Harvest Monday July 8, 2019

It’s time for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The weather has been hot, humid and rainy here in July, and we’ve had small amounts of rain every day so far this month. The summer veggies seem to be loving it, even if this gardener isn’t! I’ve harvested quite a bit of summer squash, over 40 pounds so far, and I’ve frozen quite a bit for later use and we’ve given some away to friends. The yellow squash Tempest has been quite productive, and we continue to enjoy eating it every which way we can.

summer squashes

summer squashes

I’m also getting the first of the White Scallop squashes. These are a Native American heirloom, also known as pattypan squash. They were a favorite of my mother, and I learned to like them at an early age. They have a different flavor than other summer squashes, and if I have extras I will freeze them for later use in soups.

White Scallop squashes

Another heirloom squash I harvested last week is the Tatume. This one is popular in Mexico, and does well here in our hot and humid summers. I like to slice these and grill them, and young ones can be prepared much like you would zucchini. I did a Variety Spotlight on it last year if you want more information about it. This one was hiding from me and got a little larger than I like. I usually harvest them a big smaller before the seeds start to get big. It was still quite edible though, and the flesh and skin were still tender even if the seeds had started to develop.

Tatume squash

The cucumbers are producing despite hot conditions inside the greenhouse. I’ve gotten quite a few slicing types lately, including the green Nokya, white Itachi and the Beit Alpha type Socrates. We enjoy these on salads and turned into refrigerator pickles, which makes for a cool side dish on a hot day. I also made a yogurt raita to go with a meal, which was cool and tasty.

slicing cucumbers from the greenhouse

It’s my first time growing the white skinned Itachi. According to Johnny’s Selected Seeds, it’s an Asian type cuke with crispy bitter-free flesh and a small seed cavity. Like all the cucumbers I grow in the greenhouse, it’s parthenocarpic and doesn’t need pollination to set fruit. It’s doing well so far, and we’re enjoying the fruits, so I believe it will make an attractive addition to the lineup in the future.

Itachi cucumber

It’s proving to be a good year for the blackberries. I’ve picked two gallons so far, and the vines are still loaded with berries. The thornless canes make harvesting a joy compared to the thorny types I used to grow years ago.

Natchez and Apache blackberries

We used some of those berries to make a Blackberry Cobbler last week. We don’t do a lot of sweets here, but this made for a sweet treat that I really enjoyed. I used freshly ground whole grain White Sonora flour to make it.

Blackberry Cobbler

My wife has been picking the blueberries, and it looks to be one of our best years in a while. She has brought in over 11 pounds so far, with more to come. Our biggest producer and best tasting berry is Elizabeth, an old variety named after blueberry expert Elizabeth Coleman White, who set out in the early 1900s to create a variety with an authentic blueberry flavor, and I think she succeeded! I love a plant with a good story, and this blueberry has a great story indeed.

blueberries

The cherries tomatoes are ripening in good numbers now. I planted mix of all colors and shapes, and most are represented in the below photo. The orange one is Sun Sugar, a non-cracking cherry that I think is as tasty as Sun Gold. And the white one is Fire Fly, a 2019 AAS Winner with a great flavor.

cherry tomatoes

One of note is called Amy’s Apricot mix. I got the seeds last year from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, and the plant I set out in 2018 made the expected sweet flavored orange fruits. I saved seeds from those orange tomatoes, and the lone plant I set out this year is making red tomatoes! The folks at SESE warn that it’s an unstable mix and that “Many plants bear red fruits, and a wide range of orange types is present as well.” The good news is that the red ones I’m getting this year have an awesome flavor. I gave one to my wife and she said it had “that old fashioned tomato flavor”, which I think sums it up nicely. I’ll save seeds from this one too, and who knows what next year will bring with this unstable but tasty tomato!

Amy’s Apricot tomato

The container planted Patio Baby and Fairy Tale eggplants continue to give us lots of fruits. We roasted this batch in the oven in a cast iron skillet. This gives much the same flavor as grilling, but without slaving over a hot grill out in the heat! I’ve gotten five pounds from three plants so far, and a later planted fourth plant is just now starting to set fruit.

Fairy Tale and Patio Baby eggplant

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 you want to share, add your name and blog link to Mr Linky below. And be sure and check out what everyone is harvesting!


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11 Responses to Harvest Monday July 8, 2019

  1. Lovely harvests pouring in now Dave, it’s interesting for me to see the transition to abundance that you go through. We don’t have the huge surge that you have, but then again we have relative abundance all year round. We are only harvesting handfulls of summer veg at the moment, where you have baskets, except the berries : All the best – Steve

  2. Sue Garrett says:

    Our harvests are looking more abundant now but the tomatoes are only just flowering. We may harvest our first courgette/zucchini this week though.

  3. Will - Eight Gate Farm - NH says:

    Wow, that’s a lot of squash you’ve gotten. I can see why you might be planning to scale down next year. I’ve never grown pattypan, or even tasted it that I can remember, but I love the look of it. You say it tastes different, is it just that special variety you grow or in general? The red cherry tomatoes look delicious, even if they didn’t grow true to type. That’s part of the fun I guess. I wonder if Itachi cucumber would do well out in the field, because it sure looks and sounds nice.

  4. Roasting veggies in a cast iron skillet is a great idea I’ll have to try. Oh those blackberries! I can just taste that cobbler. True blueberry flavor is something worth pursuing.

  5. Shaheen says:

    Your vegetables do amaze me. The white cucumber – who’duh funk it!? And what a name – fairytale aubergines. Wow! And that is one good looking blackberry cobbler. I am intrigued that your freeze your courgettes/summer squash as I never have concerned that they may retain to much lique. Does that make sense?!

    • Dave @ HappyAcres says:

      To freeze the squash, I cut into slices, blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes then plunge in cold water to cool and dry it off before freezing. We use it mainly in soups and stocks. And I’ve been adding it to my morning fruit smoothies!

  6. Ivynettle says:

    Those white cucumbers look interesting.
    But no! No! I do not need yet another cucumber! I already have too many.

  7. What beautyfull eggplants. I grew special kinds from seed but theonly ones producing are store bought ones. They seem to just stagger in place mine… whats your secret 🙂

    • Dave @ HappyAcres says:

      I have these eggplants growing in containers. The small ones do quite well that way, but I’ve never tried the big ones in pots.

      • Mine are growing in the polytunnel. With renovations and full time job and a garden my pots tend to become very neglected every time. Its amazing my two rose plants in pots are still alive, i think my das secretly waters them 🙂

  8. A wonderful harvest!
    I have never heard of white cucumbers. I planted ‘Burpless Beauty’ cucumber seeds from Burpee, and all 10 seeds came up! More cucumbers than we can eat; I am giving extras to friends. They weigh about 8 oz. each, and have a good crisp flavor. And yes, they really are burpless!
    Happy Gardening!

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