Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. We are finally getting some ripe peppers here, after a late and problematical start to my pepper plants. I had issues with aphids that set the plants back considerably, then I wound up having to replant almost half of the plants. Thank goodness we have a long growing season! It’s Cornito Rosso, Cornito Gialla and Carmen hanging out with a Pepitas Pumpkin in the below group photo. We grilled most of these peppers, though one wound up in a bean salad.
As the peppers enter the scene, I made the last harvest of the greenhouse cucumbers before I pulled the vines and prepped the beds for fall and winter plantings. It was a great year for the cukes in there, and I had less problems than usual with spider mites and whiteflies. I got 26 pounds of cucumbers this year, which was up from the 15 pounds I got last year. I had good results with the pickling cucumbers Excelsior, Vertina and Harmonie which I grew for the first time. I made a lot of pickles with them, and we are still eating on those. In the below photo though it’s Socrates, two Corinto and Tasty Jade, which are all slicing types.
The two container eggplants put on a flush of new growth, and I harvested enough for grilling last week. I have one plant each of Patio Baby and Fairy Tale growing in pots, and they have been pumping out fruit all summer long.
I’m not getting many slicing tomatoes now but there’s still lots of the small fruited ones. Midnight Snack is our new favorite, with a taste that’s hard for me to describe, but very likable. I’m getting ones that have been exposed to sunlight and have a good indigo coloring. Plant breeder James Irvine says he bred Midnight Snack because he wanted to have an indigo tomato that he wanted to eat. My wife and I think he succeeded, and it’s definitely one we enjoy eating. This 2017 AAS Winner will be back in my garden next year for sure. I also think it’s pretty, which is always a plus. These went on a salad we had for lunch yesterday.
Another taste sensation this year has been an heirloom pole bean called Bertie Best Greasy Bean (BBGB). Bertie Best was the aunt of bean grower and author Bill Best, who founded the Sustainable Mountain Agriculture Center. I’ve been growing a few of their beans for about three years now, but it’s my first time growing BBGB. Greasy beans are so named because the pods are slick and lack the usual fuzz of other bean pods. They also lack the ‘tough’ gene that is present in most modern bean varieties, and even when the beans have started to swell in the pods they are still tender. They do have strings though, but I find it is fairly easy to string the beans before cooking. When cooked the pods fall apart and the shelly beans inside are tender and flavorful.
Interestingly, the seeds of BBGB come in three colors – white, tan and black. According to the catalog listing it “has been grown this way for at least 150 years with no attempts to separate the colors.” Who am I to mess with a tradition like that, and I like the idea I am growing a bean that seems to be color blind!
I harvested another of the Dickinson pumpkins, and this one weighed a bit over 13 pounds. I haven’t cooked any of these moschata type pumpkins yet, since I want them to cure a bit and let the flavor to develop. That gives us over 40 pounds of them so far, plus there’s a couple more smaller ones still on the vines. We may need to find some pumpkin lovers to share the bounty with. There’s also a few more BBGB I found on the vines.
I decided to pull the kale plants from the cold frame bed and replant with fresh transplants for fall. I cut all the leaves from the five plants, and got just over three pounds. These were all the variety Prizm that did quite well from a spring planting.
And my bread of the week was baked about five weeks ago, and has been in the freezer since then. I pop the loaf in a 350°F oven and warm it for 10 minutes in foil, then 10 minutes without foil. The crust gets crisp again and the bread is almost as good as it was before freezing. This is a sourdough loaf I made using a stiff preferment that is refrigerated for a few days before baking the bread. It’s a bit of extra work, but it does give the finished bread a nice tangy taste.
In other news, we cooked the first of the Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato squashes. I think this heirloom acorn squash is a keeper for sure, and it had a rich and sweet flavor. Next time I think I will try cutting them into slices and roasting like that. I’ll have to grow this one again in 2018.
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!