Harvest Monday July 9, 2018

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. We’re still enjoying summery harvests here. A few of the summer squash plants are hanging in there and still producing, but half of them are dead and have been pulled and tossed on the compost pile. Tempest is a yellow crookneck squash bred by Johnny’s, and is my new favorite yellow squash. We’ve been enjoying most of these fresh, though I have frozen a few for later use in soups. They’re hanging out with three White Scallop squash in the below photo. The Tempest plant is still hanging on too, which another plus for it.

Tempest and White Scallop squash

Tempest and White Scallop squash

But summer squash rarely last all summer here, usually giving in to squash bugs or stem rot, and this year even mildew has set in early. To keep us supplied in summer-like squash I planted Tromba d’Albenga and Tatume. The tromboncino type squash is fairly popular, but Tatume is a bit lesser known. It’s a Mexican heirloom that can be used at both the immature and matures stages, though we harvest them while immature and use like big round zucchini. I especially like them sliced and grilled, though they are also useful for stuffing. It also seems to stand up to our summer heat and humidity better than some cucurbits.

Tatume squash

Tatume squash

And speaking of cucurbits, the cucumbers are still coming on strong. I got enough of the pickling types to make several jars of refrigerator dill pickles. It’s Vertina in the below photo, and it’s a bit later to produce than Excelsior. These are just the right size for the stacker-style sliced pickles, which is what I made with most of them.

Vertina cucumbers

Vertina cucumbers

We’re getting a nice supply of slicing types from the greenhouse planting too. It’s the thin-skinned Beit Alpha type Socrates and the dark green slicer Corinto in the below photo. They are two of my favorites for growing in the summer greenhouse.

Socrates and Corinto cucumbers

Socrates and Corinto cucumbers

The bush beans are slowing down though still giving us a decent harvest. I’ve frozen a few and we’ve eaten the rest of them fresh. I planted Derby and Purple King this spring, and I plan on sowing more Derby plus Mascotte and Castandel for a fall planting. The pole beans are blooming now and we should get our first taste of them soon. I had a hard time getting a good stand of them because the seeds were rotting in the ground due to all the rain. I replanted the bare spots, and those rotted too! So I gave up, since I thought it was too late to be sowing pole beans. I’ll give the fall bush beans a bit more space than I did for the spring crop and hope for better germinating conditions. Isn’t that what gardeners always do, hope for better conditions?

bush beans

bush beans

The eggplants are loving the heat and humidity, even while I’m not! I’ve got our old favorites like the pinkish-purple Dancer and striped Fairy Tale planted plus a couple of newcomers like the white skinned Paloma. This batch got grilled, and our first taste of Paloma has me wanting more. The flesh is white inside with few seeds, and was mild and tender after grilling.

harvest of eggplant

harvest of eggplant

Tomatoes are slowly coming on. We’re still waiting on the first slicing types but the small fruited ones are ripening now. It’s a trio of AAS Winners in the below photo, Midnight Snack, Jasper and Valentine. All three of these varieties have resisted splitting despite our rainy weather, which is a a big plus.

Midnight Snack, Valentine and Jasper

Midnight Snack, Valentine and Jasper

Valentine is a 2018 AAS Winner, and the vines of this red grape tomato are loaded with tasty fruit! We’ve been enjoying them on salads, and they also made an appearance on some fish tacos last week.

Valentine tomato

Valentine tomato

The heading broccoli is done for, but the sprouting types Artwork and Apollo are still making side shoots. The quality isn’t quite what it would be in cooler weather, but still edible. I’ll let the plants go for a bit longer until I need the space to replant for some fall kale.

Artwork and Apollo broccoli

Artwork and Apollo broccoli

I dug the I’itoi multiplier onions last week. Each onion might be small, but the overall harvest is huge! Each bulb you plant keeps splitting and splitting until it forms a clump. The below photo shows one of the larger clumps I dug up. I mostly pull these as green onions, making sure to let some of them grow on to make bulbs for replanting. I’ll replant in a month or so, and you can see some have already begun sprouting. I may pick some of those early sprouters and plant them in a container to give us some early onions.

clump of I

clump of I’itoi multiplier onions

And lastly, the smallest harvest of the week has to be these Thai hot peppers! I was given the seeds for these back in 2011 by the instructor of a Thai cooking class my wife and I took. I need to save seed from them, so I kept them in isolation when the first flowers appeared and I will use those first ripe fruits to save for seed. I have no idea what cultivar it is, so I just call it a Thai Bird pepper. They are blazing hot, and one or two go a long way in adding a bit of heat to a dish. The plants are decorative too, and if anyone is interested in the seeds I plan on sharing it later this year.

Thai Bird peppers

Thai Bird peppers

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 of any size or shape you want to share, add your name and blog link to Mr Linky below. And please be sure and check out what everyone is harvesting!


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