Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The pole beans took a break last week, just in time as the fall planting of bush beans started bearing in their place. I got a harvest of all the bush beans I have planted now, about four pounds total. I’m trialing three new ones this fall, but I have been growing Derby for years, and it does well for me in both spring and fall.
It’s my first time growing Castandel. The pods are a bit more slender than Derby, and with a lighter green color. This one has been called the ‘weekend bean’ since it is supposed to allow you more time between pickings. I think I will keep to my usual schedule of harvesting every several days though.
It’s also my first time growing Jade 2 and Mascotte. In the below photo they are all lined up for comparison, and from left to right we have Jade 2, Castandel, Derby and Mascotte. I should have put a ruler there for scale, but the first three beans are five to six inches long, while Mascotte is around four inches. We did a taste test on Jade 2 and Castendel, first roasting them in a cast iron skillet for one meal then cooking each in water with a bit of onion and a slice of bacon for seasoning for another two meals. I also steamed some of the Mascotte beans to add to a salad. My wife and I enjoyed all the treatments, and I look forward to more tastings of these beans.
The Tromba di Albenga (aka Tromboncino) has been keeping us well supplied with squash since early summer. I have to confess though that the vines have escaped the trellis, and are now wandering over the garden. It’s okay, because they are the only squash left in that area. I guess I will need to be more diligent next year in keeping them confined. The Rancho Marques vine that has been growing along the fencing has also made a run to the empty squash trellises, so it and the Tromboncino vines will likely be meeting up somewhere soon!
I’m still getting a steady supply of ripe peppers from the garden. Last week I sampled three heirloom varieties, the orange Dolce di Minervino and the red Criolla de Cocina and Jimmy Nardello. I grilled them for my lunch one day, and while all were tasty I have to say Jimmy Nardello is my favorite. It is one of the sweetest peppers I have ever eaten, and great for grilling or sauteeing. I’ve also dried them in the past, but this year we have been eating all of them fresh. I did a Variety Spotlight on them back in 2013, and I love the back story about this family heirloom pepper and how the Nardiello family brought seeds with them when they immigrated to the U.S. from Italy in 1887.
Hot peppers are ripening too, and I’ve been dehydrating a lot of them. In the below photo there’s Aji Golden, Czech Black and Korean Hot. I dehydrated the Aji Golden and Korean Hot, and ground them up into flakes. I’ve been using the Aji Golden as a table seasoning, and it has a mild sweet flavor. The Korean Hot pepper flakes are for kimchi.
The Czech Black peppers are much like jalapenos in size and heat. They start off blackish green in color, and turn red when fully ripe. I’ve got a potted plant from last year that survived the winter indoors, and has been fruiting ever since early spring. If I had more than a few at a time I might smoke them, but so far I’ve been using these fresh.
We cooked up some of the winter squash last week. First up was Gill’s Golden Pippin, the small acorn squash with a golden orange skin. I cut them in half and baked them, and they were amazingly sweet for an acorn squash, or any other squash for that matter. This one is a keeper, though I didn’t get any pics of the cooked squash. Next up we roasted a Honeyboat delicata and a smallish Thelma Sanders acorn squash. I cut these into rounds and spritzed with olive oil before roasting on a baking sheet. Last year the Honeyboat I grew was bitter and strong tasting, so this year I got seeds from a difference source (Adaptive Seeds). This year they are sweet and tasty, even sweeter than the Gill’s Golden Pippin and Thelma Sanders. I only got a few of the delicatas, but we will savor each one of them soon since they aren’t good keepers.
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!