Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. It’s still bean and pepper season here, and both have been keeping me busy lately. I harvest the pole beans every couple of days or so, and this week I got a nice haul of the Robe Mountain greasy beans. It’s been a great year for beans here, despite the problems I had early on with germination. It looks like we may surpass even last year’s epic harvest. I may need to either plant less in the future, or else eat more beans!
I also got the first harvest of the fall planted Mascotte beans. These filet type beans are a 2014 AAS Winner, and it’s my first time growing them. I don’t usually grow filet type beans since I think they sometimes get tough too quickly, but Mascotte seems to be quite tender so far. The plants are loaded with flowers and developing pods too.
In pepper land, I got a big harvest of Red Ember peppers last week. This one is a 2018 AAS Winner, and the peppers are thicker and a bit bigger than most cayenne types.
I’ve had two jars of peppers fermenting on the kitchen counter for a week now. One has sweet peppers that I plant to turn into a fermented pepper paste. The other has a mix of sweet and hot peppers, plus onion and garlic that will be a fermented pepper salsa. I’m using the silicone Fermilids which allow CO2 gas to escape but keep oxygen out. I’m hoping this will help prevent Kahm yeast from forming on the surface, which happens to me occasionally when fermenting peppers. The yeast is harmless, but it can lead to an off aroma or taste in the finished product. I used some of the Red Ember hot peppers plus Carmen and Cornito Giallo sweet peppers for the pepper salsa.
I also got a few more of the Nora peppers. Nora is a sweet pepper used for making Spanish pimenton (paprika) powder. Though the peppers are small, they have thick walls, so they make more powder than you might think. The plants are loaded with green ones too, so there will be more to come. I dehydrate these whole, and remove the seeds before grinding up into powder. I got the seeds for planting from Secret Seed Cartel.
And I also harvested a good bit of the Kaleidoscope peppers for dehydrating. These baccatum peppers have little to no heat, and I’ve never tried drying them and grinding into powder. I usually pickle them or use them fresh, but the overwintered plant is loaded with so many peppers I need to get creative. They dried quickly, and the powder is sweet tasting with no heat at all.
I cut the first two of the Turkeyneck hybrid winter squash last week. They were even bigger than I expected, and the two together weighed in right at 18 pounds. There are at least 6 more of them on the vines too. The neck is solid flesh, and makes a tasty puree when baked and processed. I’ll let these cure for a bit before we use them for anything.
I also found one more of the Gill’s Golden Pippin acorn squash. It was hiding in plain sight on the vine, because the bright gold color really stands out. I’m hoping to get our first taste of these soon, since some have been curing for a month or so now. It’s my wife’s week to cook, but I would gladly help prepare these for her (hint, hint) so we could get a taste.
In non-harvest news, I bottled up the first batch of kombucha I made using hibiscus tea. The tea is naturally caffeine free and has a tart flavor and lovely red color, and the finished kombucha keeps the color nicely. I have one bottle of raspberry and one plain hibiscus kombucha in the below photo. I’ve tasted both of them, and I have to say I’m a fan. I’ve got another batch brewing already. The raspberry flavor is sort of a shocker. The raspberry flavor is there, but with no sweetness at all. I want to use raspberries in regular kombucha next.
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. There are no rules or regulations, and wonky veggies are always as welcome as the prize winners. And please be sure and check out what everyone is harvesting, or wishing they were harvesting!