Harvest Monday October 26, 2020

It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. My harvests this week are small in number, as we had lots of veggies to use up from last week’s harvest and we are transitioning from big summer harvests to more modest ones in fall. I made a small cutting of kale to go in a frittata, using leaves of the Tuscan Baby Leaf and Mars Landing I have growing in containers in the greenhouse.

kale for frittata

I also found a few hot peppers, this time Red Ember and Early Flame. I wound up smoking these, along with some mild Senorita jalapenos.

Red Ember and Early Flame peppers

After smoking, I turned this batch of peppers into hot sauce. This is my first time making hot sauce with smoked peppers, so I did some experimenting and made sriracha style sauce plus a chili garlic sauce. I used some of the smoked peppers straight from the grill, and fermented the rest for 4 days. I will do tasting in the days to come to see which of the versions I prefer. The general flavor profile is smoky and sweet, so I suspect there will be a lot to like in all of them!

making smoked hot sauces

finished hot sauces

I don’t usually even mention small harvests of herbs like parsley and basil or green onions, though I do try and have as many fresh herbs as possible growing here in all seasons. The basil will be done for soon with the first freeze, but with any luck we should have onions and parsley all winter from the greenhouse plantings. I’itoi is a perennial multiplier onion I’ve been growing for several years now. It may not get real big, but it is prolific and hardy. I have sage, savory, mint, chives and oregano growing in containers that I will move into the greenhouse for the winter.

onions and parsley

Italian basil

There is no shortage of collard greens right now. Last week I cut just over a pound of the Yellow Cabbage collards which I cooked up, and we ate on them for two meals. The leaves of this heirloom from the Carolinas are quite big compared to modern hybrids, and are listed in the Slow Food USA Ark of Taste.

Yellow Cabbage Collards

closeup of Yellow Cabbage Collards leaf

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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Late October Greenhouse Tour

Today I want to give a quick tour of the greenhouse to show what’s growing in there in late October. All the summer plants have been cleared out, and I have planted crops for fall and winter growing. I also have several potted herbs in there that will spend the winter in the sheltered environment and give us a few fresh herbs for cooking.

greenhouse in October

I have had good results growing purple sprouting broccoli in the greenhouse beds the last two winters. This year I set out 10 PSB plants on 10/7, including Burgundy, Santee and Rudolph. Burgundy has been the earliest producer for me, and Rudolph the latest, so hopefully these three should give us an extended harvest from January through early April next year.

bed with broccoli and kale

Santee broccoli

Kale has also been a dependable producer for me. I set out 13 plants in early October, including Western Front, True Siberian, Groninger Blue Collard-Kale and Mars Landing. We not only enjoy eating the leaves of the kale plants, but after overwintering they will begin blooming next spring and give us lots of tasty kale rapini as well.

bed with kale and lettuce

Western Front kale

I also have some plants of the the Tuscan  Baby Leaf kale growing in two containers. I already made a cutting of it this week, along with a few leaves of the purple Mars Landing kale.

Tuscan Baby Leaf kale

And at the other end of the greenhouse, I have parsley growing. I pretty much have parsley growing somewhere year round, and it does very well in the winter greenhouse for me. This time I am growing Splendid, Hungarian Land Race and Cilician. It is truly one of my favorite herbs, and it winds up in many dishes around here.

parsley plants

Lettuce is a staple in the greenhouse in every season except summer, when it gets too hot to do well. I have it planted in salad boxes and containers.

lettuce plantings

I have one box planted with Salanova Green Butter lettuce, which does well for me in containers.

Salanova Green Butter lettuce

A new favorite lettuce is called Frisygo. It’s a Tango type lettuce with tender, frilly leaves.

Frisygo lettuce

At one end of the bed with kale I have a dozen or so plants of lettuce. These are green, leafy types including Simpson Elite, Bergams Green and Slobolt.

Simpson Elite lettuce

One other plant I want to mention is the French Sorrel I have growing in a container. This is a selection called Profusion I got from Richter’s Herbs, and it makes a tasty addition to winter salads here. This selection never flowers or goes to seed, though it does tend to die back in summer and come out again when cooler weather returns in autumn.

