Monday Harvest – Feb 4th 2013

I seem to have harvested quite a lot this week.  This is largely because I finally had a bit of time for a bit of a garden clean up which meant sorting out the potato bed amongst other things.

Various potatoes

I grew Dutch Cream, Kipfler, another unidentified white variety and Purple Congo this year.  I have to say I’m not really convinced about the merits of Purple Congo.  They look interesting but they are really difficult to find at harvest time.  The purple of their skins and the dirt in my garden look remarkably similar.  The flavour isn’t sensational either, or at least it wasn’t for the first lot I cooked.  Oh well, a fun thing to have even it proves to be the last year I bother with them.

One thing I will continue with is ‘Wild’ rocket.  I’ve loved having it this summer – a constant supply of greens in a year when the lettuces have struggled a bit is really useful.


During the course of my clean up I pulled most of the remaining red onions.  Every year I spend most of the year wondering why I bother growing onions and then comes harvest time and I’m really glad I did.  Note to self: buy more seed and come next Spring try not to whinge about how long onions take to mature.


In stark contrast to the slow maturing onions we have zucchini which has to be the quickest developing fruit there is.  One moment there are none or at least you think there are none but have another look and you could swear a new one has grown before your eyes (alternatively this may just be a symptom of deteriorating eyesight).  Its a shame my family aren’t convinced of its merits because I am having a lot of fun trying new recipes with it.


Also ridiculously quick to mature are cucumbers.  These Summer Dance grew to a very cool 30 cm with what seemed like a few days.  The lemon cucumbers are much slower on the other hand.  This is my first time of growing them – does this one look right?  Or have I left it too long?  Or harvested too soon?  Its in the fridge – I really should eat it but I am groaning under the strain of too many cucurbits at the moment.


I harvested the first Borlotti  (or maybe they are Tongues of Fire) beans this week.  Pretty aren’t they?


Most of the pods were drier than the brightly coloured ones shown.  I love the variation in bean size by age of the bean, as they dry they shrink, considerably in some instances.  I guess it just shows how much water they contain.


I also harvested my first capsicum of the season this week.  A sweet mama from a plant I bought as a seedling.  The plants I sowed myself have set fruit on most varieties but they are still green.


All except for the Mini Mama Capsicums.  The ones below are from a plant I overwintered that was bought as a seedling last year.


The green tomatoes should be red but I decided to pick some of my slicing tomatoes green in an attempt to save them from the dreaded rodents.  I’m not sure how well they wil ripen but its better than watching them either being slowly devoured or alternatively disappearing completely overnight.

As always head over to Daphne’s Dandelions for all things harvested related, and I will be back tomorrow with a Top 5 post.

For those of you who are wondering why I have added a Captcha code to the comments section, it is due to ridiculous volumes of spam: 35,000 in the last couple of months.  If anyone has difficulties with the code then please let me know and I will look into changing its format.

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35 Responses to Monday Harvest – Feb 4th 2013

  1. Bek says:

    A wonderful harvest! Your borlotti’s have done much better than mine, I think I barely have enough seed to save for next year, let alone make a meal. Ah well, there’s always next year. The Lemon cucumber looks just perfect. I tend to err on the side of caution with cukes of every variety as they all get bitter when older and the Lemons are no exception.

    • Liz says:

      I suspect the Borlottis would have been better still if they hadn’t been planted so close to the zucchini….. Miss 6 loved the Lemon cuke and there are heaps more forming which she is very pleased by. Thanks again for the seed.

  2. When I saw that potato picture I was thinking I must grow the purple one. How disappointing to hear it’s not so good.
    Great harvest – despite the rodents.

  3. Daphne says:

    Wonderful harvests. I’ve tried strange colors with some things that just don’t work out as well as the normal colors (like carrots). But I found the purple sweet potatoes are just wonderful. Or at least the one variety of them that I grew last year.

