Monday, 14 October 2013

Harvest Monday - 14th October 2013

Although the harvests are beginning to thin out now, I'm still getting some nice things from the garden.

I've published so many photos of tomatoes recently that you probably don't want to see any more, but I am still picking them, so here's evidence that they are still being put to good use in the kitchen. This is a batch of sauce in the making, using a variety of different tomato types:

The cucumbers haven't given up yet either.

 We have had seven fruits this week. A couple of them seem to think that they are pears, not cucumbers!

Why should the fruits be a different shape, just because it is late in the year? Does anyone know?

This was Friday's harvest. It included a few more beans from the "Cobra" plants - about 150g. Beans harvested late in the season are often a different shape too. The "Cobra" beans are usually long and straight, but these ones are short and mostly curved:

In the picture above you can see a couple more chillis. I am continuing to pick quite a few of those, most of which are going into a basket in the airing-cupboard where they are slowly drying.  You can also see a rather meagre box of raspberries. They have been one of my least good crops this year. They were very slow to get going, and have produced only a small quantity of fruit.

This week I have picked the first of my Brussels Sprouts, amounting to 450g (approx 1lb):

They are still quite small, and would probably have got bigger if I had left them, but our daughter Fiona (the one who lives in France) is staying with us for a week, so I wanted to show off to her!

And this is Saturday's harvest - quite a mixture of bits and pieces, including green peppers, beans, Brussels Sprouts, chillis and tomatoes. Actually, although you can't see them, there were also half a dozen blueberries in there somewhere.

And here it is laid out on the kitchen worktop

You will notice that I have picked the tomatoes very under-ripe. I have done this to avoid having them infected with blight, although I have to say that the blight is spreading very slowly, its progress inhibited by the cooler weather conditions we are experiencing. The tomatoes will ripen just fine indoors in the warm.

My final harvest of the week is another wild one - foraged Chestnuts. Chestnuts and Brussels Sprouts are often paired with one another (especially with Christmas Dinner), so while I was out for a walk I gathered a few chestnuts to go with the home-grown sprouts. I boiled them in a pan of water for a minute or so, just to soften their skins:

When the water had cooled down a bit, I peeled them and this is what I ended up with:

Yet another source of FREE, tasty and nutritious food that many people overlook these days!

I'm entering this post to Harvest Monday, hosted as ever by Daphne's Dandelions, where you can see what lots of other keen gardeners have been harvesting this past week. 


  1. Have you ever tasted sprout and chestnut soup - so me not an activity to be repeated?

  2. Fantastic harvest yet again Mark,
    I've never foraged for chestnuts before but now I see them...I'm craving some!
    By the way, I'm not sure why fruit shapes are different later in the year but it's happening to me LOL
    I must be getting ready for hibernation! ;D

  3. I wish I knew where to find edible chesnuts - all areas around here only have horse-chesnut which is not edible. Love the little brussels sprouts and berries, and surprised to see cucumbers still producing this late in a season.

  4. Is your red long pepper hot and spicy? It's look like my hot pepper 'cabe keriting'. In Indonesia, Cabe means hot pepper and keriting means curly. It's the most popular pepper in Indonesia. It's used in many traditional foods.

  5. Especially good harvest for this time of the year.
    Happy Gardening!

  6. Do you rub the skins off the chestnuts before using?

    1. Davd, I remove the dark brown outer husk, but I leave the light-coloured inner skin in place - it adds fibre you know!

  7. That is a very diverse and nice harvest! I've always thought the fruits change shape because as the plant gets old it just isn't reproducing its healthiest genetic material. My perfectly unscientific idea on the matter. Beautiful Brussels sprouts!

  8. Fantastic! I love foraged foods. Free and not having to put in labor besides gathering always puts a big smile on my face. :-D

  9. What a beautiful harvest week for so late in the season! We lost all our summer veggies to a couple of killing frosts this week so we are down to just a few fall/winter crops. I think (but I'm not sure) that the changes in fruit size and shape this time of year come from the fact that the plants recognize the end is near and they are trying to "force" seeds to ripen quickly. That rush to produce viable seeds makes for the funny shapes!

  10. A wonderful harvest. The sprouts look fantastic, I'm sure Fiona was suitably impressed.

  11. Fantastic harvest, I've left my chillies to dry on the plant although I shall be picking them off soon before they get damp.

  12. I often get weird shaped fruits when the plant is stressed. Don't know why. I'm getting some strange shaped ones now as the weather is too cold at night. Beautiful harvest.

  13. Lots of delicious things still. I am determined to grow lots more tomatoes next year - I didn't have nearly enough this year. Lucky you, still picking cucumbers. I find lots of things go misshapen towards the end of the season.

  14. Great harvest. Your brussel sprouts looks great. When did you plant them? I am having some rotting at the bottom of my plant, I think I planted to early.

  15. We, in the US, don't have many chestnut trees. Our native trees are all infected with Chestnut blight (a European import) and start dying about the time they get mature enough to to bear nuts. Some of the old factories along the east coast have gorgeous chestnut beams. Chestnuts trees were a significant part of the forest before the blight struck.

  16. Your harvest looks great. I had a few peppers like yours that I put into salsa but I forgot to take a photo. Your sprouts look good too, I have trouble getting any nice sized sprouts at all. I'm counting on greens and turnips at this point, my cucumbers gave up already.

  17. I've always thought the weird shaped fruits were due to fluctuations in water and food, and possibly temperature as well. I tend to get them most on dying vines or vines that didn't establish properly. I am super impressed with your brussel sprouts - excellent work!

  18. A pretty good harvest for October. I've read that it's incomplete pollination that causes cucumbers to develop at one end more than the other.


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