It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. As autumn approaches (according to the calendar), I started harvesting the first of the winter squashes last week. The delicatas are ready, and with our wet conditions we lost a couple of them already to rot. The Honey Boat variety seems to be quite variable, and this year the fruits were on the small side compared to past years. We cooked one up and they are just as tasty though.
Tetra is a hybrid delicata I’m growing again this year, and they turned out larger than the Honey Boats. Delicatas don’t keep very well, and they also don’t need curing like some winter squashes so we will be eating these in the next few weeks. Our favorite treatment is to cut them into slices and roast in the oven.
The third squash I harvested is called Jester, and it has a rounded shape like a Sweet Dumpling squash. It’s hanging out with two of the Honey Boat squashes plus eggplant and a zucchini in the below photo. The summer squash are done for as I finished pulling the vines on Saturday. It was an outstanding year for them as I harvested 140 pounds of them! That means I likely need to plant a bit less next year, though none have gone to waste and the freezer is full. I use the frozen zucchini in my morning smoothies, as well as for winter soups.
We’ve had over seven inches of rain already this month, and the tomatoes are not liking it very much. Wet conditions plus high heat and humidity have many of them rotting on the vines as they ripen. That said, I got enough of the paste tomatoes to cook up another batch of sauce last week for the freezer. I had over 10 pounds of them once I culled out the ones that were bad. The slicers are suffering the most it seems.
The pole beans are setting on and with all the rains the vines are lush and it promises to be a good year for them. Being up off the ground is a virtue during wet conditions. I did sow some bush snap beans for a fall crop.
This red hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus) is blooming in the Wild Garden. The seeds were a gift from two sisters who grew it in their garden that was part of the SWIMGA 2009 garden walk. We’ve been enjoying it here ever since, as have the butterflies and hummingbirds. The blooms only last for a day.
I baked up a sourdough batard last week for sandwiches. I added a bit of freshly milled Yecora Rojo wheat flour to give it extra flavor, and it made for a tasty and crusty loaf. I slice and freeze the leftovers for later use, so we always have some on hand.
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!
How do you know when to harvest the squash Dave? we normally leave ours until the plants die back in late September/early October, but we have some monster Crown Prince already. We’ve had nowhere near your rain, but enough that I’ve not had to water outside for most of the summer.
In the case of the delicatas, they change color a bit and the skin gets hard.
We have had much rain at all. We have had 0.17″ so far this month Love the colour of the hibiscus flower
Hibiscus flower is glorious. And your squashes fill me with envy, i’ve never been able to grow them. Frozen courgettes in smoothie, now that is a good idea.
I use a mix of fruits, along with a couple of slices of frozen squash.
I have grown Honey Boat for the first time this year. They seemed smaller than I was expecting but seeing yours they are about that size. Thank you for the info about them.. sounds like the won’t be one for Christmas then! Good crop of tomatoes there
The rain is good for some crops; not so much for others. Seven inches in a month. In drought years here that’s over two times the amount from October to April. I’m interested in your delicata experience. I like the smaller ones since we consume them sliced and roasted in one meal. I’ll have to poke around and see what the experience is here in SoCal. How many delicatas do you get on each plant. I only got one or two this year but possibly that is because of insufficient sun. I have to think if it is worth the growing space or If I should just buy organic ones at Trader Joe’s in the fall. How have you found to be the best way to freeze zucchini for use in soups? Thanks. Always learning from you.
I got 3 or 4 delicatas per plant this year. They are hard to find here in the grocery so I will likely keep on growing them, since some years they do better than others. I slice the zucchini, blanch for 3 minutes, cool and drain. Then I freeze in a single layer on cookie sheet or pizza pan covered in freezer paper. That lets me break them into (mostly) individual pieces.
Tetra squash was bred to be good in the immature stage to be eaten like summer squash, did you try any that way? I got some seed from a friend and have 1 plant growing and it’s just starting to set some squash. I didn’t grow any other winter squash this year but have plenty of summer squash so I’m considering just letting the Tetra squash fully mature. It’s sad that the wet weather is taking such a toll on your garden.
We had plenty of summer squash so I wasn’t tempted to try the Tetras before maturity. For whatever reason, delicatas are finicky to grow here and getting mature ones is always my priority.
Dave, I gotta say, you’re killin’ me with your bread pictures! Bread is my favorite, especially sourdough, and I’m not allowed to eat it anymore. It seems strange to be harvesting “winter” squash so early this year, or is that your usual experience? In any event, it’s a beautiful harvest. And 140 pounds of summer squash is nothing short of monumental.
This is about the normal time here for delicatas. I do love my bread and it would be tough to give it up.
That’s an impressive amount of zucchini! I feel like I’ve cut out about 140 vine borers this year instead of harvesting zucchini. I’ve never grown delicatas before, but they look lovely. It’s been a bit soggy here too, although we’ll have no rain for a week and then three inches the next week, causing the tomatoes to crack. I’m not sure what’s more beautiful.. that hibiscus or that sourdough bread!
I think I have to start harvesting my winter squash this week too – August is incredibly early to do that in Wisconsin! My Red Kuri vines have shriveled and yellowed, so it’s probably time to start curing them.
The bread looks delicious, as always. And the delicata – yum! I think it’s been a few years since I’ve grown some as they have to be protected from borers for at least the beginning part of the season, but one day I’ll make the effort once more.
Do you ever ferment tomatoes and if so, do you have a recipe?