Harvest Monday September 17, 2018

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!

Robe Mountain beans

Robe Mountain 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.

Mascotte beans

Mascotte beans

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.

Red Ember peppers

Red Ember peppers

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.

peppers fermenting

peppers fermenting

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.

Nora peppers

Nora peppers

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.

Kaleidoscope peppers

Kaleidoscope peppers

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.

Turkeyneck winter squash

Turkeyneck winter squash

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.

Gills Golden Pippin squash

Gills Golden Pippin squash

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.

hibiscus flower kombucha

hibiscus flower kombucha

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!


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12 Responses to Harvest Monday September 17, 2018

  1. Sue Garrett says:

    Not a good year for beans for us – in fact one of the worst I remember.

  2. Jane Strong says:

    Not a good year for growing anything. I never knew, for example, that alliums – chives, garlic chives and variegated society garlic – needed chill, but they produced only a few leaves and no blossoms. Whine, whine (translation=whinge, whinge). But I like blue flower omelette and look forward to it every spring!

  3. Will - Eight Gate Farm - NH says:

    I for one am a fan of filet beans, just at the size you picked. I like the crunch! The Red Ember peppers look like a winner, and more productive than the heirloom cayenne variety (Maule’s Red Hot) that I grow. I really wonder what fermented salsa tastes like, and how it differs from canned fresh or cooked salsa. Your squash continues to amaze me. And the kombucha tea is making me thirsty!

    • Dave @ HappyAcres says:

      I’ve grown Maule’s Red Hot, and I believe the Red Ember has been more productive. I can’t say how the heat level compares, but Red Ember is plenty hot for my tastes!

      I just tasted the pepper salsa, and it is yummy! It is tart from the fermenting, slightly salty, and good on its own. I think it would work well added to tomatoes for salsa too.

  4. shaheen says:

    I am envious of your beans, we didn’t do so well this year. Good to see you still have them coming, we are enjoying tomatoes. I’d love to know how you made your kombucha, did you have a starter, or did you make it from scratch.

  5. Michelle says:

    I may have to try Mascotte beans next year, I love filet beans and they are so expensive at the farmer’s market. And those are bush beans so I can grow them in rodent resistant cages! I love te color of that hibiscus kombucha.

  6. Lorraine Barnett says:

    Dave, when I got to the picture of the hibiscus kombucha, my mouth actually started watering! The color is just gorgeous! I’ve done second ferment on plain kombucha with my fresh raspberries and it was really scrumptious. Your beans!!! Wow! We usually have great beans but our weather this year has been epic fail for many of my crops. All my beans got that rust (virus?) and it just withered the plants and makes the beans look terrible. Have you ever battled with this? I’m wondering if it will stay in the soil for next year? I mulch with wood chips and leaves so I don’t have bare soil under the beans. Ah well. We’ll try again next season.

    • Dave @ HappyAcres says:

      Thanks Lorraine! Thankfully I have not had issues with rust here on my beans. Bean beetles and Japanese beetles have been my only problems this year, and both were manageable.

  7. Beans R definitely not us this year, so it is good to see how well yours have grown Dave. And it might not be harvest exactly, but that hibiscus kombucha sounds amazing!

  8. Shawn Ann says:

    Nice pumpkin and pepper varieties! I am no longer picking many bush or pole beans. Some noodle beans though. The Kombucha looks yummy! I need to do a second ferment today! Hope I have time and energy to get to it!

  9. Phuong says:

    Those are some massive winter squash, and it’s great that you’re still getting lots of green beans and peppers. I have lots of peppers in the fridge I haven’t cooked yet, so didn’t get out to pick anymore this week. I’m planning on harvesting the sweet potatoes September 29th, I can’t wait to see what’s been hiding in the soil.

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