Surprise Harvest(s)

I love surprises, especially when they are edible. This week I got two different surprises, both involving root crops.

The first one came when I was tilling the lasagna bed to get it prepared for planting next spring. I grew potatoes there this year, and I figured I had missed a few when I dug them. So when the tiller ‘found’ the first potato, I wasn’t really shocked. Then it found another, and another, and finally I decided to start a little pile of potatoes, most of them wounded by the tiller.

When I was done tilling, I had over three pounds of potatoes! They seemed to be keeping even better underground than the ones I had dug and stored in the cellar. Since I was roasting a chicken for dinner that night, I used the worst looking ones and made some roasted garlic mashed potatoes for a side dish. Next year I really need to be more careful when I dig potatoes!

Then yesterday I decided to make some minestrone soup using a veggie mix I froze in the summer when we had lots of cabbage and zucchini. The mix also had green beans in it, so I needed some onions, carrots, potatoes and tomatoes to go with it. I had everything except carrots – or so I thought.

funky but edible carrots

I had left a few carrots in the bed from a summer planting, but I never got around to digging them. I figured they were probably no good anymore. But I didn’t want to run to the grocery, so I got out my trusty trowel and started digging. Which led to surprise #2, a little over a pound of funky-looking but edible carrots! Now I had everything I needed for the minestrone.

minestrone soup

Well, everything except some crusty bread to go with it. So I whipped up a loaf of half whole wheat/half white French bread. It’s been a while since I made French bread, but this one turned out well if I do say so myself.

whole wheat French bread

Something else I did with the harvest this week was make some green tomato jam. I’ll do a post on the recipe later, but I will say it was pretty interesting, not at all like I expected. I was looking for something different to do with a few green tomatoes (the last of the season), and I really didn’t want to go to the trouble to make relish with them. This jam made for a sweet alternative.

green tomato jam

I finally harvested the second (and last) ‘Ichy’ persimmon off the little tree. My wife and I shared it, and loved it! We’re hoping for more in the future, as our two young trees get bigger. These Asian persimmons are eaten while still hard and crisp, much like an apple.

Ichi Ki Kei Jiro persimmon

Also harvested this week were lettuce, turnips, and some arugula that went in a green smoothie. Total for the week was almost 9 pounds. For more gardener’s harvests visit Daphne’s Dandelions and see what’s growing and cooking!

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16 Responses to Surprise Harvest(s)

  1. Robin says:

    You always have the most delicious posts!!! Nice surprises in your garden!

  2. kitsapFG says:

    I absolutely ALWAYS miss potatoes when I harvest. It is a safe bet that there are more of them in the ground if one only takes the time to do a second big dig. About the comment you made that the potatoes were in better shape than your storage potatoes – that absoluely is usually the case. In fact, the old garden saying is that each day the potatoes can be left in the ground before lifting them is more than 2 days longer they will keep well in storage.

    Great find on the carrots too!

  3. Kelly says:

    Great garden discoveries, that soup is my kind of meal, it looks so yummy and nourishing……and I won’t even start on the bread. 😉

  4. Thomas says:

    Finding missed veggies is like stumbling upon a quarter on the street if you ask me – only a fool would not take it!

    I’ve decided to get an “itchy” persimmon of my own next year. Do you know if persimmons do well grown in a pot? And I believe this particular variety is self-fruiting?

  5. Madame C says:

    What a lovely harvest and the way you are presenting it! I really envy the climate where you live. Here in Sweden I have to show harvests from the summer now. There is hardly anything left to harvest in the garden:(
    Have a great week,

  6. Mary says:

    I loved reading about your surprises. Vegetable gardening is so rewarding… and the bread looks great. I must go bake some now!


  7. Meredith says:

    Villager, your minestrone shot made my mouth water. If that isn’t perfect for a dull, rainy, autumn day like we’re having, I don’t know what is. Maybe you’ve inspired me to make soup today! (Haven’t cooked anything since I got this rotten flu, feels like forever ago.)

    Your harvests of overlooked underground treasure made me smile. I could even see some symbolism there, about what one plants in life returning an unexpected boon. 🙂

  8. Barbie says:

    YUMMO! That persimmon looks lovely. And Kudos on your surprises! Those are the best kind of surprise ever. 🙂

  9. Ooooh, that bread looks fabulous! Just starting a winter vegetable soup here, and that would be a perfect accompaniment. I do hope you post your green tomato jam recipe. To make way for the snow peas, we finally ripped the tomato plants out yesterday, but kept the green fruits (of which there were many). I wasn’t too jazzed about making green tomato soup again, so I’m intrigued to try your jam. I assume you use it like a chutney?

  10. michelle says:

    Over 3 pounds of “found” potatoes, that’s wonderful! Isn’t it amazing how the ugliest of our own home grown veggies are so beloved, but then I know that I’m guilty of picking out the “pretties” when I’m paying for them… Am I the only one?

  11. Nartaya says:

    Congratulations on your surprise harvest! The soup sounds delicious. I wish it were colder here so I felt like whipping up a batch of something warm and filling.

  12. Stevie says:

    wonderful surprises!

  13. Daphne Gould says:

    Minestrone soup has got to be the best harvest soup ever. You can really use up some good harvests. And it is great for the winter because all the frozen produce can just be tossed in. Last year I made some for Thanksgiving. I don’t know if I will this year or not. Yours looks delicious.

  14. Veggie PAK says:

    The soup and bread looks really good! I look forward to your post for the recipe for the tomato jam.

  15. Veggie PAK says:

    Great looking carrots and potatoes! The stew and the green tomato jam look very tasty!

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