Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. It is starting to seem like summer here. The weather has been summery for some time, but now the harvests are too. I got a nice harvest of squash and cukes last week, some of which are in the below photo. From top to bottom it’s Tasty Jade cucumbers along with Romanesco and Clarimore zucchini and White Scallop squash. The cukes wound up in several dishes, including Quick Refrigerator Pickles, tzatziki sauce, and a Freekeh Tabbouleh I made yesterday. The zukes wound up in Greek Turkey Meatballs, and in a spiralized salad I’ll talk about later.
My wife thinks I have been neglecting her blueberry harvests on my Monday reports. I don’t want to be guilty of that, so here’s a pic she took of them. She likes to harvest in the morning, often before breakfast, which makes for some really fresh berries for us to eat! She’s hauled in 13 pounds of them so far this year, enough to fill at least two gallon buckets.
I’ve been harvesting parsley and basil as needed in the kitchen. I cut some of the Italian Pesto Basil to make a batch of pesto last week. I got the seeds from Renee’s, and it is a nice basil for general use. I’m also growing Renee’s Profuma di Genova and Italian Genovese basil. All three are lovely in the kitchen. I know Michelle (From Seed To Table) is a fan of the Profuma di Genova too and did a Spotlight on it a few years back.
Cherry tomatoes are ripening fast right about now. Many are splitting after all the rain we’ve had lately, but most are still good to eat. It’s Sun Gold, Sun Sugar, Supersweet 100 and Black Cherry in the below photo.
The cherry tomatoes and pesto met up with some spiralized zucchini in a cool zucchini salad I made last week as a side to planked fish. The raw ‘zoodles’ are a nice way to enjoy the zucchini, and the combinations are really endless.
The Artisan Seeds tomatoes are coming along nicely. In the below photo I have Green Tiger, Blush, Purple Bumblebee, Sunrise Bumblebee and Taste. They are my ‘control group’ when I taste the other unnamed Artisan tomatoes I am trialing.
I also got my first ever taste of the Garden Gem tomatoes. My wife and I were both drooling over that tasting! Garden Gem has been called the ‘perfect tomato’, productive and disease-resistant, plus it’s a good shipper. And the flavor is wonderful, I can vouch for that. But it’s a tad too small, so market growers won’t grow it. The seeds aren’t even available commercially. You can get seeds for it and another University of Florida hybrid called Garden Treasure by making a $10 donation to the UFL tomato research fund. I’ve got Garden Treasure planted too, and should be getting some ripe tomatoes from it soon.
I decided to harvest my cabbage before the heads started splitting. It has not been a good year for cabbage, with most of the plants just refusing to head up. But I had enough to make a quart jar of sauerkraut and enough to get a taste of it for something else. The sauerkraut has been fermenting for four days now and is about ready to start tasting. Hopefully the fall planting will give us a bit more cabbage than the spring planting did. I’ve got a couple of savoy types I am going to try (Melissa, Chieftain) as well as the usual suspects I grow.
I cut some of the crisphead lettuce for salads. The plants aren’t making big heads, but they have lots of leaves and the quality is pretty good for a summer lettuce. Some I planted did better than others, including the Manoa and Slogun in the below photo. Sierra is also doing well. I’m happy for any lettuce I can get here in our typical sweltering July weather.
I harvested leaves from the Prizm kale I have growing in one of the cold frame beds. Prizm is a 2016 AAS winner, and is decorative as well as tasty. The short plants keep pumping out leaves despite our hot weather, and I want to set out a few more plants for fall. We’ll see how they like our winter weather too! This harvest went into a batch of Kale and Potato Hash I cooked up last week. I can see this one being perfect for Kale Chips too.
In another summery harvest, I found a couple of ripe Jimmy Nardello peppers last week. They’re hanging out with a Romanesco zucchini in the below photo. Jimmy is one of the first peppers to ripen in my garden, and that had me checking other pepper plants as well.
I found about eight or so green pepperoncini peppers setting on. I decided to harvest them and try pickling a few. I didn’t can them, I just made a brine and stuck the jar in the frig. I got the seeds for it from Pinetree, where it is listed as an Italian Pepperoncini. Margaret (Homegrown – Adventures in my Garden) grew this one last year, and it did well for her, which prompted me to try it this year myself. I am hoping it will be nicely pickled by later this week when I plan on making pizza. I’ve been looking for a pepperoncini that’s like the kind our pizzerias serve with pizza, and I was tickled pink last year when I saw Margaret had found one! I also have a Greek Pepperoncini (seeds from Refining Fire Chiles) but it is not setting on peppers just yet.
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!