It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. It’s still berry season for us, and we have been enjoying the fresh blueberries and blackberries on a daily basis. We generally only harvest every other day though, sometimes every third day depending on the weather. My wife picks the blueberries, while I take care of the blackberries. I am trialing Osage and Sweetie Pie thornless blackberries, and both have been giving us loads of tasty, sweet berries. We have quite a few blueberries planted here, but Chandler and Elizabeth are two of our favorites.
The squash and cucumbers need to be harvested on a daily basis now. We’re getting a good variety of shapes, sizes and colors. I am freezing quite a few for later use in soups, stews and smoothies. And we are eating them fresh almost every day.
I have several winter squashes growing that are mostly used in the green stage. Early Bulam is a Korean avocado squash that has drier flesh than most summer squashes and a rich flavor. We use this one roasted or sauteed, and I am thinking the shape would be suitable for stuffing as well. Centercut is a neck pumpkin/tromboncino type that I like at both the immature green stage and as a mature squash. We most often roast the green ones in a cast iron skillet, which brings out the flavor in the dry-fleshed and savory fruit.
The container planted eggplant is keeping us well supplied while we wait for the in-ground plantings to fruit. I am growing three AAS Winners this year: Fairy Tale, Gretel and Patio Baby. The striped Fairy Tale is a longtime favorite, while the white skinned Gretel has equaled it in recent taste tests my wife and I have done. I made a roasted vegetable bowl one day last week for lunch and these eggplant had a starring role, along with some of the Centercut squash. I pulled the last of the Kossak kohlrabi too, and it has been a great year for kohlrabi so far. I will replant in a month or so for a fall crop.
The spring cabbages didn’t do quite as well as the kohlrabi, but we have had plenty to eat. The flathead Tendersweet is one of my favorites for fresh use, and this one weighed a bit over two pounds with minimal insect or slug damage.
I also made a tabouli salad for lunch one day, which featured a lot of our flatleaf parsley plus a couple of the Red Racer tomatoes. I use the whole grain red bulgur which I find makes a great tabouli salad, along with other dishes too.
I pulled what will be the last of the Slobolt lettuce from the greenhouse. It is too hot in there to grow green in summer, so I will replant this fall when the temperatures moderate.
Our Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) is buzzing with bees every day now. We brought it home from a native plant sale in Berea, KY four years ago, and it has grown into a six foot tall shrub that is covered in round white blooms. Butterflies are also attracted to the blooms, but right now it is mostly bees feeding on the nectar.
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!
We tried Center Cut last year but it didn’t do that well for us, I think it’s just too cold here in summer. Classic Tromboncino seems to do a little better, but courgette varieties adapted well to the UK climate do best. We have one blueberry nearly ripe!
The Centercut no doubt likes our hot summers, but then so does Tromboncino. I have trouble growing the C. maxima squashes which don’t seem to like our conditions.
I wouldn’t ever go back to a blackberry with thorns, far too painful when picking and pruning
All of our blackberries are thornless Sue, though I did plant a Marionberry last year that is thorny. I will have to remember to wear long sleeves when harvesting them.
Very impressive haul of cucurbits and eggplant. I think the cabbage is lovely. We have buttonbush in our area, but I’ve only seen it in very wet environments like along sluggish streams. I didn’t know it would do well in gardens. Thanks for doing your part to help the pollinators!
We don’t water the buttonbush, so it must be pretty adaptable. It does give me joy to be working out in the garden and see bees and butterflies all around. And of course the pollinators help out in the veggie garden too!
Love that video Dave. How very different your birdlife sounds to ours! Fabulous harvests again, always about six to eight weeks or so ahead of us here, so almost a glimpse of some of ours to come, although I doubt my blueberries will be anywhere near as good as yours!
I sometimes take the bird sounds for granted Kathy. Then I record a video and there they are – always!
Nice to have the videos at the end of your posts and to see flowering plants that do well for you. Your meals must be quite varied these days.