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!
Lovely tomatoes! Beautiful eggplants! You are making me hungry!
The long green Tromba squash is different than any squash I have ever seen.
Have a wonderful week!
We grew the mouse melons, or as we called them cucamelons last year. To be honest we didn’t really think much of them. We won’t be growing them again.
First time learning about mouse melon had to look it up. They are quite pretty. Looking forward to see what you do with them and how you like them.
I love mouse melons, but mine are off to a slow start – hopefully will have some in a month or so.
And seriously, is that a “laundry basket” full of beans?
It’s a small Cestro Strainer Tubtrug that looks like a laundry basket. Small is relative, of course! That was my attempt at an ‘artsy’ photo.
Boy, where to start? The Honeybaby squash looks great, and so early too! I’m assuming it’s a C. moschata-type, so it would be good for us with our squash vine borer problem. Great haul of beans too. I like growing colorful eggplant, and the Dancer is very pretty. Though not beautiful, Nadia looks good in its own way (got one myself this week). The sliced-open Cosmonaut Volkov looks really delicious. I just may grow it next year (Ground Control to Major Tom). As for “mouse melons,” I know Michelle grows these a lot, but I have to say I’m just not convinced they would have a place in our garden. Convince me!
The Honeybaby is a moschata type and I will let you know what they taste like. As for the mouse melons, the jury is still out!
Great looking eggplant. Those sauce tomatoes are ripened perfectly, which makes them easy to process. What, no bread this week?
No bread that was photo-worthy!
This is the time of year when I look at all the tomatoes that gardeners in warmer areas are harvesting and I get impatient for mine to start rolling in. And I’m really kicking myself for not getting snap beans going earlier. It’s been an off year for me, I seem to slow at getting most things going other than tomatoes and peppers. What a fabulous long straight Tromba squash! I tried spiralizing zucchini for the first time this week and have to say that it may become a regular habit.
Those squashes look great. I’m growing them as well and I think I’m in for a big harvest, they’re not ripe yet though.
I’ve been processing tomatoes as well this week. A lot of work, but so rewarding this winter!!
The honey baby squashes look really good, such a nice colour. I’m hoping my ‘new to me’ squashes do half as well as yours…I have sweet dumpling, cream of the crop and the weird green butternuts.
The cosmonaut tomato does look particularly tasty too. And so many eggplants…I haven’t even got a single fruit forming yet. Well done on yours (argh, the cat is climbing on me, difficult to type!)
Daaawww… those Honeybaby butternuts are adorable. Are they a vining type or do they grow bush/semi-bush as well?
(ps. seeds sent!)
The Honeybabys are a semi-bush type, and my vines got to maybe 4-5 feet long. I got your seeds in the mail this morning.
You always find such interesting vegetable varieties to grow. Thanks for sharing with us.
Thank you for your kind words! I get some of my best ideas from other garden bloggers, both in what to grow and also how to grow things.
The Cosmonaut Volkov sounds great – that interior is so meaty! I’m with you, looks definitely fall way down on the list when it comes to how I rate a vegetable.
I’ve been away for a few days and am on my way home – of course, first stop will be the garden and I’m hoping that I like what I find!
How do you know when to harvest a honeybaby?
The skin should be tan colored and hard enough it can’t easily be pierced with your fingernail before harvesting. If in doubt, I say leave it on the vine a bit longer. It will also need to cure indoors in a warm location for a couple of weeks after harvest to allow the full flavor to develop.