Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. It seems like harvesting kicked into overdrive last week, with more garlic needing to be dug plus blackberries and squash coming on. I dug all the Artichoke type garlic I grow, including Red Toch, Lorz Italian, Siciliano and Simonetti. I first grew Red Toch back in 2011 and for whatever reason it did not do well, so I didn’t replant it. Last year I decided to give it another try and ordered new bulbs from Filaree Garlic Farm. I’m so glad I did, and earlier this spring I noticed it had huge stalks, which is always a good sign. I predicted it was going to make big bulbs, and I was right. It made the biggest bulbs I’ve dug so far, and I can’t wait until it is cured and I can give it a taste test.
Red Toch was collected from the small village of Tochliavri in the Republic of Georgia. Simonetti (or Simoneti) is another Georgian garlic, one I’ve been growing for about five years now. I got my original planting stock from We Grow Garlic, and have been saving the biggest and best for replanting each year. Simonetti has consistently been one of my best producers, and last year made the biggest bulbs of any garlic I grew. I’ll wait until the garlic has cured to clean the bulbs up and weigh them. Meanwhile, the Rocambole and Silverskin types are still in the ground, but almost ready to dig. So far it looks to be a great year for garlic.
In other harvest news, I got a nice big bucket of Simpson Elite lettuce to use for wilted lettuce salads. It was beginning to bolt, and not nearly as tender as lettuce grown in cooler weather, but it was still nice for wilting. We will have a little ‘lettuce gap’ here until the crisphead lettuces size up, assuming they survive the heat and give us something edible. We will see!
I harvested the last of the Kolibri kohlrabi, and the first of the giant Kossak. The five in the below photo weighed over seven pounds total, with the largest one weighing in at 28 ounces.
I used about half of them to make more kohlrabi kraut, and the rest will be used in the kitchen raw or cooked. My wife is planning on roasting some this week, as she takes over the cooking duties. Kossak stays tender even when it gets big, and is also a good keeper. I have more in the garden sizing up and waiting for harvest.
The first zucchini honors this year was shared by three different kinds. In the below photo it’s the dark green Astia on the left, the striped Striata d’Italia in the middle, and two of the hybrid Romanesco to the right. A few days later I harvested one of the light green Clarimore, the dark and light green mottled Bossa Nova, and a couple of the yellow straightneck Enterprise. I also spotted my first squash bugs, so it’s time to start squishing (or is that squashing?) the adults and looking for eggs on the leaves. I’ve found that hand-watering the plants where the stem comes out of the ground tends to flush out some of the adults, so that is now part of my morning ritual.
One of the things I did with the first zucchini is to make a spiralized ‘zoodle’ salad. I added some dried tomatoes (after rehydrating) and fresh basil to the zoodles, and tossed with a light dressing I made from lemon juice, olive oil and minced fresh garlic. It made a nice cool salad to go with some trout I fixed for dinner one night. I can see making this salad again in the near future, as my wife and I both enjoyed it. The pecan and panko crusted trout wasn’t bad either!
Some of the zucchini also went into a main dish Freekeh, Chickpea and Herb salad I made. I added some diced zucchini and dried tomatoes to the recipe in place of the celery it called for. Cucumber would also have been nice but I don’t have any ready yet, though the plants in the greenhouse are close to giving up their first cuke. This recipe was another keeper for me and my wife, and I used our fresh parsley and mint in there too. I also like to make tabbouleh with the freekeh, which will also likely be on the menu when it’s my turn to cook again and the cucumbers and tomatoes are coming on.
I mentioned blackberries earlier. The Natchez plants are ripening now, and I’ve taken in over a quart total so far. We’ve been eating some of them fresh and freezing the rest. Last year was a terrible year for blackberries here and I am hoping to replenish our supply in the freezer.
I found enough of them yesterday to make us a small Blackberry Cobbler. It’s nice to have one made with fresh blackberries, since usually we use ones from the freezer. I ground some soft white wheat flour for the cobbler, which my wife then baked up. It was a team effort for sure, both in the prep and the eating! I’m hoping we have enough blackberries this year to make some Blackberry Syrup and Blackberry Leather, which are two things we like to make when we have a big year.
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!