Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. It’s still tomato season here, and they are still keeping me busy processing them. On Wednesday I harvested a gallon bucket of Juliet, almost five pounds total. The vines have slowed down a bit, but that’s okay by me since I’ve gotten plenty off my plants already. In addition to fresh use, so far I’ve made Juliet into sauces and I’ve dehydrated them.
I turned all of this batch into Slow Roasted Tomatoes. For that I cut them in half, spread them out on three baking sheets, drizzled with olive oil then baked for three hours in a 250°F oven. It made four cups of roasted tomatoes, and I put them into the freezer for later use. We use these on pasta and pizza, and in casseroles where they give a big tomato taste. You could also add herbs or salt before roasting, but I find they have plenty of flavor by themselves.
I also got enough paste tomatoes to make a batch of Roasted Tomato Sauce. It’s a mix of varieties here, including Marzano Fire which has been a shy producer for me this year. This has been a year when the hybrid tomatoes have really shown their worth, and many (or most) of the open-pollinated ones have done poorly. I will take that into consideration when planning next year’s garden, and many of the ones that failed to perform this year will not be back. Tough love is sometimes needed in the garden!
For slicing tomatoes, a whole bunch of the Garden Treasures came ripe about the same time. These hybrid red slicers have a great taste, and always produce well for me. The seed is not available commercially at present, but Proven Winners should be selling the seed and plants next year for Garden Treasure and Garden Gem. Meanwhile I have enough seed to plant both here next year, and I plan to do just that. I got my seeds by making a $10 donation to the University of Florida tomato breeding program, but I’m not sure what seeds they are giving out now.
Several of the winter squashes seemed ready to harvest last week, so I brought them inside to cure. I cut two Tromba d’Albenga while I was at it. They’re hanging out with a Tetsukabuto, four Thelma Sanders and five Gill’s Golden Pippin squashes. It’s my first time growing the heirloom acorn squash Gill’s Golden Pippin. According to the listing at Adaptive Seeds (where I got my seeds), they are “five times more flavorful than most acorn squash, but about half the size.” Even allowing for the usual seed company hyperbole, I am hopeful they will be a tasty addition to our winter squash lineup.
I grew Thelma Sanders last year and we really enjoyed it roasted, but some were too large to enjoy in one sitting. The smaller size of Gill’s Golden Pippin should be a plus in the kitchen. I’ll let them cure for about a month before we get our first taste of them.
I got a more hot peppers last week, including the aptly named Kimchi and Gochugaru plus a lot of the Thai Bird peppers. All three of these are growing in containers and giving me plenty of peppers for drying. I dehydrated the Thai peppers whole, but ground up the Kimchi and Gochugaru after saving seeds from them and dehydrating. I’m getting a good amount of ground pepper flakes for making kimchi later on when I have cabbage from the garden.
I also got a big harvest of Cayennetta hot peppers. I’ve also got these 2012 AAS Winners growing in a container, where they do quite well for me. I’m going to turn these into a homemade Chili Garlic Sauce, but first I’m going to ferment them for about a week. Fermenting gives them a bit of extra flavor, and it also means the finished sauce will keep longer. I’ll be cutting the peppers in half then salting overnight (5% salt by weight) before packing in a jar to ferment, as I described a few years back in Fermented Pepper Mash. After fermenting the peppers can also easily be turned into hot sauce.
I’m still saving seed from select pepper varieties that I have isolated to prevent cross pollination. This time it was Aji Angelo, a mildly hot red baccatum pepper. I got quite a few seeds from the five peppers, then I added them to the Cayennetta peppers for fermenting. I decided to add a watermark to the below photo because my pics of Aji Angelo peppers have been stolen more than a dozen times and used to sell seeds on Ebay, Amazon and recently a Swedish seed company. I’d be happy to let them use my pics, if they would only ask!
The pole beans haven’t slowed down yet, and one new face made an appearance last week. I got a pound of the NT Half Runner beans. These are another of the heirloom beans I am growing from the Sustainable Mountain Agriculture Center. The NT stand for “non-tough”, and are a special strain of half runner beans that remain tender even when the pods are full and the beans inside are big.
I’m getting a steady supply of the purple podded Bluehilde beans now too. And as Lou (Rainbow Chard) pointed out last week, the pods on mine are a bit flatter than hers, which tells me perhaps the strain is a bit variable. Some of mine are more round than others, so that would seem to be the case. In the below photo I’m holding a couple of the really flat pods I found. Some of mine do have strings, despite the Baker Creek catalog listing that says they are “stringless, even at 10 inches long”. Oh well, I don’t mind stringing them, since many of the other pole beans I’m growing have strings. I have had issues in the past with Baker Creek seeds not being true to type, so who knows if I really have Blauhilde bean or not!
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!