Harvest Monday October 22, 2018

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.

Rancho Marques squash

Rancho Marques squash

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.

Turkeyneck squashes

Turkeyneck squashes

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.

assortment of sweet peppers

assortment of sweet peppers

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.

Aji Rico peppers

Aji Rico peppers

Aji Rico

Aji Rico

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.

Kimchi hot peppers

Kimchi hot peppers

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.

Thai hot peppers

Thai hot peppers

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.

baccatum peppers

baccatum peppers

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.

Numex peppers for smoking

Numex peppers for smoking

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.

NT Half Runner beans

NT Half Runner beans

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.

Topper and Hakurei turnips

Topper and Hakurei turnips

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.

Apollo broccoli

Apollo broccoli

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!

 

 


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12 Responses to Harvest Monday October 22, 2018

  1. Sue Garrett says:

    Good to have fresh broccoli at this time of year.

  2. Will - Eight Gate Farm - NH says:

    Beautiful harvests as usual. I was just reading about Sugar Rush Peach peppers in the Baker Creek catalog. I didn’t remember you posting about them before, so I looked back and saw indeed that you discussed them in the August 13 post. So maybe I will get a month’s worth if I try them next year. Do you find that Biggie Chili has advantages over Anaheim? Oh, and that 24 pound squash. If you save seeds I know someone who might like some (hint hint).

    • Dave @ HappyAcres says:

      In most years Biggie Chili does better, but in some the Anaheim does as well. They do look a lot alike, so much so I couldn’t tell them apart if the plants weren’t labeled.

      I will save a few seeds from the big Rancho Marques squash if you are interested. I can’t guarantee it was self-pollinated though, since I did have two other moschatas (Tromboncino and Turkeyneck) flowering in the garden at the same time.

  3. You could feed a Thanksgiving crowd with that 24 pound squash! Hope it’s tasty. It’s good to have a reliable broccoli that performs consistently. For my garden, that’s Premium Crop with incredibly large heads and nearly endless side shoots. It puts out new basal plants and would continue as a perennial if I gave it space.

  4. Margaret says:

    When it come to your winter squash harvest, I think “well supplied” is quite the understatement – that squash is gargantuan! One way I love to use up squash – and one of the few ways my kids will eat it – is in a creamy risotto but that would be a LOT of risotto!

  5. Michelle says:

    A 24 pound squash! I’m glad you sun drying efforts worked. Do you find the sun-dried peppers to be different from dehydrated ones? It’s interesting that there are so many Aji peppers available now, it wasn’t that many years ago that Aji seeds were very difficult to find. They are such good peppers. I harvested a big bunch of Sugar Rush Peach peppers last week, enough to ferment to make a batch of hot sauce. After removing the seeds and cores I found that my SRP peppers were not too spicy.

    • Dave @ HappyAcres says:

      My SRP peppers were still pretty spicy after removing seeds and membranes, but the Aji Golden and Kaleidoscope should temper that somewhat.

      The sun dried Kimchi peppers are a bit sweeter and have less heat than ones I dehydrated. The lower heat level is a puzzle to me. I have a few peppers left from the same harvest and I will dehydrate those to see if maybe the lower heat is due to growing conditions, and not the drying. method. Either way, I want to experiment with more sun drying nect year, and I have ideas to make a small solar dryer using some reflective bubble wrap material I got for the greenhouse.

  6. Most impressive squash harvest, Dave… just as well it is such a versatile vegetable!

  7. Lorraine Barnett says:

    Dave, you could invite all of us over for thanksgiving to enjoy that big squash….just a thought. I wanted to share with you my tomato totals, now that a freeze has ended my plants. I had 11 of your Stripey Rogue Marzanos planted and they gave me a total of 110 pounds of tomatoes! Not bad, eh? We loved them. They were nice sliced but really did lovely as sauce. Thanks so much for sharing them!! My aji goldens were unbelievable prolific!! I couldn’t keep up with them. 🙂

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