    • Liz says:

      I’ve had the purple skinned white fleshed sweet potatoes before and enjoyed them. Most places around here just sell the orange skinned variety though so I don’t eat the other colours very regularly.

  4. Are your purple skinned potatoes purple inside too?

    • Liz says:

      Yes and I think that’s the problem. The purple/blue skinned but yellow fleshed ones I’ve had before I find are usually really good but these…well not so much.

  5. Jo says:

    A great harvest. I had to bring all my tomatoes inside whilst still green last year due to the weather, and they all ripened on the windowsill so your’s should be ok. I’m growing Lemon Cucumbers this year. I grew them once before and wasn’t over keen on their taste to be honest, but I thought I’d give them another try as so many people rave about them. I’ve just caught up with your last post about your little visitors, I think you’ve certainly done just about everything you can to get rid of them. I think the pest controllers here deal with rats with poison, so I’m surprised that you’ve had little uptake on that front.

    • Liz says:

      I think they have too many other things to eat around here at the moment, the people on one side of my and behind me both have big veg gardens too so the poison isn’t as interesting as it would be if they wre hungrier. I find the lemon cukes a bit seedy but Miss 6 really likes them so I will probably keep grow them again next year.

  6. Hi Liz, great harvest, my friend! That would definitely feed my family (All I want is become a self sufficient and forget the road to a grocery store!). Your purple potato story helps: last year I bought at our farmer’s market the most delicious purple potato there is. And I thought all purple potato taste the same. Not. Later that year I bough a bag at the store and they had no taste whatsoever, it was like chewing cotton. Good thing I didn’t buy a lot, just a small bag, and most of it went to my worms!
    Oh zucchini! I remember growing up, my mother had probably the same issue and we had zucchini every day: for breakfast fried zucchini or zucchini pancakes, for lunch would be some stewed zucchini vegetables, in the evening she would be busy canning zucchini in different forms. Now when zucchini are in season, I crave it and can eat it every day with any meal as well as many years ago. I even pickled it last year. 🙂

    • Liz says:

      I love the potatoes with blue/purple skins and yellow/white flesh but these have purple flesh which looks fun but that’s about it. Having said that I’ve only cooked up one batch so far so perhaps they will grow on me. I picked 4 more zucchini today – pancakes it is then, nice idea.

  7. Mark Willis says:

    Not only an amazing harvest, but some amazing photos too. So clear! I think I share your reservations about the black potatoes. Somehow I think potatoes are not quite right unless they are white or white-ish.
    A suggestion for the courgette-haters: try them sliced thinly, coated in egg-and-breadcrumbs and then quickly shallow-fried in butter with some fresh thyme thrown in. Or made into tempura with a light batter…

  8. Shawn Ann says:

    Beautiful harvest. Love your color. I am growing all blue potatoes this coming spring, they are beginning to sprout now. I also have a couple other blue/purple potatoes to throw in too. We’ll see how they turn out. I think your lemon cucumber looks fine. My daughter likes them a lot, they are a bit seedy for me, but as long as she eats ’em I’ll grow them, if the bugs will let me. I bet your tomatoes will all turn as long as they look healthy. Just give them time. Sorry about the rodents!

    • Liz says:

      I have just cut into the cuke and i think I agree with you about the seediness. It has been pronounced “good” by Miss 6 though so all good i will feed the rest of the crop to her. Our kids must have similar palates.

  9. sharon says:

    Im wanting to grow potatoes next season and have never done them before. I live in country Vic so i think our climate zones are the same. Im wondering if there would be any chance when next season is coming near if you could do some posts on buying seed potatoes and when to plant etc. That way i can learn from you for the first time of growing them. 🙂

    • Liz says:

      Thanks for the feedback Sharon and i will definitely try and remember to write a post. I plan to start planting potatoes in May but my garden is frost free. Depending on where in country Vic you are you may want to wait until Aug/Sept before planting. I will do a post in May though and that should cover all possibilities. I did a few posts on them last year – if you click on the potatoes tag or category you should find quite a few posts on different growing methods (ground and pot).

