beans cooked my favourite way – with butter, garlic, black pepper and tomatoes – that was eaten with some sausages and a lovely potato salad.

The cucumber harvest continues unabated.  I picked about 10 this week and made another batch of bread and butter cucumbers.  I have about 10 jars put away now so I’m feeling very pleased with myself.

The capsicums pictured above might be the last for a while.  These came from the overwintered plants but there are no mature fruit on them anymore – they are setting a new batch though.  This years plants have set a few fruit but they are still a fair way off ripening.

I am still picking vast quantities of salad leaves.  I have a salad most days. Today lunch was a nicoise salad with some of the above tomatoes and beans, some shallots and potatoes from earlier harvests and the leaves and radish below.

But I have saved the best til last.  This week has seen a lot more passionfruit – 15 to be exact.  For anyone who is unfamiliar with them, passionfruit grow on a climbing vine and have a sweet, slightly acidic taste.  In Australia they are probably most famously used as a topping for pavlova – but more of that later in the week if I have time to make it.  They are pictured below, whole as well as cut so that you can see the edible bit inside.

The yummy bit is the pulp surrounding the seeds (although the seeds are generally eaten with the pulp).  The outer skin is inedible.  This is what these looked like a moment after the first shot was taken.

For harvests from all over the world get yourself over to Daphne’s Dandelions – delicious reading.

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26 Responses to Monday Harvest – 20th Feb 2012

  1. L says:

    Oh, serious passionfruit jealousy here – mine just won’t set fruit! Maybe next year. My current year’s capsicums on the other hand already produced about 10 good sized fruit (before dropping them when they were overrun by the soybeans). I’ve pulled them out and potted them up and they’ve set another lot of fruit in just a week.

    I’m going to have to plant more chillies next year – I really want some decent chilli preserves too!

    Your salad greens look spectacular. I haven’t been organised enough to sow regulary and all mine went to seed. Pretty shameful to be buying lettuce, isn’t it?

    Love your photos (as always).

    • Liz says:

      This passionfruit is very much on its last legs – the trunk is split and the graft almost broken through. I have planted a new one but I think it normally takes them about three years to fruit – my first attempt at a replacement died but this one is looking happy and healthy, hopefully it still does by Springtime…. I’m loving my chillies, I grow them in pots and they survive the winter here fine, I always get more fruit in their second year so I if you want lots that might be something to try.

      • L says:

        How do you go overwintering capsicums?

        • Liz says:

          I only tried with ones in pots and they survived fine – I think the key is not to feed them after about April and then just leave them, watering them when they get dry. I pruned one but it didn’t come back nearly as well as the one I just left. I would say that the fruit this year has been smaller (I probably should have fed them more) and the leaves look a bit mangy so I don’t think they’ll get through another winter but we’ll see.

  2. Norma Chang says:

    Such a bountiful harvest. We are no where near direct sowing let alone havest, still winter here.
    The only way we get passion fruit is from the grocery stores and I am sure it is not as good as tree ripened.

    • Liz says:

      I hope it warms up for you soon Norma, I really feel lucky that we have such a mild climate here. Having said that the snow must be fun too.

  3. We are having another go at aubergines (egg plants) this year as we have never had much success with them in the past – very few if any fruits but the flowers are pretty

    • Liz says:

      They do seem to need a bit of heat to do well. I really like the plants too, at least they are nice and decorative even when they’re not producing.

  4. Oh to be able to grow and pick your own passion fruit-I am so jealous!!

    Can’t wait to see your Passion Fruit Pavlova later on, though apologies now… but I may well be drooling at that point…

  5. kitsapFG says:

    I have never eaten passionfruit so I appreciate the bit of a tutorial on what is the edible portion! Your harvests are gorgeous this week, the tomatoes and lettuces in particular are very appealing.

    • Liz says:

      Its funny how different fruit are prized in different places. Passionfruit is pretty ubiquitious here, or at least it was when I was growing up, I guess because it suits our climate its grown in people’s backyards a lot.

  6. Dave says:

    Great looking veggies! Those passionfruits have me wanting some. Our native ones are called ‘maypops’. I’m going to plant a couple of vines this year. Only time will tell how tasty they are.

    • Liz says:

      Maypops – they sound interesting. I grow the purple skinned variety, but there are a few others around, yellow skinned ones and ‘banana’ passionfruit which I may have to find room for…..

  7. I ate passion fruit last year after a heated discussion about whether it was edible. I’d love to have a great recipe for it. I can get as many fruits as I want off my neighbor’s plant. She was the one who didn’t think they were edible. After I proved that they were, she still said she would NEVER eat them. Ok. But I will, especially if I can get some great recipes.

    • Liz says:

      Here they are often used as kind of a garnish, ie on top of cheesecake or pavlova. They are also made into jam, used in biscuits, cakes and icings. Quite often if a recipe for something sweet includes lemon (eg lemon cheesecake) you can substitute passionfruit for the lemon. It has the acidity of lemon juice but in a sweeter form.

  8. Frogdancer says:

    Things are looking good at your place!

  9. KL says:

    Please tell your secret – how much do you water, what fertilizer do you use, etc. How can you produce so much?

    • Liz says:

      How long have you got? I water most days – this has been a really dry summer. I fertilise the beds mainly with manure and I mulch with pea straw. I try and rotate my crops and I occasionally add a bit of lime to the beds otherwise that is pretty much it. Nature does the rest.

  10. Andrea says:

    The photo of your mixed harvest in wicker basket looks superb!! almost to good to eat.
    Fresh passionfruit from your own vine…….doesn’t get any better than that……………..just a tad jealous!

  11. beautiful harvest…dreaming of tomatoes and beans! awww…I can’t wait for summers bounty.

  12. Julie says:

    Your harvest has my mouth watering! Enjoy all those tomatoes, beans, and salads. I have never had a fresh passion fruit and now I want to!

  13. Mark Willis says:

    I’m not a fan of Passionfruit, but I share your enthusiasm for all those veg. I’m not a vegetarian, so it’s nice to see you writing about good meat-and-veg combinations.

    • Liz says:

      I too eat meat, although I’m not a huge fan, I tend to like it as a flavouring eg bacon or smoked fish, or as a vehicle for a nice sauce or chutney eg sausages as a vehicle for eating loads of beetroot & date chutney. Unlike you I do enjoy fish for its own sake though.

  14. Diana says:

    Beautiful bountiful harvest!Lots of picking there. We usually freeze our chillies when we have a glutton.

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