Harvest Monday October 2, 2017

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. It’s hard to believe it is October already. The weather here has been more like summer lately, though the mornings have been seasonably cool. I enjoyed the cool one morning last week and dug the rest of the pink-skinned, white-fleshed Bonita sweet potatoes. I wound up with just over 25 pounds from the 10 plants. That’s not as good as the 3.53 pounds per plant the Purple variety yielded, but still a respectable showing. That gives us almost 61 pounds of sweet potatoes, and I have 30 more plants to dig! We will surely be sharing them with friends this year. I’ve also been pleased to see no signs of scurf disease, which has caused cosmetic damage in years past, and only a bit of vole damage on a couple of tubers. It’s not a good sign to see any vole damage though, because it means they are lurking in the garden.

Bonita sweet potatoes

Bonita sweet potatoes

One broke off as I was digging it out of the ground, and you can see the inside in the below photo. The white flesh is less sweet than many orange-fleshed varieties, and a bit starchy, which makes it good for baking whole. Bonita also makes great sweet potato hash and baked sweet potato fries, as does Purple for that matter.

inside of Bonita sweet potato

inside of Bonita sweet potato

But enough about sweet potatoes! I also brought in the rest of the Sugaretti spaghetti squash, five more that weighed a total of 18 pounds. This one is supposed to be sweeter than the usual spaghetti squash, but we haven’t tried any of them yet. They are bigger than ones I have grown in the past, averaging between 3.5 and 4 pounds. We gave one to a friend to try, and hopefully we will be cooking up one ourselves soon.

Sugaretti squash

Sugaretti squash

I’ll spare you the weekly photo of the bowl of the container eggplants Patio Baby and Fairy Tale. But you’re not going eggplant cold-turkey entirely! Instead I’ll show you what we do with most of them. I cut these in half and tossed them with a little olive oil and salt plus some ground cumin and coriander. Then I roasted them in a pre-heated cast iron skillet in a 400°F oven for about 20-25 minutes until they were tender and browned up, turning them at the halfway point. The plants are slowing down but there’s a few more coming on, and I wouldn’t mind another batch of these before the first frost comes. Each container plant has given us right at 3.5 pounds of eggplant so far, and that exceeded my expectations.

skillet roasted baby eggplants

skillet roasted baby eggplants

While I was harvesting the sweet potatoes and clearing out the vines, I found a couple of wayward butternut squash that had been hiding from me. I thought I had pulled the vines and gotten all the squash, but obviously I didn’t. These are Metro, and looked pretty good after spending several weeks curing out in the garden. I’ll set them aside from the others in case they don’t last quite as long, but they looked okay at this point. There’s also another small Dickinson pumpkin in the below photo. It’s been a great year for winter squash and pumpkins here, and we will likely hit the 200 pound mark. Which means we will be sharing those too.

Dickinson pumpkin and Metro butternuts

I’m getting more ripe peppers now, both sweet and hot ones. It’s the Italian bull’s horn peppers in the below photo, Cornito Giallo and Cornito Rosso. We’ve been enjoying these grilled, and a couple of them got grilled and added to a pizza I cooked up on Saturday night. Some also found their way into a frittata yesterday. And more are on the menu for lunch today.

Cornito Giallo and Cornito Rosso peppers

Cornito Giallo and Cornito Rosso peppers

I got a few hot peppers for drying last week. These are Guajillo peppers, a hybrid version called Minero on the top and the o/p Guajillo on the bottom in the below photo. These are great for dehydrating and making into chile powder, which is what I do with ours. In my garden they have a mild heat, at least they usually do.

Minero and Guajillo peppers

Minero and Guajillo peppers

I got a lot of Red Racer tomatoes last week. Two of my vines are done for, so I took all the tomatoes from them. I’ve got another plant growing in a Smart Pot that still has tomatoes coming on. We’ve been enjoying these in salads, and shared a few as well.

Red Racer tomatoes

Red Racer tomatoes

I also found a couple of Chef’s Choice Orange tomatoes I sliced up for a side dish one day. The slicers are getting hard to find now, but there are still a few more on the vines that might make something edible. We’re still two weeks away from our average first frost date, but odds are good it will come later than that.

Chef

Chef’s Choice Orange tomatoes

I baked up a loaf of naturally leavened bread last week to go with various meals. I used my version of Breadtopia’s No Knead Sourdough Bread recipe, scaled up by 50% and with a bit less water. The dough ferments overnight on the counter, then it proofs in a brotform the next morning before I bake it up in my oval clay baker.

No Knead Sourdough Bread

No Knead Sourdough Bread

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!

 

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