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Monday, October 31, 2011

Eye-POPPING Harvest Monday

This will be a harvest Monday like no other. This will be a three-part Harvest Monday.

We just returned from a two-week vacation in Italy; in which, we left our garden on its own (with drip irrigation). Potential harvest upon our return was yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, and southern peas.

Part I - Italy's Harvest
When we returned from Italy, we had to go grocery shopping and we were so dissapointed. We rented an apartment in Italy, so we had to visit their food markets so we could cook. Well, let me tell you, the variety and freshness of their food markets are superb! They had more variety on one table than we have in our entire produce department! I mean, when is the last time you've seen 3-5 different tomato varieties in our produce department? See for yourself:

The market in Bologna

The Fish Market in Venice

The Market in Rome

Every city had a daily market like this. The grocery stores mainly carried what these fresh markets didn't; like canned food, boxed food, etc. It makes sense that the Italians have to (get to!) shop for food like this because of their limited access to large freezers and pantries. I wish I could shop like this everyday too! Even our weekly farmer's markets don't have this much variety! (and remember, this is mid-October)

Part II - Eye-Popping Home Harvest

So we returned and I couldn't wait to get out to check on the garden. Boy were we shocked! Words can't describe, so I'll let the pictures show you what we saw.

For perspective of what has occurred, I placed a woman's size 8 shoe next to the squash.

 Here's more of the monster squash....all just as big!
 Here's a man's hand at one end of one of the squash!
 I had brought out my harvest basket to collect the goodies....we had to get out the wheel barrow. Here is one of the squash at the end of the wheelbarrow.

Here are all the squash in the wheelbarrow. 22 yellow squash and 12 zucchini. We will cut into these in a few days just to see if any of it is useable, but we aren't counting on being able to use most of it.

Oh and the plants have another crop on them now that is ripening as I type...this will be the last crop because I am pulling them this week, but at least this last crop will be useable.

Part III - Usual Home Harvest
Finally, we did have a modest - yet useable - harvest. Some French Breakfast radish (some was beyond ripe, but some was just fine) and a nice eggplant that weighed just under 1 lb.

Check out other harvests over at Daphne's Dandelions Harvest Mondays.


  1. COWABUNGA! Impressive on ALL accounts...and I'm jealous that you got to tour those markets. YUMMMM....

  2. First time popping by. Coming over from Daphne's. I love your header picture! Lucky you to be pulling squash like that from your garden still!

  3. The markets in Italy are sensational aren't they? Although that eggplant would look perfectly at home there - it looks marvellous.

  4. I've never been to Italy, but I can vouch for the fact that they have markets like that in France (but, regrettably, not in the UK, where I live! :(
    I wonder what you were able to do with that mountain of Squashes...

  5. Those summer squashes can turn into monsters in short order! Beautiful harvests and beautiful fresh market pics from Italy.

  6. Oh wow that is a lot of squash. I don't think I've ever had that many large ones.