This seems simple, you say, and it is. There are different plants growing in the garden, with different fruits and or vegetables to harvest, so you need to account for that. You will not find potatoes on the branches of potato plants, or tomatoes under ground on the roots of tomato plants. And please, stop pulling up the tomatoes looking for potatoes.
To break it down by our current veg selection -
- Tomatoes – We are in an absolute race with the local “wildlife” to see who can harvest more tomatoes. This is war, and we are losing! Harvest if they are red, orange or even 2/3 orange. You’ll see tomatoes that have burst, have rotted on the end and that we lost the race to and are half eaten by birds or squirrels. Please pull these off and throw any damaged tomatoes into the compost bin. Gently pluck off and keep the good ones – try not to bruise, do not refrigerate.
- Cucumbers – It is the goal of our cucumber plants to hide their cucumbers from us. They consider it a victory if they can hide a cucumber long enough for it to grow larger than Steven Hebbard’s forearm. These plants are very good at this and you can go over the cucumber bed three times in row and still find new cucumbers. Persistence is the key word here. And pain – cucumbers are spiny. You can wear gloves or just toughen up a little bit, for the love. Harvest anything bigger than your index finger. Just grab and gently twist. A pocket knife to cut the stem is even better. Try not to bruise and then do refrigerate.
We will be attempting to make our cucumbers into pickles this weekend! If you know anything about pickling or would like to learn about pickling, please post a comment or email me! This is a cry for help!
- Potatoes – we will harvest them all at one time when the plants have died all the way to the ground. I thought about harvesting them early, but I think Steven Hebbard would have driven over and put me in a choke hold if I’d tried it. So we will wait, I don’t want him choking me. Have you seen his forearms? (they are like really big cucumbers)
- Broccoli – I don’t think we are harvesting any broccoli. They seem determined not to produce florets. I think we got them in too late, or that they are just unhappy about sharing a bed with the potatoes. Hear this broccoli – You have until the potatoes die down to do something, anything; when they go, you go -to the compost pile! Ha! Last laughs on you, broccoli.
- I’m sorry, I’ve always disliked broccoli.
What to do with your harvest?
- You can take it to the Mobile Loaves and Fishes Commissary at St. John Neumman Catholic Church ; Call MLF to make sure someone will be there – (512) 328-7299
- You can bring it to me at Church on Sunday – leave it under the side table in the main hall and I’ll grab it between services – please email or comment to let me know to look for it.
- You may not eat it. You want to eat fresh, garden tomatoes? Two options – grow your own or eat the ones ruined by the birds. If eating bird mongered tomatoes makes you squeamish, you just don’t like garden tomatoes enough to need to eat one.