Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The big harvest for me this week was sweet potatoes. I dug around 2/3 of the plants, leaving those that were planted a bit later. I’m pretty happy with the results, though it’s not going to be a bumper harvest like last year. I wound up with 38 pounds from this dig, and the sweet potatoes are now curing in the basement. I’ll do a complete recap on them when I have dug the rest. I am also pleased that I have seen no sign of vole or insect damage so far. There were a couple that had minor fork damage, but thankfully none were mortal wounds! That’s Beauregard and Red Japanese in the below photo.
Besides the sweet potatoes, I got a couple of cuttings of kale last week, the first from one called Madeley. It’s an heirloom Brassica oleracea kale from England with large, flat bluish-green leaves. I grew this one last year as part of the Coalition Mix from Adaptive Seeds, and it was tasty and productive then and now. This cutting wound up in a batch of kale and potato hash I cooked up. A few aphids were starting to take up residence on the backside of the big leaves, but it was nothing that couldn’t be rinsed off pretty easily. I got the seeds for Madeley from Adaptive too.
The other kale I cut is Improved Siberian, which I have growing in one of the cold frame beds. It’s a shorter kale, much like Dwarf Siberian (if not the same), so I thought it was a good candidate for overwintering under the protection of the cold frame. I used this kale as part of the filling for a batch of Butternut Lasagna Rolls, and I blanched and chopped the kale before mixing with ricotta and Pecorino Romano cheese and an egg. I think I actually preferred the kale filling to my usual spinach one. It just didn’t make much sense to me to thaw a package of spinach from the freezer when I have fresh kale. I’ll save the frozen spinach for another dish, since kale is much more plentiful here than spinach, and also easier to grow. There’s a couple of I’itio onions with the kale, and I used them in the butternut sauce for the lasagna.
In other news, I cut my biggest head of broccoli so far this fall. It lacked the perfectly rounded dome you see in the seed catalogs, but at 15 ounces it was all good after it was steamed and eaten! This was Imperial, which usually does well for me in the fall.
I also got a few of the Topepo Rosso sweet peppers. This pepper is not a real heavy producer for me, but it’s one of the best pimento type peppers I have grown. I usually pickle these thick walled peppers, though they would be good for stuffing as well. There’s a few snow peas in the below photo too, and the Oregon Giant and Corne de Belier vines have been keeping us supplied with modest amounts of pods the last few weeks.
And last but not least, I harvested all the ripe fruit from a Turkish pepper called Maras (or Marash). In Turkey this pepper is usually sun dried and ground into flakes to be used as a table seasoning, often with a bit of salt and oil added. I dried these peppers in the dehydrator, which is a more reliable way to dry them in our climate.
After drying, I ground them up into coarse flakes. I used the electric spice grinder first, then finished them off by hand in the mortar and pestle. They did not have the dark red color or depth of flavor of ones I have bought in the past, but they will make a tasty medium-hot seasoning in the kitchen and at the table.
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!