Monday Harvest – 4th March 2013

I start this week with a harvest I haven’t photographed in a while – curry leaves.  I harvest them regularly and my plant is doing really well despite being split almost in two and bound together with a pair of pantyhose.  It is growing well and has heaps of lovely leaves available for harvest.

Curry leaves

While I’m on the topic of curry leaves, I had a request from a reader.  He has a curry leaf tree with the weird bumps on the leaves as you can see in the picture below.  Any ideas what it is – he can’t see any sign of insect infestation.

Curry leaf with pimple like lumps

Growing very well at the moment are my silverbeet plants, although the occasional leaf has a dry spot or two, presumably due to the extended period of hot weather we are having.

Silver beet

The hot weather is helping to ripen the tomatoes which continue to yield despite the plants looking long past their best (ie mostly dead….).

Black Cherry tomatoes and others

The chillies are also enjoying the sun, I harvested Cayenne, Scotch Bonnet (Bishops Cap), Cherrytime, Hungarian Yellow Wax (pictured in the basket below this one) as well as Mini Mama capsicums this week.  I also accidently harvested some Sweet Mama capsicums – not sure how the branch broke off the plant but Mr 3 is probably the most likely suspect.

Capsicums and chillies

If you look closely at this next basket you will see 75% of this years strawberry harvest.  Okay so that is a slight exageration but it is close enough to reality for me to decide that I wont bother with strawberries next year.  Unless I can think of a way of keeping them away from slugs and snails and in enough sun to crop properly that is.

Harvest basket

Although many of my photos this week have large tracts of red I am also harvesting a fair bit of green at the moment.  The celery has begun producing nice thick stems which I am cutting as I need them.  The Cavolo Nero is growing at a rate which allows me to pick a bunch of leaves each week, and thyme is available in huge quanities.  The bay I have to be more sparing with as something is eating the leaves and its not growing nearly as vigorously as I would like.  I suspect it would prefer a cooler climate.


I think I have managed to photograph most of the things I’m harvesting at the moment and just to prove it here is some basil, parsley and spring onions all of which I pick regularly.

Basil, spring Onions and parsley

What I don’t seem to have photographed are the eggplants, for those you will have to wait until next week but in the meantime head over to Daphne’s Dandelions for the party that is Harvest Monday.

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22 Responses to Monday Harvest – 4th March 2013

  1. marisa says:

    Lovely collection of vegies and herbs there. We too have been harvesting loads of chillies. And I’m kind of glad to read that your tomato plants are looking dead – I thought that ours had gone brown due to insufficient watering while we were away recently, but now I feel a little less guilty.

    What do you mean when you say your curry leaf plant is split? I have one (bought from the local Sri Lankan grocery) that is doing fantastically, but I noticed some months after buying it that it appears to be two plants, growing from the same spot. Or is that how it’s meant to look? I love the smell it releases as I brush past in the morning, rushing to get the kids into the car… I only really use curry leaves in dhal, though – what do you use them in?

    • Liz says:

      Sorry I should have been clearer shouldn’t I? The main stem split down the middle vertically, I think when something landed on one of the branches (although it could have been a small child pulling it…..). I use them in curries, usually vegetable side dishes with tempered spice and dhal like you. I also put them in my chicken curries too. I occasionally think about experimenting with the flavour in other non Indian style dishes but I never get round to it.

  2. Harvesting celery – clever you.

    I’d still put down those bumps to some sort of insect damage. Looking at the full size image I thought I could spot tiny scale insects but it’s hard to say for sure.

    • Liz says:

      Perhaps if he tries squashing the bumps and see if that has any effect? If its insects I would have thought that would help.

  3. Lovely assortment of veggies… so colorful…

  4. Bee Girl says:

    Curry leaves?! Yet another kitchen “staple” I hadn’t thought of growing! Oy…I must get out this box I’m in! 😉

  5. Michelle says:

    I wish I could grow curry leaf but it’s just not warm enough here. I had one in my last garden, it was just warm enough there, so I know what I’m missing. boo hoo… What a mysterious malady on those leaves, perhaps it’s a virus?

    I bet those tomatoes are extra tasty, that always seems to be the case when the plants are struggling. Lovely harvests, such a wonderful variety of stuff.

    • Liz says:

      Virus is an interesting idea – my knowledge in that area is extremely limited, especially when it comes to viruses afflicting curry leaf plants. Shame you can’t grow them anymore. Although perhaps if you brought it inside for a month or two over winter?

  6. kitsapFG says:

    Not at all familiar with curry plants or their pests and diseases – so not going to be able to help – but it does look suspiciously like an insect issue of some sort.

    What a great bounty of heat loving crops you are getting, but there is a nice mix of greens and celery etc too which makes for good eating (balance of both makes cooking and menu planning so much easier).

    • Liz says:

      I have to say I think in some ways I’m enjoying the greens most at the moment. Perhaps because it has been a couple of months since I’ve had more than a handful.

  7. Louise says:

    Lovely harvest, especially your beautiful tomato mix – black cherries are especially good looking aren’t they? Bummer with your strawberries. Never having grown curry leaves I have no idea what the lumps and mumps are on your correspondent’s leaves, odd aren’t they?

  8. Barbara Good says:

    Liz great harvest. Chillis and capsicums are something I need to grow more of.

    • Liz says:

      I have to say I’ve really enjoyed growing them this year. I’m trying to save a fair bit of seed so let me know if you want some.

  9. Norma Chang says:

    Besides the bumps on the curry leaves, there appear to be insect(?) on the stem.
    Birds are the problem for my strawberries, I too am thinking of giving up, but I so love the taste of garden fresh strawberries so am betwixt and between.
    I am enjoying your varied and bountiful harvest, it is still winter where I am.

    • Liz says:

      I think strawberries are made to test the kitchen gardener. So good when they work but such a pain to try and grow.

  10. Dianne says:

    I’ve been told curry leaf plants grow better if they’re next to another one(?). Our back door neighbours have one growing in the front yard, but I have no idea what to do with the leaves.

    I had quite good success growing strawberries in a pipe mounted on a fence, but instead of the slugs and snail problem, I have an ant problem.
    I got the idea from youtube, but now have lost the link, my set up is linked below.
    Next time I would use a 6 inch pipe as the soil wouldn’t try out as quickly as it currently does in this heat.

    • Liz says:

      I love your strawberry idea that is really, really cool. I absolutely intend to try this, I just need to find an appropriately sunny site. As for the curry leaves not sure about growing them together – mine is doing well on its own but maybe it would do even better as a pair. I use them predominantly in dishes where they are tempered at the end of the cooking and thrown in. i think they work particularly well in dahl and vegetable dishes but I also usse them with fish and chicken.

  11. Dave's SFG says:

    I’m loving the black cherry tomatoes you are harvesting. I’m going over my planting list and there are definitely going to be a couple of black cherry plants in my limited space.

    The bumps on the curry leaf could be scale, a flat insect that adheres itself to the leaf and sucks the juices from teh plant leaves. Another possibility is citrus psylla.

  12. Diana says:

    I am delighted to hear that you can get some harvest from the cherrytime.

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