French Sorrel Profusion

I hope you have enjoyed this look at what’s growing in the greenhouse in late October. I’ll be back soon with more happenings from Happy Acres!

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Harvest Monday October 19, 2020

It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. With a frost and possible freeze predicted for Friday morning, I spent much of the week harvesting tender vegetables. That included digging the sweet potatoes, which I broke up into two sessions on consecutive days. I planted less slips than last year since we had more than we could eat in 2019. I still wound up with over 40 pounds of them. Most were in  good shape though a few had vole damage. I’ll let them cure in our warm-ish basement, which is the best place we have for the task. I don’t generally clean them up before using, since the skins are fragile right after digging and I find they keep better this way.

Beauregard sweet potatoes

One of my favorite sweet potatoes is called Purple, which has purple skin and a dry purple flesh. I first got my slips from Norma (Garden to Wok). I think of her generosity every time I eat one of them. The dry flesh is perfect for sweet potato hash, sweet potato fries, and a salad I make with roasted sweet potatoes and beans. It was also the most productive of the ones I grew this year, and I wound up with over 10 pounds of them alone.

Purple sweet potatoes

I also pulled as many peppers as I could, including ones for drying, smoking, pickling and fermenting. It’s been a good year here for hot peppers, though only so-so for sweet ones. I’ve been running the dehydrator around the clock trying to get them all dried. Our humid climate makes it difficult to dry them any other way.

Kimchi and Amazing 2 peppers

guajillo peppers

assorted hot peppers

Aji Golden peppers

I did finally get a good haul of sweet peppers for fresh eating. These are mostly Italian types like Cornito Giallo, Cornito Rosso, Carmen, Jimmy Nardello and Dolce di Minervino.

sweet peppers

Aji Delight is a baccatum type pepper with large fruit that is sweet and crunchy. It has no heat whatsoever, and I usually use it like a sweet pepper.

Aji Delight peppers

I pickled some of the hot peppers in a sweet brine, including a mix of the Peppadews, Tangerine Dream and Honeypeno. These all have a mild heat level, and will be useful in many dishes in the kitchen.

pickled peppers

It has been a great year for eggplant, and we have been well supplied since early summer. Eggplant rollatini and baba ganoush are on the menu in the coming week.

eggplant harvest

I pulled all the neck pumpkins that were ripe, almost 60 pounds of them. That will keep us well supplied this winter! One vine made the usual pumpkins with long necks, while the other vine made more blocky fruits.

Turkeyneck squash

Turnips are certainly frost hardy, but I pulled the first of the fall planting so we could enjoy the roots and greens. These are Hakurei salad turnips, and I plan on roasting some of the roots this week.

Hakurei turnips

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 October 12, 2020

It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. I made another cutting of collard greens last week, this time from White Mountain Cabbage, an heirloom from South Carolina that sometimes tries to form a small head at the top of the plant. The leaves are big and tender, and would be suitable for using whole as wrappers, though I chopped these up and cooked them in the slow cooker until tender.

White Mountain Cabbage Collards

And I got another picking of bush snap beans from the fall planting. Tavera is a true filet type bean, while Cosmos is a standard type with 6 inch pods.

snap beans

I only harvested pole beans once last week on Saturday, but that one filled up my harvest buckets with five pounds of beans. I shelled a lot of these out, and froze some of the ‘shellies’ separate.  I kept out about a pound of beans for cooking and froze the rest. It has been a good year here for beans, and I have now picked over 40 pounds of them, which is right on pace with last year’s harvests.

pole beans

I took two more of the Turkeyneck squashes, each weighing right at 10 pounds. These did not have the long neck that most of the neck pumpkins have, but instead looked more like oversized butternuts. I’m letting these cure before using.

Turkeyneck squash

It was mostly about peppers last week, and I got quite a few of the hot ones. Aji Rico is a hybrid baccatum type pepper, and a 2017 AAS Winner. It is one of the earliest of the baccatum peppers I grow which is a bonus to those living in areas with shorter growing seasons.

Aji Rico peppers

The Sugar Rush Peach peppers have been slow to ripen this year, but I finally got enough to add to a batch I’m fermenting for hot sauce. This is a super hot pepper when grown in our climate, and has a sweet fruity taste like many of the baccatum peppers.

