Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. It’s hard to believe the month of July is almost gone. We got a brief break from the summer heat the last few days, and I celebrated by doing some weeding in the garden and on Saturday morning I went for a run without coming home drenched. The temperatures are supposed to warm up again this week but hopefully the worst of the summer heat is past us. The garden is doing great though, and harvests are keeping me busy. The pole beans are pumping out almost a pound of pods each day, and there’s over three pounds of them in the below photo. The Tromba d’Albenga squash is keeping us well supplied too. I’ve been spiralizing them, and tonight they’re going to be a base for a marinara sauce. If spiralized zucchini is called zoodles, then my wife decided the tromboncino version should be called toodles!
And speaking of marinara sauce, the paste tomatoes are starting to come on now. My old standbys Health Kick and Viva Italia are ripening now, as well as newcomer Marzano Fire.
I saved seeds from Marzano Fire last year, and one of the plants is not exactly true to type. This rogue plant has more blocky fruits, and some are almost as wide as they are long. I will be saving seed from this one for growing next year to see what I get then.
The ones last year had the classic San Marzano shape, longer than they are wide and with a pointed blossom end. In the below photo you can see them together. I will use both kinds to make a single-source marinara sauce to go on the toodles.
The Juliet tomatoes have started ripening too. I’ve been dehydrating the first ones, and later I will be oven roasting them as well as using them for sauces. I have four cages of them planted this year so I am planning on having lots of my favorite tomatoes!
I’ve been dehydrating some of the cherry tomatoes as well. That’s Sun Gold, Supersweet 100 and Snow White in the below photo.
And I also dried some of the Sunpeach tomatoes which are coming on strong. They are a deep pink cherry tomato and a sister variety to Sun Gold.
I saved out a few of the cherry toms to make a batch of my Green Bean and Bulgur Salad with Walnuts. That’s always a favorite here when we have fresh beans and tomatoes. The salad also featured some of our fresh parsley and a bit of red onion.
The summer squash plants are all done for now except for the heirloom white pattypan. I got three squash total from the two plants last week. This variety seems better able to deal with the annual invasion of the squash bugs, but we have also had a lot of ladybugs show up to start eating the little buggers.
I guess this is turning into the tomato edition of HM for me, probably since they are finally ripening. I got the first taste of a couple of new tomatoes last week. Chef’s Choice Yellow is a 2017 AAS Winner with big, meaty yellow beefsteak tomatoes. The first one to ripen was a bit misshapen, but the flavor was great. It weighed over a pound, and I cut it in half and then sliced up each half. I can’t wait for more of this one!
The other newcomer is one of the Heirloom Marriage hybrids I’m growing this year called Big Brandy. It’s a cross between Brandywine and Big Dwarf, and the first one had a wonderful flavor, sweet and tart at the same time. The plants are semi-determinate, and next year I probably need to grow them in ‘short’ cages away from the more aggressive growers.
I did find time to bake bread last week. I made another loaf of the San Fransisco-style sourdough bread I made last month. It’s a lower hydration (61%) bread made using a stiff ‘motherdough’ that I fermented in the refrigerator for 5 days. The motherdough is then used as leavening for the rest of the dough. It proofed overnight in the refrigerator in an oval brotform, then I dusted it with flour before scoring in a zebra pattern and baking in the oven on a hot pizza stone.
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!