It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. I’m still waiting on main crop tomatoes to ripen, but other than that the harvests here are typical for early summer. We are getting our fill of things like squash, cucumbers, eggplants and bush beans. The first large eggplants made their appearance last week too. Orient Express eggplant is an early-yielder that has done well for me in the past. And Asian Delite has bright purple skin and reminds me of Ping Tung Long.
The squash and cucumbers continue to roll in too. The freezer is about full of squash, and we are looking for new ways to use the fresh ones. We made one casserole last week using spiralized squash that was topped with a ricotta and Parmesan cheese mixture with a little fresh basil added. I neglected to get a photo of it, but it was a keeper.
The baby eggplant is still bearing heavily too. It has been a great year for these container grown plants, and we have gotten right at seven pounds of them so far.
One of the things we made with them last week was an open-faced eggplant sandwich. We often make this with the big purple Italian eggplants, but for this version we cut some of the baby ones in half and roasted until tender. Then we spread hummus on mini naans, added the eggplant and topped with a slice of cheddar cheese. A quick trip under the broiler to melt the cheese and they were ready to eat. My wife and I both gave it two thumbs up, and I can see me making this version again soon!
I got another decent harvest of the Speedy bush beans last week. I have another variety planted (Orient) and they are just now blooming, so the harvest should continue for another couple of weeks at least.
Another favorite here is tabouli salad. I found enough salad tomatoes to add to a generous bit of flatleaf parsley and I made a batch of it for lunch one day. We served it with my wife’s curried chicken salad and some toasted naan bread. It all made for a cool lunch meal on a hot day.
In other news, I recently sowed a row of late black-eyed peas in the veggie garden as an edible cover crop. These should begin bearing in September, and give us enough for fresh eating as well as some for the freezer. After the peas began to sprout last week I mulched along the row with straw covered cardboard, which should stay in place all winter and help keep the weeds down early next year before it’s time to plant something in that spot. Spreading straw is one of my least favorite chores, but I reminded myself it was not a bad way to spend my retirement days! And of course I felt good about it once it was done.
I’ll save the best news for last. Awhile back I asked my artistically talented wife if she could create a flag for our butterfly and pollinator garden, and she finished the project last week. She used a heavy weight waterproof canvas material in different colors in a design of her own creation. It exceeded my wildest expectations, and I couldn’t be happier with the flag that now hangs in a prominent place. If you are interested, you can read more about how she made the flag on her blog: Finishing the Garden Flag. It certainly brightens up the area, and she is now inspired to make a couple more flags for our gardens.
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’ve just achieved self-sufficiency in tomatoes again Dave, but as aways your magnificent array of squash amazes me. All of our winter squash eggs are in one basket, Crown Prince”, which is growing well, but won’t be harvested until October
I’ve been thinking about buying a spiraliser. Do you use it a lot? The flag is very colourful.
We do use the spiralized fairly often. It does well for squashes, cucumbers and root vegetables, as well as things like apples. I made an apple crisp with the spiral apples and it turned out well.
I wish my harvests for the entire week could equal your “typical harvest.” I’m interested in the eggplants you grow instead of Ping Tung Long. What are the advantages? Are they hybrids? I never thought of pairing cheddar cheese with hummus, but it looks and sounds good. Congratulations to Mrs. Happy Acres on her beautiful flag.
I had spotty results when I grew Ping Tung Long, and all the eggplants I grow now are hybrids. In addition to Orient Express and Asian Delite, I’m also growing the Asian Trio from Renee’s Garden which includes Asian Bride, Charming and Farmer’s Long. Eggplant in general does well for me in our hot humid summers, and I set out a dozen plants in ground as well as the container plants. Galine and Nadia are my two favorite black Italian types.
That is a gorgeous flag! I’m looking at your harvests and it’s making me miss all the crops that are not in my garden this year because of the revamp. But next year, I’ll be ready! I decided to try using straw this year in the pathways between the beds on the hilltop – so far, I’m liking it and it’s definitely a lot easier than lugging and spreading regular mulch down.
What a nice way to show your typical (repeat) harvests. Think I’ll try that. The Cherokee Purple tomatoes just started here. I did have a few cherry tomatoes before that. It is a happy day when the tomatoes begin. That’s a genius way to use the cardboard and mulch around the black-eyed peas. I marvel that even after many years of gardening, we all come up with improvements to our methods.