Harvest Monday September 21, 2020

It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. Our weather has taken a turn recently, with cooler temps and less humid air. I had to wear a light jacket a couple of mornings when working in the garden, while my wife bundled up in long pants when we went for a walk one morning. I’m not complaining, since it’s a welcome break from the heat we’ve had most of the summer.  I brought in a few more winter squashes last week, including the large Centercut plus Thelma Sanders acorn and a Celebration sweet dumpling squash.

winter squash

The pole beans don’t seem to mind the weather, and I harvested over seven pounds last week. Considering the cooler temps, we used some of the fresh beans along with frozen squash and other veggies to make a batch of vegetable soup for dinner last night. I’ve been busy freezing the rest of the beans.

Hickory Stick beans

I got enough ripe paprika peppers to start drying them. I’m growing Dulce Rojo and Hungarian Magyar this year, which have both done well in years past. If I get a lot more I may consider smoking a few for making smoked paprika. I also like to smoke a few hot peppers when I fire up the grill to smoke.

Dulce Rojo and Hungarian Magyar paprika peppers

And I got more Korean peppers, this time the Kimchi variety I dry for gochugaru powder. One Glow orange bell pepper managed to ripen without rotting too.

Dancer eggplant and peppers

I also got a few more of the Aji peppers, this time the red Aji Delight and the yellow Aji Golden. Aji Delight has no heat whatsoever, and has the typical fruity flavor of the aji pepper family. Aji Golden has only a mild heat level, with a sweet fruity flavor. Also appearing were a Cornito Giallo and a Cornito Rosso, plus a few of the Jimmy Nardellos.

Aji Delight peppers

sweet peppers

It has been a good year for eggplant, and last week I harvested over three pounds of it. I will use some for a roasted eggplant pasta dish I plan to make this week. And I see a curry in our future too.

eggplant and pole beans

The tomatoes are few and far between now, though I did get a few small fruited types for salads.

small fruited tomatoes

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to share, add your name and blog link to Mr Linky below. And be sure and check out what everyone is harvesting!

 


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Harvest Monday September 14, 2020

It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. I cut more winter squash last week, this time it was the Centercut variety. I harvest most of these at the green stage, but I let a few mature on the vines. They are more of a neck pumpkin than a tromboncino I think, and this batch weighed 21 pounds. The largest was over 6 pounds, so they compare favorably with the other neck pumpkin I am growing called Turkeyneck. I will let these cure for at least a month before we use them.

Centercut squash

six pound Centercut

It has been a good year for eggplant. The small fruited ones gave us an early harvest, and now the long Asian types and the blocky Italian types are keeping us well supplied. We roasted one of the big Italian ones along with some sweet peppers to make an open-faced eggplant sandwich one day for lunch.

Galine eggplant

eggplant and roasted pepper sandwich

I’ve got Fairy Tale and Patio Baby eggplant growing in containers, and while they have slowed down they aren’t finished fruiting yet.

Fairy Tale and Patio Baby eggplant

Not to be outdone, the Asian eggplant are still producing well for me. I believe it is Bride, Orient Charm, Orient Express and Machiaw in this batch, hanging out with some Italian sweet peppers.

eggplant and peppers

I got several pounds of the pole beans last week, and most of these were blanched and frozen. I’ve harvested 20 pounds of beans so far, and I have a small planting of bush types that are just now starting to bloom.

bean harvest

It hasn’t been a great year for tomatoes, though we had plenty for processing. The small fruited cherry types are giving us enough for fresh use, so I am not complaining.

cherry tomatoes

I harvested the first of the hot peppers last week from container grown plants. The long red Amazing 2 is a Korean type for making gochugaru powder, while the small one is a hot Thai bird pepper. For these I fired up the dehydrator outside on the front porch, where it will likely stay busy as more seasoning type peppers ripen.

Amazing 2 and Thai hot peppers

The Thai peppers are very hot, and the small size makes them useful for adding a touch of heat to a dish by using just one or two of them. I also use them to spice up my homemade kombucha. One of my favorite flavors is Spicy Thai Basil, which has lemon juice along with the basil and Thai pepper. I use several of the herbs we grow to flavor kombucha, including Genovese basil, sage, and mint.

bottling homemade kombucha

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to share, add your name and blog link to Mr Linky below. And be sure and check out what everyone is harvesting!


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Photo Friday: Cat Tales

I thought I would take a break from gardening and share a few cat photos today. Cat lovers will know that cats spend a lot of time sleeping, sometimes in creative places. We have several cat beds throughout the house, but who needs a bed when you have a chair with a soft pillow?

Penny sleeping in chair

When Ally sleeps in a chair she keeps the TV remote handy in case she wants to watch.

Ally in chair

If a chair is not available, a cardboard box works well too.

Ally in box

My wife’s studio is full of exciting places to sleep and play. Her cutting table makes for a good observation post for Penny.

