This week was a week of firsts for me. I was able to finally harvest a couple of things that are new to me, at least in our garden. Part of the fun of gardening is trying new things. At least it is for me!
First up was the Neck Pumpkin. This variety is an heirloom popular in Pennsylvania Dutch/Amish communities. I got the seeds from Baker Creek, where it is listed as Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck Squash. Ours weighed in at 5.75 pounds, though they can get as big as 20 pounds. I can see a pie (or two) in our future!
Next was our first Asian Persimmon. This variety is Ichi Ki Kei Jiro, and it is a non-astringent type that is eaten while still hard and firm, like an apple. My wife and I shared this first fruit, and we both were amazed at how crunchy and sweet it was. Try eating a native persimmon while still hard and you would be puckered up for a week! Not so with this one, it was yummy.
I have two trees, and I am tempted to plant another now that I have tasted just how good these fruits can be when grown here. The ones I planted are supposed to be hardy to zone 6. Many of the Asian varieties are compact, only getting between 8-12 feet tall, and all are pest and disease resistant. That is hard to beat in a fruit tree!
I also continue to get a lot of figs. I’m trying to save enough up to make a small batch of fig preserves. My wife has promised to make some English muffins next week. I am thinking how good will they be with some fig preserves slathered on them!
Another thing we enjoyed this week was our turnips. We had the greens one night and the roots another. I cook the roots much like my mother did, simmered in a bit of water along with couple of slices of bacon and seasoned with salt and pepper. These white salad turnips cooked in minutes.
Also appearing in the harvest basket this week were tomatoes, eggplant, lettuce and chard. The tomatoes and chard made their way into a frittata, and we had a salad (or two) with the lettuce. The total harvested was 17.75 pounds. For more gardener’s harvests, visit Daphne’s Dandelions!