Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. It’s summer time in the Ohio River valley and that means lots of heat and humidity. Some of the summer veggies are loving it, while others are like me and just hanging in there! There were a few new faces in the harvests last week. The sweet peppers have finally started ripening, and the first to come in was Carmen. More should be ripening soon, though it’s too early to tell if it’s going to be a good year for peppers or another bust like last year.
I was also excited to see the first slicing tomatoes ripen. These are Chef’s Choice Yellow, and though they were a little rough looking they were still delicious. We enjoyed a couple of these on the first BLT’s of the year. Another one is going on an eggplant and tomato sandwich for lunch today.
The small fruited tomatoes are ripening as well, and I started dehydrating some of them on Saturday. Another first came from the Musica pole beans. They are hanging out with Sun Sugar and Sunpeach tomatoes in the below photo. I got a few more Musica beans in a couple of days and cooked them up Saturday night. I love this bean, and it is my favorite flat-podded pole bean, always tender and flavorful.
And speaking of eggplant, we’re getting a steady but manageable supply of it. I’m growing the white skin Clara for the first time, and you can see it and the purple Dancer in the below photo. I’d put eggplant in the ‘loving the heat’ camp.
I sliced both of them up, brushed with a little olive oil and grilled them on the gas grill outside. I sometimes sprinkle a little cumin or ground coriander on them but I kept it simple this time with only salt for seasoning. I do believe Clara is a keeper. It was tender and tasty, with no bitterness and few seeds. I’m looking forward to more of it in the future.
I pulled the last of the spring planted cabbage on Monday. These last two were Primo Vantage, and I have to say they have held well in the garden under hot, humid and rainy conditions. I turned one of them into a jar of fermented Curtido, and I hope to share that recipe here soon. The other head is in the refrigerator for now. They both weighed right at 2.5 pounds each, which is a great size for us and also for fermenting. I generally make kraut a jar at a time and really don’t need a giant head of cabbage to deal with.
I also pulled all the spring broccoli plants except Apollo and Artwork, two broccolini types that are still producing. I’ve also let the bush beans go for a bit longer, since they have started to bloom again and are still giving us small but tasty amounts of snap beans. Last year I made a fall planting of beans in August and they did quite well, so I plan on doing that again this year. I’ve got seeds for Derby, Mascotte and Castandel to sow.
Mid-week I got a decent mixed harvest of summer veggies you can see in the below photo. It was the last of the cucumbers I found as I pulled the vines, which had been attacked by spider mites. The next day I replanted a few slicing cucumbers in hopes of getting a fall crop of them. The tomato is Big Brandy, one that did well for me last year. This particular one looked good but lacked much flavor, though it didn’t stop me from eating it!
And last but not least, the paste type tomatoes are starting to ripen. I got several pounds of Juliet and a small bucketful of the short vine types like Viva Italia, Health Kick and Plum Regal. I dehydrated the Juliets and I will make sauce with the others. Once we get a bigger batch of tomatoes will will make some homemade ketchup to replenish our dwindling supplies.
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!
Your produce looks perfect. We don’t tend to get ripe peppers and aubergines (eggplants) until the end of the season and then it is usually touch and go. I wonder whether they will be earlier this year due to all the sunshine.
How I long for the chance to share a pic like your “Harvest of Summer Vegetables.” Still weeks away unfortunately. The Carmen is really a nice-sized pepper, and looks great. So too all the tomatoes. The combination of purple and white eggplant is really attractive. I’d like to grow both varieties next year.
Musica is a fantastic bean for sure. The Dancer and Clara eggplant look like good choices to replace the Lavendar Touch eggplant I’ve been growing for years and is no longer available. It’s looking like a very good year for peppers here in SW Indiana, they seem to be liking the heat.
I am really envious of your summer bounty. All your hard work is certainly paying off. It looks like you’ve got a lot more hard work in store dealing with the bounty. How wonderful.
All that hard work is paying off that you are rewarded with a colourful, flavourful harvest, I have not grown that much this year but am enjoying the little we are getting.
I am admiring you yellow tomatoes and aubergines.
Awesome harvests! Still waiting for that first ripe tomato, so when I see all those rolling off your vines, I’m rather envious 🙂 Like you, I’m just hanging in there when it comes to the heat. We have had a bit of a break from it this week – which has been lovely – but yesterday it was once again a scorcher.
There is nothing to beat the taste of really fresh tomatoes again, is there? What size fruits do you dehydrate Dave? I tried some small ones last year and they all but disappeared, so some advice would be much appreciated please
I usually dry smaller ones and they do get even smaller after drying. But you can also dry paste types, cutting them crossways before drying. I don’t normally try and dry large chunks of tomato because it takes forever to get them dry. I’ve got a photo I’ll share this coming Monday of what they looked like after drying. And here’s a post I did a few years back that shows the tomatoes I use: https://www.ourhappyacres.com/2012/08/dehydrating-tomatoes/