Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The cold weather continued last week, and we got a couple of light frosts early in the week. They didn’t seem to hurt the garden, but I harvested a lot of cold sensitive veggies as a precaution. I cut a monster Rancho Marques squash that weighed in at 24 pounds. I put it next to a smaller 9 pounder in the below photo for comparison. I’ve only gotten three fruits from the vines, but they have all been big. I have no idea what they will taste like, and as a moschata type they are supposed to get sweeter in storage. But what will we do with a 24 pound squash?!? I really want to find more uses for it in savory recipes.
I also cut three more of the Turkeyneck squashes. It has been a prolific producer this year, though the vines are long and rambling all over the garden fencing and onto the pole bean trellis. These three weighed 28 pounds total. It’s been a good year for winter squash overall, and we are well supplied.
And I picked all the ripe peppers I could find before the first frost. I got a selection of sweet ones, including Sweetie Pie, Orange Blaze, Jimmy Nardello, Escamillo and Carmen. We’ve been enjoying these every which way, including raw, roasted and added to a big pot of chili I made for dinner one night.
I got quite a few hot ones too. I have Aji Rico growing in a container, and I plucked all the ripe peppers off of it before I trimmed back the plant and brought it indoors for the winter. These 2017 AAS Winners are a mildly hot hybrid baccatum pepper, and I plan to make a fermented hot sauce with this batch.
I picked a basket full of the Kimchi peppers I have growing in a container. I have already dehydrated plenty of these for my kimchi making needs, so I decided to try drying them in the sun. Our weather is cooler and less humid now, and I thought it might be a good time to try this method. I cut the thin walled peppers open and removed the seeds before I spread them out on a dehydrator tray and put them out in the sun. I brought them in at night, and they dried in about four days. And speaking of kimchi, I ate some from a batch I made last November, and while it had lost much of it’s crunch it still had a great flavor. I like it medium hot, but not as hot as most commercial kimchi I have tasted, and I am looking forward to trying these peppers to make a batch soon.
I got quite a few Thai hot peppers, again from a container grown plant. These little jewels are fiery hot, but they are so small you can use one in a dish and it only adds a touch of heat. I’ve been using a lot of them in kombucha, where one pepper gives just a little kick to a 16 ounce bottle. I usually pair them with a slice of lemon and a sprig of Thai basil and call it Spicy Thai Basil kombucha. I dried quite a few of them so I can make this in the winter months.
I got a mixed bag of baccatum peppers, including Aji Golden and Kaleidoscope plusd a few of the Sugar Rush Peach. I put them all in with the Aji Rico peppers for fermenting. I’m hoping to get a mild hot sauce with the characteristic fruity taste the baccatum peppers have, though the Sugar Rush peppers are quite hot on their own.
I pulled all the Anaheim and Biggie Chili peppers I could find for smoking. I threw in a few jalapenos too, and I had enough peppers to make two rounds of it. I love the smoked green Numex peppers, and I use the powder a lot at the table to add a bit of smoky heat.
Other than peppers, I made one last picking of the pole beans. The Appalachian heirlooms are the only ones still going, and I got 3.5 pounds of them this time. The NT Half Runner bean has been the most productive of any bean this year, and my 4 foot planting along the trellis has yielded over 13 pounds of beans. We put a lot of these in the freezer for later use.
With cooler weather here, I am starting to harvest the first of the fall planted cool season veggies. I pulled enough Topper and Hakurei turnips to make a batch of turnips greens, with a few roots thrown in as well. Topper makes lots of green but no edible roots, while Hakurei is a white ‘salad’ turnip with small, sweet tasting roots. They’ll be better after a few frosts and freezes though, and we got our first full freeze on Saturday night. That had me scurrying with last minute work to bring in all the frost sensitive plants.
I cut two main heads that were ready on the Apollo broccoli. It’s a broccolini type, with tender stems, and we roasted these in a cast iron skillet for a side dish. I love Apollo and Artwork so much I am considering growing more of them next spring. I set out two plants of each this fall, and I might double that next year.
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, or wishing they were harvesting!