Sugar Rush Peach peppers

On the other hand, the Honeypeno peppers have little to no heat. There are two strains of Honeypeno, and I am growing the #2 version which has slight larger peppers. This C. annum pepper has sweet and crunchy fruit that can be eaten raw for those that like a little spice. Last year I smoked some of them to make a mild and sweet tasting chipotle powder.

Honeypeno No. 2 peppers

The Senorita jalapenos have a little more heat than the Honeypenos. Some think that the corking on a jalapeno means it’s hotter, but it’s more an indication of ripeness than heat. Next to the red Senoritas are a few of the orange colored Tangerine Dream. This is one I’m growing for the first time, and while the fruits are crunchy with a mild heat, I don’t think they have a lot of flavor. I’ll throw them in a batch of hot sauce anyway.

Senorita and Tangerine Dream peppers

It has also been a good year for eggplant, and I’ve harvested almost 30 pounds of it. We’ve eaten all of that fresh, since I don’t preserve any for later use. I think it loses it’s texture when frozen, and while it dries well I never seem to know how to use it. We’re happy eating lots of it while in season, and the long slender Asian types are a favorite for roasting.

eggplants

I find lots of uses for dried peppers though, and these little hot Thai peppers are one of my favorites. One pepper adds a bit of heat to many dishes, and one of my favorite things to do with them is to add one to a bottle of kombucha. Lately I have been drinking chai tea, and one of the peppers adds just the right bit of heat for my tastes.

dried Thai Bird peppers

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 October 5, 2020

It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. As the summer veggies wind down, I’m still harvesting ripe peppers for drying  and for fresh eating. I got quite a few of the small but mighty hot Thai peppers last week, including the one I’ve been growing for many years now and a new one from the Seed Savers Exchange that is similar but slightly larger. It’s on the right in the below photo. I dried all of these for later use.

Thai hot peppers

The Amazing 2 peppers are a Korean pepper I dry and use to make gochugaru powder for kimchi. They have a mild heat level and bright red color both fresh and dried.

Amazing 2 peppers

The Italian type frying peppers are a dependable performer for me even in challenging years, and last week I found ripe Jimmy Nardello, Lemme’s Italian and Dolce D’Minervino peppers for fresh use.

Italian sweet peppers

The fall planting of bush beans is producing small harvests of quality beans. Cosmos is on the left in the below photo, and the smaller Tavera filet bean is on the right. We use these mostly for roasting.

Tavera and Cosmos beans

The pole beans are still producing too, and I got a bit over three pounds of them last week. They wound up in the freezer.

assortment of pole beans

I made another cutting of collard greens last week, and this batch (the Flash hybrid) wound up in soup. There are lots of them ready for cutting whenever we need them, and the cooler weather will just make them sweeter when cooked.

Flash collard greens

Since we have plenty of collards, I cooked up a batch of Vivian Howard’s Healthy Soup from her book Deep Run Roots  in the Instant Pot, and we ate on it for two meals. I used homemade chicken stock for a base, including a bit of chicken meat we froze with the stock. To that I added celery, carrots and a few waxy fingerling potatoes and all the collard greens. I think collards make a good choice for soup because they hold their shape and don’t fall apart during a long, slow cooking that brings out the flavor of the ingredients. The soup was even better the next day, as soups often are.

soup with collard greens

It has been a great year for eggplants here. I harvested quite a few of the bright purple Dancer and one of the dark purple Nadia, with more still setting on the plants. We have been roasting them as a side dish, and they have wound up frequently on eggplant sandwiches. Our latest dish was eggplant panini, and some of these are destined for that tomorrow.

Dancer and Nadia eggplant

One of the bigger Turkeyneck neck pumpkins fell off the vine, and I brought it in to finish curing. I put it next to the Centercut squash that got caught in the fence for a size comparison. This Turkeyneck was a whopper, and weighed in at 9 pounds 11 ounces. That will make a lot of pumpkin puree! We freeze the puree in ice cube trays and use the cubes in our breakfast smoothies. They also can be added to soups.

Turkeyneck and Centercut squash

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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