Penny on table

When not sleeping, Ally and Penny do enjoy playing together often. I caught them taking a break one day and watching me working outside.

Penny and Ally at door

It’s been three months since we said goodbye to our Puddin. She is still much missed around here. This is one of my last photos of her, on the floor with Ally.

Ally and Puddin on floor

I hope you have enjoyed this cat pics, and I’ll be back soon with more happenings from Happy Acres

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Harvest Monday September 7, 2020

It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The late summer harvests are still keeping me busy. The pole beans are still producing heavily and I have been freezing most of them. I’m growing almost all heirloom Appalachian beans which do very well in our area. They have strings, but the pods stay tender even after the beans inside have started to swell up. They also have outstanding flavor, which too often has been bred out of many of the modern varieties.

pole beans and tromboncino squash

It’s my first time growing Hickory Stick beans, but Bertie Best greasy beans and the Non-Tough Half Runner have been doing well for me for several years now. I’ve been getting two or three pounds with every picking, which adds up pretty quickly. I got almost ten pounds last week all total. Thankfully I don’t pick them every day though!

Hickory Stick beans

Bertie Best beans

Non-tough Half Runner beans

The eggplant is coming on too, with Dancer and several of the Asian types ready to harvest last week. It’s been a good year for eggplant and we have been enjoying it for sure.

Dancer eggplant

Asian eggplants

I’m finally getting ripe sweet peppers, plus a few of the mildly hot Aji Golden peppers. Sweetie Pie is a red mini bell and a 2017 AAS Winner that always does well for me. And Jimmy Nardello and Lemme’s Italian are two of my favorite of the red frying peppers.

Jimmy Nardello and Lemme’s Italian peppers

Aji Golden peppers

Sweetie Pie and Carmen peppers

I got four of the Thelma Sanders winter squashes, and that will be all for the year since the vines have died back. It’s one of my favorite acorn squashes, with a sweet and nutty flavor. The last of the winter squashes to harvest will be the neck pumpkins, and some of them will be ready soon.

Thelma Sanders squash

I got a few slicing tomatoes last week, including Chef’s Choice Yellow and a Big Beef. Tey aren’t the prettiest specimens but it’s been a Horrible year for the big fruited tomatoes, and I’ll take whatever I can get at this point.

Chef’s Choice Yellow tomatoes

In non-harvest news, we have had quite a few Monarch butterflies visiting the last few weeks. I saw one on the purple coneflowers and was able to get a photo before it flew away. I’ve also noticed several Sulfur butterflies and a couple of the small Skippers sampling our flowers lately.

Monarch butterfly

I hope you all are staying safe and healthy out there. Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to share, add your name and blog link to Mr Linky below. And be sure and check out what everyone is harvesting!

 


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Harvest Monday August 31, 2020

It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. Thankfully we were spared any severe weather from what was left of Hurricane Laura as it went through our area, giving us a little rain and not much wind. We didn’t need the rain though, since we have had over eight inches of it in August. It is making the beans grow however, and the pole varieties are coming on strong. We ate about half of these and the rest went in the freezer.

pole bean harvest

I picked another batch of the black-eyed peas. I froze all of these, and the plants are not quite done for yet so I should get at least one more picking. I planted these as an edible cover crop, and they have served the purpose quite well. They have kept the weeds smothered out, and no doubt added a bit of nitrogen to the soil as well. The plants made a green addition to the compost bins when I pulled them too.

Fast Lady Northern Southern peas

The Korean avocado squash Teot Bat Put has also done well this year. It and the zucchini shaped Meot Jaeng I Ae have produced quite well, and the squashes are tasty too. The Tromba d’Albenga is always a good performer for me, and I got  a couple more of those last week.

Korean avocado squash

Meot Jaeng I Ae and Tromba d’Albenga squash

I found a half dozen of the Celebration winter squash ready to harvest last week. I grew this one last year too and it has a sweet flesh and edible skin like a delicata, though it is listed as an acorn type. Some catalogs say it has a “compact bush habit” but I find it vines pretty like most other winter squashes. I guess “compact” is a relative term! I have it trained up a trellis so I don’t mind its rambling ways.

Celebration squash

I’ve left several of the Centercut squashes on the vine to mature, and they are now starting to turn color. I am guessing some will be ready to harvest in a week or so, though they will need to cure like a butternut does before eating them.

Centercut squash maturing

The tomatoes are still producing enough to keep us supplied for fresh eating. I got a mixed bag of paste and cherry types along with two of the Chef’s Choice Pink slicers.

tomato harvest

It has been a good year for eggplant here, and the long slender Asian types are keeping us well supplied. I have Orient Charm, Bride, Machiaw and Purple Shine in the below photo. We often cut these in half lengthwise and roast in the oven, which is what happened to this batch.

Asian eggplants

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to share, add your name and blog link to Mr Linky below. And be sure and check out what everyone is harvesting!


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