A couple of weeks ago, if I wanted a melon I had to go buy one. Then all of a sudden, last week we had lots of them – 23 pounds of them to be exact. So, we got busy and started eating melons! That wasn’t exactly a tough thing to do, since my wife and I both love them. The first one ready was Sensation. This is a white fleshed melon with a very sweet taste.
That was followed by several Ambrosia melons. Some of them were starting to split around the stem end, no doubt due to wet conditions as they were ripening. I was able to cut out any bad spots on those and eat the rest of the melon. That’s the Ambrosia melons in the below photo along with another Sensation in the back.
We have been eating the melons pretty much every day now, and enjoying them while they last. The Sensation and Ambrosia are great together.
I also harvested the Gold Nugget winter squashes and about half of the Bush Delicata last week. Both are old favorites here, and I can’t wait until they have cured a bit and we can get a taste of them. The Delicata is on the menu this week.
Peppers are also ripening now. The big yellow one in the below photo is Flavorburst, while the orange ones are Orange Blaze and Gourmet.
One of the smallest harvests came while I was thinning the radishes. The China Rose sprouts were just too pretty to throw away, so I brought them in and cleaned them up. This variety is often used for sprouting because of the pretty red stems. They were great on a salad, and we even put some on a pizza we made last week, where the spicy flavor worked much like arugula does. I think they would be tasty in a stir fry too.
And speaking of small, how about the Piccante Calabrese pepper in the below photo? This is my first time growing this Italian red cherry pepper, and I am looking forward to pickling them when more ripen.
A larger harvest was the paste type tomatoes in the below photo. I used them to make a batch of Vitamix Tomato Sauce. It’s a mix of Viva Italia, Health Kick, Rio Grande, Big Mama, Quadro, Golden Rave and Juliet. The mild-tasting yellow Golden Rave got mixed in with the red tomatoes, though it’s also a good tomato for soups, salsas and sauces by itself.
For this sauce the raw tomatoes go in the blender, skins and all, before they are cooked down to the desired consistency. A little over ten pounds of tomatoes reduced down to make three quarts of sauce. I like to use this unseasoned sauce for chili and other soups, and it makes a great base for a marinara sauce.
The pole beans have gotten their second wind, or perhaps it is a third or fourth flush of growth. We have had a study supply ever since they started producing about six weeks ago. There is a new round of blooms opening up now, so there will be more beans for awhile. In the below photo they are hanging out with some Fairy Tale and Dancer eggplant, which is just now coming in. The long red peppers are Jimmy Nardello, which dwarf the little Piccante Calabrese at the bottom.
I did find time to bake some bread last week. That’s a loaf of Bohemian Rye in the below photo, which was proofed in a brotform before baking in the oven on a hot pizza stone. The recipe came from Whole Grain Breads by Machine or Hand by Beatrice A. Ojakangas. I am slowly baking my way through this book which features 200 whole grain bread recipes. If the rest of them are as tasty as the Bohemian Rye, then we are in for a real treat. And I will need to bump up my exercise regimen!
It’s been a while since I shared any news about our cats, so I’ll close with a gratuitous cat photo. Puddin has found a new place to sleep in my wife’s studio, lying on a soft bed of fabric pieces. She can while away the hours in relative peace and quiet. She looks a little grumpy in the below photo because the paparazzi woke her up. And our other cat Ace likes to sit behind me when I’m working at the computer, so he has been helping me with this post.
To see what madness other gardeners are sharing, visit Daphne’s Dandelions where Daphne hosts Harvest Mondays.