Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. I have a newcomer in the harvests this week and it’s a squash! A baby butternut squash called Honeybaby, to be exact. Honeybaby is a 2017 AAS Winner and the latest entry in the ‘smaller is better’ squash category. The four in the below photo averaged 19 ounces each, the largest weighing almost 1.5 pounds and the smallest just over a pound. I’ll let them cure for a couple of weeks before we get our first taste. The two plants are still loaded with fruit so I am hopeful for about a dozen or more total. Also hanging out with the squash is a big haul of pole beans.
It’s still tomato season here for sure. I collected a nice assortment of small fruited types last week for dehydrating. I see Sunpeach, Sun Sugar, Juliet, Black Cherry and a couple of unnamed Artisan seeds test varieties in there.
We were out of dehydrated tomatoes so I will try and dry enough this year to last us for a while. Drying and slow roasting are my two favorite ways to preserve the small fruited tomatoes, and we use a lot of them that way throughout the year.
I got the first two large eggplants last week. It’s the dark purple Nadia and the pinkish purple Dancer. Nadia is a more typical Italian type, while Dancer has a white and mild-tasting flesh. Both of these wound up sliced and grilled. With more coming on, I can see eggplant and tomato sandwiches in my future!
And speaking of tomatoes, I got enough paste tomatoes last week to make a batch of Freezer Tomato Sauce. I don’t can tomato sauce anymore, since I like the freezer version better plus it is easier to make. The next flush of tomatoes will probably go into a batch of homemade ketchup, and then I will move on to unseasoned tomato sauce and tomato paste. I’m growing the short-vined determinate Health Kick and Viva Italia this year, two of my old standby hybrid varieties that always do well for me.
The slicers are also coming on strong. One noteworthy newcomer is Cosmonaut Volkov. In the below photo the tomato on top is Chef’s Choice Pink, the two in the middle are Cosmosnaut Volkov, and it’s Dancer eggplant on the bottom. Cosmonaut Volkov was a freebie from Artisan Seeds, and I figured it must be flavorful or they wouldn’t be growing it or perhaps using it for breeding stock. I didn’t know how it would perform here though, and I am glad I gave it a spot in the garden. If I had known how good it was going to taste I would have got a better pic of it too.
My two Cosmonaut Volkov tomatoes may not win any awards for looks, but hey – it’s all about taste here for me. And it had a wonderful flavor, a nice mix of sweet and acid. Another plus, it’s meaty with very few seeds. What seeds it did have were scooped out immediately after the photo was taken, and are now fermenting so I can have seeds to grow this one again next year.
The two container eggplants are still giving us lots to eat. I planted Patio Baby and Fairy Tale, and both have been good in stir frys and grilled. The grilled ones are great for a side dish.
I got another couple of tromboncino squash last week too. I made a chicken stir fry one night for dinner and served it up over the briefly cooked spiralized tromboncino (aka toodles). I’m going to dehydrate some too, but it’s safe to say it has been a great year for the Tromba d’Albenga vines this year and they are not done for yet by any means! The one in the below photo weighed three pounds, and is hanging out with more of the Honeybaby butternuts. It wound up growing outside the garden fencing, and thankfully the deer haven’t developed a taste for it (yet).
Last, and certainly least, I got the first two Mexican mouse melons last week. I was late getting the seeds planted so the vines are just now starting to bear. Hopefully there will be future and bigger harvests in the days to come. They are supposed to be tasty when fermented, but I don’t think I will be making pickles with them 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!