August Harvests

This time of year, the garden is really keeping us busy with harvesting and processing.  Tomatoes are coming on full blast, which means we have been dehydrating, slow roasting, freezing, making sauce, and eating them like crazy! This week we harvested 46 pounds of them.

some of the tomato harvest last week

This week was also time to start harvesting our winter squash. The delicata, butternut, acorn and Gold Nugget types were almost all ready, and quite a few of the Small Wonder spaghetti squash were ready as well. All added up they weighed 54 pounds. There’s still quite a few Small Wonder on the vines, plus we have the Fairy and Pennsylvania Dutch Longneck squashes to harvest, so it looks like a great year for the storage type squashes. The summer squash plants are all done for, except for the vining Tromboncino and Tatume.

Gold Nugget and Small Wonder squashes

The Tromboncino squash has proven once again to be a wonderful addition to the garden. Even though botanically it is more closely related to the butternut squash (Cucurbita moschata), it is usually used at the tender immature stage like a giant zucchini. I’ve given several of them away and everyone has raved about them, using them sauteed and in casseroles and ratatouille. The mild flavored flesh is less watery than most zucchini, and there are very few seeds. We’ve gotten 11 pounds of them so far this year, and the vines are still going strong. Having them trellised really makes for cleaner, straighter squash. Ours are vining on the deer fencing that surrounds our main garden plot.

Tromboncino squashes

The okra is blooming nicely now, giving us a harvest every couple of days. The pods grow so fast in this warm weather that you pretty well have to check the plants every day, or risk the pods getting over mature. I fried some one night to go with our BLT’s. And yes, I took a bite out of the sandwich before I remembered to grab the camera – I was hungry! We’ve started freezing some okra too. I blanch it, cut it, then freeze it in a single layer on a cookie sheet so the pieces stay separate.

We’re still getting a nice amount of cucumbers from the late planting. Tasty Green and Summer Dance are the two varieties, both Japanese burpless types with thin skins. I made a batch of bread and butter pickles with them this week. And we have refrigerator pickles going pretty much all the time.

Summer Dance(L) and Tasty Green(R) cucumbers

The pole beans are not liking our heat wave very much. We’ve gotten very few of them yet. Still, the vines are alive and blooming and I have hopes they will give us a few beans soon. It’s not going to be a good year for those beans though. However the yardlong beans are loving the heat! We had a nice mess of them the other night. I dry fried them (stir fried in oil) and we had them as a side dish. The Red Noodle beans are so pretty when cooked. I will be growing these beans again for sure.

stir-fried yardlong beans

This week saw the end of the 2011 blackberry harvest. We hauled in 54 pounds of them (about 9 gallons). That was only a bit less than the 61 pounds we got last year, despite the fact we ripped up almost a third of our plantings. We are quite pleased with the results, which will certainly keep us in blackberries until next year’s crop comes on. The Apaches have been producing for 5 weeks now, and while the berries are getting smaller they are still nice sized.

Apache blackberries

The eggplants are doing well this year. We got several of the large Italian types this week, enough to make some Grilled Eggplant Parmesan. And we continue to get a lot of the Fairy Tales. The Thai Long Green is just now blooming, while the Pingtung Long and Millionaire are going strong.

Pingtung Long, Millionaire and Fairy Tale eggplants

That’s pretty much what we’re harvesting here these days. There are greens ready to eat (Pak Choi, Swiss Chard, Komatsuna), but we eat them all winter long. I’d rather have fresh tomatoes and the other summer veggies while we have them. We are getting enough lettuce for sandwiches, but it’s not liking the summer’s heat to say the least. Total harvested for this week was 129 pounds.

To see other gardener’s harvests visit Daphne’s Dandelions, host of Harvest Mondays. I’ll close with some more photos from this week.

Cherokee Purple and Brandy Boy tomatoes

Bread and Butter Pickles

Cherokee Purple tomatoes and black bean burrito for lunch

blackberries for dessert

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18 Responses to August Harvests

  1. Barbie says:

    Winter squash… MMMmmmmm…. I made pumpkin muffins this weekend. It’s August after all. Embrace the fall!

  2. Martha says:

    that’s a wonderful harvest!

  3. Wonderful harvest, preservation, and meals! That burrito looks pretty tasty 🙂 I’m jealous of your winter squash. Most of ours was a big bust this year. We have only 4 Long Island Cheese squash and our only other hope are three late-seeded butternuts we put out after all our other squash vines met their demise. Oh, and a huge volunteer squash (probably butternut) that seems to grow only vine and leaves but no fruit…

  4. Christina says:

    Hooray! What a gorgeous harvest. I’m glad you’re enjoying the yardlong beans, especially the Red Noodle. They’re so much fun to grow.

    Do you have a favorite bread and butter pickles recipe? I’ve had mixed luck trying them on my own–too salty or the spices off or some other problem.

    Happy day!

    • Villager says:

      I wish we had planted more of the Red Noodles, though we are getting enough to eat. I will send you my pickle recipe.

  5. mandy says:

    i love seeing all of those tomatoes! happy harvesting!

  6. michelle says:

    Wow, I am always amazed by the huge quantities that you harvest every summer! It all looks so fabulous.

  7. Shawn Ann says:

    What a great harvest! I should try those red noodle beans. My daughter loves anything purple looking! She won’t even let me cook her royal burgundy beans because she wants to eat them purple!

  8. GrafixMuse says:

    Very impressive harvest. I am astounded by your winter squash haul. Wow!

  9. Wonderful! I’m so jealous, I haven’t harvested enough of anything to begin canning yet. This might just be the year of the freezer!

  10. mac says:

    Beautiful and varied harvest, those Trombocino squash look interesting, if you allow the squash to mature how long can you store it?

    • Villager says:

      I have never tried to store the squash, so I don’t really know. If I have one on the vine at the end of the season I would like to try that.

  11. kitsapFG says:

    What a great harvest week! Those trombonchino squash are really interesting. They way you described their taste and texture has me really interested in them.

  12. Jody says:

    Yummm! You’re making me hungry.

  13. Mike R says:

    That’s a great harvest of squash. Do you cure the squash in the sun a few days or have they cured on the plant? My lone butternut set six squash early in the summer and they look mature at this point. Then it began setting more squash a few weeks ago and I’m hoping for a second crop. At some point in September it seems unlikely that a squash that starts then can mature before the first frost.

    The trombocino sounds great, most summer squash is weak on flavor. I recently found that Fairy Tale is the best eggplant ever on the grill.

    • Villager says:

      These squash had cured on the plant. I let them sit for a few hours outside then brought them in.

      I don’t think Tromboncino really has more flavor than other zucchini, but it is definitely more solid. It pretty well never cooks to a mush like most summer squash, which makes it useful in the kitchen.

  14. Awesome harvest! You got more poundage in one week with just tomatoes and winter squash than I’ve harvested all year. I’m happy to hear about Trombocino squash. I grew it one year and the thing rambled all over my tiny community garden plot. The squash were unusually good tasting though compared to a zuke.

  15. Daphne says:

    Wonderful harvest. I envy your squash. My winter squash are just now setting. I really hope they have time to ripen.

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