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!
That garlic could pass for elephant garlic. I noticed that the first tiny fruits had set on our courgettes and so it won’t be long now. The blackberries atr still small and green though.
That Red Toch garlic is huge! Hope it tastes as good as it looks. And your kohlrabi look great too; mine are going nowhere right now, hope to get at least one to taste soon.
I have been squishing quite a bit myself this weekend and have found many eggs under the squash leaves and no squash in sight yet. In fact, I had to destroy several of the flowers in order to get rid of the bugs. So far only the marina di chioggia has even flowered so that’s where the bugs are focused.
You pulled your garlic, too! It looks like you got some nice big heads and the kohlrabi is pretty massive as well. That’s amazing that all your zucchini came on all at once. I’m hoping a couple of ours got pollinated yesterday.
Your blackberry cobbler looks so scrumptious.
The Red Toch is beautiful. I may have to add an artichoke type to my garlic list to see if I can get some that store a little longer. Nice to have zucchini coming in. Last year I found your technique of flooding the base of the plant with water in the morning did indeed flush the little buggers out, but I prefer stomping to squishing or squashing.
Beautiful harvest, especially the garlic and kohlrabi, and did you catch the trout too? 🙂
I let someone else catch the trout!
Wow, the garlic is really something to be proud of. I doubt ours will even come close to that. And what a joy to get the first summer squash. I hate squash bugs (fortunately not a problem last year, but this year??) so I will try your flush and squish technique.
Wow – that’s like garlic on steroids! So many things can make or break a harvest that I think it’s usually worthwhile giving a poor performer another chance – it really paid off in your case!
I’m still waiting for my Kossak to size up – the largest is still smaller than the Kolibri I recently harvested. I know how large Kossak can get, so I’m planning on holding off harvest until they are nice and big. And those salads look delicious!
Your success with the Garlic makes me think I should have another go. I tried it twice in the past and the yield was poor so I gave up. It’s interesting to see you writing about using Freekeh, because this is a grain not well known outside the Middle East. We bought some to try, but decided it wasn’t as nice as Bulghur which we use in much the same way. Bulghur is cheaper and easier to get here, whereas Freekeh is not easy to find.
We got a big bag of the freekeh at Costco club for a reasonable price. Otherwise is is pretty pricey here too. Bulgur is certainly quicker, but I used the rice cooker to cook the freekeh which at least made it easier.
Roasted kohlrabi–what a thought! Next winter I’ll have to try that. I can just imagine it drizzled with some balsamic vinegar. Thanks for the idea. So happy to see your good garlic harvest. I’ve lost my confidence to grow it. It seems that with the five years of drought it’s hard to keep sufficient and even moisture in the winter without our usual rains. Aren’t blackberries wonderful? We’ve grown marionberries for twenty years but had to take a break because of a fungus. Hope to replant in January. Thanks for sharing and hosting!
Roasting really brings out the flavor of the usually mild tasting kohlrabi. And balsamic vinegar is great on them!
What gorgeous garlic, I am so jealous! Zoodles, I have to try those, I got a spiralizer that I haven’t used yet, so now’s the time. Terrific harvests!
The zoodles are good lightly cooked but it’s been so hot here the raw ones sounded better to me.
The garlic is amazing, Dave and the kohlrabi is huge! What beautiful harvests! The freekeh salad sounds delicious and right up my alley..will definitely try it. Thanks for sharing!
That is some impressive garlic! And your kohlrabi is huge too! Those zoodles look yummy- I might have to get one of those spiralizers. That blackberry cobbler looks delicious. My first fresh blackberry dessert this year was a pie, but I’m inspired to make a cobbler next.
The spiralizer makes short work of making the zoodles. It’s also good for potatoes, sweet potatoes, and cucumbers.
The Kossack kohlrabi is impressive, very large and uniform sized heads. I’ll have to try that next year. I’ve had success spraying the stem of the squash plant with a garlic/clove oil combination that is sold at the garden store. It drives them right up to the top of the leaves where they are easy picking.
Luckily we don’t get squash bugs here but the slugs and snails like them instead. I’ve spotted my first small courgettes at last, and an allotment neighbour kindly gave me one of his fruits (his plants are already really big with loads of courgettes but his plot is more protected from the elements, shows how it makes a difference.)
The bumble bees were buzzing away on the blackberry flowers today so hopefully I’ll have some nice ones like yours soon (though not too soon, i can’t keep up with picking strawberries, let alone when all the other soft fruit ripens!). But I have defrosted my freezer in preparedness 🙂
The garlic looks great. I’m still using last year’s out of the freezer, but I’m going to have to plant some this fall. If I get any zucchini this year, I’m going to try your salad. It sounds very good.
Good morning Dave, sorry to bother you again. From your inspiration I am trying to grow winter squash for the first time. I currently have 1 plant of each… Sunshine Kabocha, Butterscotch Butternut, and Honey Bear Acorn. My Acorn has its first female flower opened yesterday but no male flowers yet and thus cannot fertilize. I am wondering do I actually need 2 plants of each kind of winter squash to successfully get good results or at least one plant from the same species ?
No bother Kaman, it’s a good question! Your winter squash are from three different species. Each species will pollinate itself, but not the others. So one plant of each is enough, though you will need male and female flowers open at the same time. The kabocha is Cucurbita maxima, the butternut is C. moschata, and the acorn is C. pepo. Most summer squash are also C. pepo, and will pollinate the Honey Bear. There’s no problem with a summer squash pollinating a winter squash either. I think it is likely that you would get better pollination with more plants, but it isn’t necessary to get squash. I hope that helps!
Thank you Dave.