Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. First let me say this will the last Harvest Monday post from Ourhappyacres.com. Next week, please visit Happyacres.blog for Harvest Monday and to linkup with Mister Linky. And please go to that blog for all future posts from me. I intend to redirect traffic from Ourhappyacres.com to Happyacres.blog to help ease the transition. The new blog is up and running, with only a few cosmetic details to be worked out, so please check it out if you have a chance. And if you are subscribed to my blog here, you will need to resubscribe at Happyacres.blog. Mailchimp subscribers will continue to receive email updates from the new blog without doing a thing. Now on to the harvests!
The garden is keeping me busy while I prepare for fall plantings, as the summer crops keep rolling in! I got more paste tomatoes last week (almost 10 pounds), and another big bucket of Juliet tomatoes which weighed 4 pounds. I used all of them to make a big batch of unseasoned tomato sauce for the freezer, and another small batch of marinara sauce for fresh eating. It’s a real treat for me to have fresh sauce, and I try and make it often while the tomatoes are in season.
Eggplants are still producing well too. There’s the white skinned Clara and Paloma along with the light purple Dancer and the blackish Galine and Nadia in the below photo. More on them a bit later.
Pole beans are coming in now too. They got off to a terrible start, but I guess reports of their death were greatly exaggerated (by me)! Robe Mountain is the earliest of the Appalachian heirloom beans I am growing, and I got enough of them last week for a couple of meals. This variety first appeared as a mutant bean in a planting of greasy beans, and author/grower Bill Best tells the whole story on the Sustainable Mountain Agriculture Center website. It is a very tasty bean, tender and flavorful, and even though it has strings they come off easily when prepping the pods. Not pictured is a harvest of Musica and Gold Marie beans which went into the freezer for later eating.
I brought in a couple more tromboncinos and another Tatume squash last week. I’m getting just enough of both of these to keep us well supplied, but so not enough to have a glut. We use these like summer squash, and the Tatume got grilled for a side dish.
Some of the tromboncino met up with the above mentioned fresh marinara sauce plus a couple of the eggplants when I baked Eggplant Rollatini for dinner one night. I sliced the eggplant, then baked just long enough until they were pliable. Then I stuffed them with a mixture that included cottage cheese, grated Parmesan, some sauteed tromboncino and an egg for a binder. I topped that all of with the marinara sauce and baked it, and added a bit of mozzarella cheese at the end. It made for a very tasty dish, and I am sorry my wife was not there to enjoy it with me. I will make it again the next time we have the eggplant. It also freezes well, and I froze the leftovers.
I’ve been getting a steady supply of slicing tomatoes too. Perfect Flame is from the Heirloom Marriage line of tomatoes, and is a hybrid cross between Jaune Flamme and Peron. It’s not a big tomato, but it has big flavor! It’s my first time growing it but I think it will be back next year. I love Jaune Flamme, but gave up growing it after several years of it failing to grow and produce for me.
Big Brandy is another from that line, and it is a hybrid cross between Brandywine and Big Dwarf. It’s my second year growing this one, and so far it is my favorite of the ‘hybrid Brandywine’ types I have grown. The flavor is excellent, and while the tomatoes are a bit rough looking they are big and the plants are productive. This batch wound up on several sandwiches last week, including a BLT.
I’ve growing four of the Chef’s Choice series this year, all of them AAS Winners. Chef’s Choice Red is a 2018 winner, and has been very productive for me.
Chef’s Choice Yellow and Chef’s Choice Pink are big beefsteak type tomatoes. A slice of either one of these two will cover your sandwich completely! Chef’s Choice Orange is smaller, but just as tasty.
And finally, I got around to doing some tasting of the kimchi peppers I am growing this year. I dehydrated them first, then ground them up in the electric spice grinder. Then I laid them all out on a plate with label so I could tell them apart. I am looking for something with a lot of flavor but not too much heat. Armed with a tall glass of liquid, I began the tasting. The differences in heat levels were subtle, and none were too hot though all were a bit hotter than the commercial gochugaru flakes I bought. I have to say the jury is still out on which is my favorite! The open pollinated Kimchi and Gochugaru peppers are at the top of my list, and I have saved seeds from them. But the hybrid Korean Winner is also tasty and not too hot. Last year I grew Lady Choi and it was too hot for me, but this year seems less hot. I do think more tasting with more peppers will be needed! It will be several months before I make more kimchi, so there’s no rush.
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!