Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. I’m calling today the Great Eclipse Edition, since this afternoon we will be having a partial solar eclipse with about 99% of the sun blocked out by the moon. Sunshine or not, I’m still bringing in lots of tomatoes. That’s about 18 pounds of paste tomatoes in the below photo. I used them to make another batch of tomato paste, plus pizza sauce, marinara sauce and unseasoned tomato sauce last week. We are about to get the freezer full of tomatoey goodness! I may well do a bit more drying and roasting in the next week or so though.
We’re still getting a lot of nice slicing tomatoes too. In the below photo it’s Chef’s Choice Pink, Chef’s Choice Orange and Chef’s Choice Green hanging out with a Dancer eggplant. I harvested about 40 pounds of tomatoes last week total. I’ve brought in about 148 pounds of them so far this year, and we have eaten or processed them all.
I’m bringing in more of the winter squash now as they mature. Honey Boat Delicata is one of my favorites of the Delicata family of squash. We usually cut these into slices and bake them. They don’t keep as well as some of the other winter squashes, so we will begin eating them soon. They averaged right at a pound each, which is a nice size for us. They’re hanging out with another tromboncino and a couple of Pepitas pumpkins. The tromboncino is technically a winter squash, though it’s most often used at the green, immature stage.
One of the two Pepitas pumpkins weighed 8 pounds and the other weighed 5.5 pounds, though I don’t usually eat the flesh or tally it. I grow these for the seeds, which are hull-less (or naked) and easy to process and eat. They are decorative as well as tasty, though last year the skin changed to a solid orange color fairly quickly after harvest. I’ll work on getting the seeds out in a few days. I did a Variety Spotlight on this one last year if you want a peek at what the seeds look like and how I process them. Of course they are edible as-is straight from the pumpkin.
The Bush Delicatas were ready for harvesting too. They did not do as well this year as most of the other squashes, but we will have plenty anyway. The lettuce is some of the last of the summer planting. I have started seeds for a fall planting, but we will likely have a lettuce gap here for a month or so.
I got three Metro butternut squash from my one plant this year, and they weighed between 1.5 and 2.5 pounds each. These are bigger than individual size, but smaller than giant butternuts like Waltham. I’ve been looking for a butternut this size, and if Metro tastes as good as it looks it might just be the one.
I also harvested one of the Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato squashes last week. This is an heirloom acorn type I’m growing for the first time. This one weighed around 2.5 pounds, and I’ll let it cure and age for a bit before we get a taste. I’ll be looking for recipe ideas for stuffing them too.
I harvested the first peppers last week, though I’m still waiting on ripe ones. Mellow Star shishitos are a mild version of the popular Japanese pepper, and these first ones I grew had no heat whatsoever. I sauteed them briefly in a bit of olive oil and enjoyed them as an appetizer while I was cooking dinner one night. I’m not usually a fan of green peppers but these are an exception. I decided to grow them after Will (Eight Gate Farm) had good luck with them last year. I get a lot of great ideas from my fellow bloggers, and there’s another example coming up later.
We’re getting a steady supply of eggplants though, enough I made a batch of eggplant rollatini last night for dinner. I slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch slices and bake it briefly to soften it up. Then I spread the eggplant with a mixture of cooked kale, parmesan and mozzarella cheese and egg before rolling it up and placing in a baking dish. Then I topped it with some freshly made tomato sauce I made from the Marzano Fire tomatoes. I baked it for about an hour, then topped with a bit more mozzarella. For me this dish has all the flavors of eggplant parmesan but without the fried eggplant treatment. It made for a nice meatless main dish.
For the stuffing I cut a bit of the spring planted Prizm kale. I spruced these plants up a few weeks ago, cutting off the older leaves and giving the plants a top dressing of compost and fertilizer. They responded with a flush of new growth, and I cut some of those leaves for the rollatini.
The greenhouse cucumber vines are still giving us cukes. The last two producers still going are Corinto and Excelsior, and both have been great producers this year.
In other cucurbit news, I finally remembered to get a pic of the Ginkaku melons. These may well be the taste sensation of 2017 for me. I first heard about these last year when Phuong (Kentucky Fried Garden) grew them. I found a similar Korean melon at our local Asian market back then, and liked them enough I decided to grow them myself. Not surprisingly, the homegrown ones taste so much better than the ones I bought. These weigh about a pound each, and are produced in profusion on medium length vines.
The taste is a bit hard to describe, definitely related to cantaloupes and honeydew melons, but really crisp and sweet with perhaps a hint of pears. Like a cantaloupe they slip from the vine when ripe, making it easy to tell when they are ready. The hard outer rinds seem to keep them from rotting on the ground though, like cantaloupes too often do for me here. After harvesting I chill them, then clean out the seeds and peel the thin yellow rind. I got these seeds from Kitazawa, but I see that Pinetree has them too. My wife has been enjoying the watermelon and leaving these Ginkaku for me to eat, which sounds like a good deal to me since I grew the watermelon for her anyway. I’ve been eating some most every afternoon for a snack.
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!
Mmm, that Ginkaku melon sounds delicious the way you’ve described it. Alas, I can’t grow melons here (despite my continued efforts!).
What an amazing harvest. And 148 lb’s of tomatoes!? Wow …
Since you like to experiment in the kitchen perhaps you would like to try substituting sweet potato leaves for the kale in your eggplant rollatini. Looking forward to learning about your Sweet Potato squash.
The first year that we have bring some squash and we picked our first last week. Maybe next year we will experiment with some more varieties.
Your garden is certainly keeping you working overtime. Winter squash already. The winter squash in my garden are just setting. And as usual I’m eyeing ripe tomatoes from other gardens while mine are still green on the vines – 128 pounds, wow! The Ginkaku melons sure sound interesting, but I’m not sure I could make a go of them here.
The Ginkaku melons are just beautiful. I’ve been growing the Metro Butternut for years and it has been very productive, until this year. The squash got off to a rocky start and I’m hoping they will mature before first frost. Nice to see your pickling cucumbers are still healthy.
I love seeing all your different winter squashes and tomato varieties. It’s really nice to have those big harvests so you can do a bit of experimentation. Do you just freeze your tomato sauces or do you can them as well? And I’m glad you’ve been enjoying the Ginkaku melons, they’re good at producing a few each week instead of ripening all at once.
We freeze the tomato sauces. Ketchup and pickles are the only things we can anymore.
That’s really incredible…amazing harvests. The squashes are just fantastic!
What do you do with Jimmy Nardello peppers? We’re growing them this year after having seen them here.
I like to grill them, or saute them to add to various dishes, like a frittata or omelet or even pizza.
I tried to comment when I linked up this week but had some internet issues. Anyway I grew Honeyboat for the first time this year and tried one, microwaved but wasn’t impressed. Another is getting soft so will try it actually baked in the oven. Let us know how the Thelma tastes, I adore sweet potatoes and would love a squash that sweet. Those melons sound interesting and tasty! envious of all those big tomatoes! Ah well, there is always next year!