Friday, 2 September 2011

August harvest: week four/monthly summary

Say hello to mizuna pesto. I harvested so much I had to find a recipe that required a lot. It's such a vibrant green - though I don't yet know whether it will be delicious.

I'm continuing the practice of lumping together the final part of the month, even though it exceeds seven days - it doesn't make sense to have a 'week five' post for three extra days. So the figure below can't be seen as a week's harvest, but given the low figures this month, I don't suppose it will matter. Ultimately, my totals will be for the whole year (when it's over), so there's no need to nitpick.

Growth may have slowed in some areas (the tomatoes are putting more energy into swelling existing fruit, than getting much bigger or setting a lot of new ones), but is still fast elsewhere - windowsill herbs, and autumn-cropping leaves and roots are racing ahead. However, I'm still very much waiting for the harvest. I've all but given up on my 50kg total tomato haul, although my attitude goes from positivity to pessimism almost daily. It depends largely on how much the larger fruits weigh - the 'Cherokee Purple' have grown quite fat, though ripening is nowhere to be seen. The smaller varieties are well underweight - in fact, everything I've picked so far has been less than a quarter the lower expected average weight, which means my sums will be all wrong. To put it in context, I'd assumed the average weight would be 50g per tomato, and so far only two or three fruits has exceeded that. At this rate, unless I harvest several times more fruits than I estimated, I will miss my target by an order of magnitude.

Totals for week 22nd-31st August:

22nd: 89g tomatoes (comprising 2 'Cream Sausage' at 30g*, 4 'Snowberry' at 24g, 2 'Jaune Flammée' at 23g, 2 'Gardener's Delight' at 7g, and 1 'Sun Belle' at 5g)
24th: 6g runner beans, 5g French beans, 34g tomatoes (comprising 4 'Gardener's Delight' at 24g, and 2 'Snowberry' at 10g; day total: 45g)
26th: 43g tomatoes (comprising 1 'Jaune Flammée' at 22g, 2 'Sun Belle' at 11g, and 3 'Gardener's Delight' at 10g)
27th: 6g runner beans, 2g French beans, 32g tomatoes (comprising 1 each 'Jaune Flammée' and 'Snowberry', both 5g, and 3 'Gardener's Delight' at 22g; day total: 40g)
28th: 40g mizuna, 25g radish, 3g chives, 54g tomatoes (comprising 1 'Jaune Flammée' at 11g, 2 'Snowberry' at 15g, 2 'Gardener's Delight' at 8g, and 4 'Sun Belle' at 20g; day total: 122g)
30th: 16g runner beans, 39g tomatoes (comprising 1 'Snowberry' at 9g, 1 'Jaune Flammée' at 12g, 1 'Sun Belle' at 6g, and 2 'Gardener's Delight' at 12g; day total: 55g)
31st: 3 'Cherokee Purple' tomatoes at 266g**, 408g mizuna (day total: 674g)

Total for 10 days: 1.068kg

Total for August: 2.536kg
Year to date total: 21.478kg

Over a kilogramme! Mostly tomatoes and mizuna. The latter has been an unexpected star - it was ready before I expected, based on average cropping time, and it regenerated in just a few days after its first cutting. I've had it in salad, stir fry, and will use the biggest batch for a kind of pesto.

I suppose September will be the month for tomatoes. I can see signs of ripening on dozens of fruits now, inside and out. The kohl rabi, turnips, black radish, swede, and beetroot are beginning to swell, so I might get some by the end of the month. The carrots are slower, so they may be an October crop. The stem lettuce have swollen alarmingly, but I don't know the crop well enough to know how long they will take to mature. There's still time for more sowing, so I hope to have a lot more in the ground in a few weeks - it's easy to think of September and October as autumn months, but the average temperatures aren't much lower than summer, so the harvests should continue for weeks to come.

*These were suffering from blossom end rot, but ripened regardless.
**A large truss split, and three fruits snapped off, unripe. I'm hoping to ripen them indoors with the aid of a banana.

1 comment:

David Arnold said...

Hi, how did the Mizuna pesto go? I imagine it would be good, since rocket pesto is one of the best.