Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. Around here we have sure been enjoying the fall veggies. I sowed turnip seed back in early August, and I think the turnips have done quite well this year. That’s Oasis in the below photo, a little over five pounds of them, and we ate the greens and the turnips one night for dinner. We didn’t eat them all though, since I harvested a bit more than I planned. Oasis takes a little longer than Hakurei to size up, but it seems to get bigger. I planted both this year, along with Tsugaru Scarlet and some Purple Top which I’m growing mostly for the greens.
I also cut the first of the fall broccoli last week. I’m growing four different varieties, in an attempt to see which ones perform well here. Goliath was the first to make a head, though there is some browning of the beads. It tasted fine however, and I was happy to have homegrown broccoli back on the menu! I’m also growing Green Magic, Diplomat and Imperial.
We’ve been enjoying the fall planted kale too. I cut some of the White Russian last week, which I also grew as a spring crop. This Brassica napus cousin of the Red Russian kale is touted by numerous seed catalogs as being especially tender and tasty, and I have to say I agree. I can’t wait to see how it tastes after it has been kissed by frost. It’s my first year growing this o/p variety, which was bred by Frank Morton of Wild Garden Seeds.
In the non-brassica department, I harvested the first Thai Rai Kaw Tok squash. This variety was a good producer last year, though many of the fruits were very late to mature. This year is no different, and I have another one that is almost ready plus several more in various stages that may or not make it before the first killing frost. The one in the below photo weighed almost eight pounds. It and the Seminole are tied for Last Squash Standing status in what has been a challenging year for all the squash varieties. All the other squash plants are history.
Sweet peppers are still ripening. We’ve grilled most of them, which makes for an easy side dish. I also chop them up and freeze them for later use, as well as dehydrate them. In the below photo you can see the orange Glow, yellow Early Sunsation, the red bell Big Bertha and Corno di Toro Rosso.
This year I am growing a C. baccatum pepper called Malawi Piquante, which is round-ish with thin walls and sort of resembles a cherry pepper. This is the o/p pepper supposedly used to make the trademarked processed peppers called ‘Peppadew’. I have one plant in a container and another planted in the ground. I started the seeds back in March and set the plants out in late May. It has taken until now to produce ripe peppers, which you can see in the below photo. There are two Kaleidoscope peppers in there as well, which is another mild tasting baccatum variety that has fruit about 4 inches long.
There are recipes floating around the web that claim to be for the Peppadew. This one from Food.com calls for brining the peppers overnight, then pickling in a solution that includes, vinegar, sugar, water, ginger, bay leaves and garlic. I have to say my taste buds don’t detect salt, garlic or ginger in the ones I buy at the store, but who knows since the process used is a trademarked secret! I pickled some Topepo Rosso peppers last year using this recipe as a starting point, but skipping the brine and omitting the ginger and bay leaves. Those turned out to be pretty tasty, and I used a similar sweet pickling brine for the Malawi Piquante peppers this year. There are quite a few seeds inside them, and I settled on using an apple corer to remove the stems and seeds. I’ll let you know how they taste in a week or so. I can also see them stuffed with cheese and served up as an appetizer.
Pole beans are still coming on. The Fortex and Trionfo Violetto are hanging on and producing the occasional flush of pods, which is a bit rare for this late in the season. I’ve also been harvesting the Good Mother Stallard pods and bringing them in to finish drying before I shell them.
In non-harvest news, I am working on documenting how I make the Sourdough Rye Hearth Bread so I can share the recipe here. This has become my go-to bread for sandwiches. I baked up a batch on Saturday, and while the tops split open a bit more than I like, it turned out great otherwise. The loaves were under-proofed and/or not scored deeply enough, and I made a note for next time. I froze one loaf for later use and we started eating the other one as soon as it was cool enough to slice.
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!