      • sharon says:

        Thanks i will check out the other posts. Im in Bacchus Marsh, would they work if i was to protect them from frost if not im happy to wait. 🙂

        • Liz says:

          Yes, my mum & dad live near Bacchus Marsh 9if anything their climate is cooler. They don’t get a big crops over winter but they do get crops. I find if you plant from May onwards the most prolific ones are the ones planted towards the end of winter but all of them crop for me.

  10. Louise says:

    Oh I am just so envious! What beautiful produce. Love your borlotti especially. I may be too conservative… but I am not convinced that things like yellow beetroot and purple potatoes are really worth it on the taste stakes. I am certainly willing to be convinced otherwise as I love the look of different coloured veg, but it is often the case that they are less tasty I think.

    • Liz says:

      Nah not conservativism – excellent taste and I absolutely agree. White carrots are pretty ick, I much prefer to red to yellow beetroot and whilst I like potatoes with lots of different coloured skin i think the white/yellow fleshed ones definitely taste the best.

  11. Andrea says:

    Another great harvest Liz, your cucumbers are doing really well…………just love them pickled……still waiting for mine to produce .
    Great looking purple potatoes, can’t imagine serving them up to my hubby he doesn’t even like pink ones !! I have to peel them before he sees them……and their home grown!!!! Oh but he just loves Macca’s frys !!!

    • Liz says:

      Thanks Andrea. I think I share your husbands suspicions, about strange potato colours although I usually like the ones with blue, red or pink skins but these ones with purple flesh taste a bit too much like dirt for my palate.

  12. Dave says:

    Lovely harvests! I’m glad the rodents are leaving some for you. Every time I read about rats and mice in the garden I am so thankful we don’t have that problem here (yet).

    I had to put on captcha some time ago. It has cut my spam comments down considerably. They still find me, but not the numbers are a fraction of what they used to be.

    • Liz says:

      A also blocked a few ISPs and between that and Captcha I have yet to have a spam comment which is frankly amazing. I hope the rodents keep well away – I’m sure you are not without your pests to deal with though – where there’s food there will things that want to eat it I guess.

  13. Nina says:

    Painfully, I have learned that you should type the ‘captcha’ numbers in BEFORE you start a reply and most definitely BEFORE you hit ‘post’ otherwise all is lost. :((

    So, long story short (which is probably not a bad thing!), just a reminder to your readers to please leave some water out for the bees, they really appreciate it in this hot weather. 🙂

    • Nina says:

      That post sounds weird, out of the blue! Trust me, it was a longer post that made more sense before all was lost. Just sayin’. 🙂

      • Liz says:

        So do you lose your comment if you don’t put in the Captcha code?

        • Liz says:

          Just tested it and I see that you do – that is annoying! I will see if I can get that fixed. Anyway yes – the bees, excellent thought.

          • Nina says:

            What I have noticed is that when I water, the bees zoom in on the moisture and the pottery bowl under the tap. I guess, just like everything else, they suffer when rain is scarce. They help us with pollinating so I reckon we should help them, in return. BUT some get a little enthusiastic and end up almost drowning themselves. I leave a twig in the bowl to help them get out again. Sheesh, I sound like a real softie (but believe me, I wouldn’t do the same for wasps!).

          • Liz says:

            Oh you are so good! I will do as suggested – complete with twig.

  14. Norma Chang says:

    Your lovely harvest just brightened my morning. It is snowing as I type and the forecast is for more snow most of the week.

  15. HelenB says:

    Although most people seem to wait until the lemon cucumbers turn yellow before harvesting them, I find that they are nicer if they’re picked when they get full-sized, but before they turn yellow. I learned this from my grandma 65 years ago.

    (Just remember that all cucumbers can be picked at any time that they’re as big as you want them to be.)

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