Harvest Monday August 2, 2021

It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. It’s hard to believe it is August already! It seems the summer has flown by quickly for me. But last week I was busy planting fall greens like collards and kale, which tells me autumn is just around the corner. The harvests say it’s still summer though, as does the heat and humidity we had most of last week. A change in weather Saturday brought a bit of cooling along, which was surely appreciated by yours truly!

late July harvest

Tomatoes are playing a starring role in the garden and kitchen now. We’ve been eating them fresh, both raw and cooked, and I have been dehydrating the smaller ones for later use. The dried tomatoes keep well in a glass jar, and I usually keep them in the freezer or a cool pantry. It won’t be long and it will be time to cook up sauce and ketchup with them.

tomato harvest

dehydrating tomatoes

The greenhouse cucumbers are slowing down but still keeping us supplied. The container eggplants are still yielding well too. I try and have a container of my Quick Refrigerator Pickles on hand whenever the cucumbers are in season.

cucumbers and eggplant

I got the first ripe Pot-a-peno peppers last week. I used one of them in a batch of Fermented Curtido, where it should add just the right amount of zip. I would rate these as about a 2 on a heat scale of 1 to 5. I tend to not grow the really hot peppers like habaneros, and most jalapenos are plenty hot for me. I have the Pot-a-peno growing in containers, and there are lots of green peppers setting on now.

ripe Pot-a-peno peppers

I made a cutting of Genovese type basil for pesto last week. I tossed the pesto with cooked farro penne, added chopped cooked chicken and some grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. In the past I’ve also made this dish with asparagus, spinach or arugula added. I don’t usually add cheese to the pesto, and for this batch I used a mild extra-virgin olive oil and some walnuts along with the basil.

basil for pesto

I harvested a few more of the Goldilocks squash. These all weighed a bit less than one pound each. The smaller size and earliness are a big asset as far as I am concerned.

Goldilocks squashes

I also cooked up the first one one night for a side dish. I cut the squash in half, scooped out the seeds and baked the halves until tender. The seed cavity is quite small, and the flesh mild and tender. Next time I want to try cutting it into slices and baking in a cast iron skillet. My wife and I both enjoyed this first one and gave it two thumbs up!

inside of Goldilocks squash

Another dish I cooked up was a Caprese Summer Squash Casserole. I spiralized one yellow squash and one green zucchini, then spread in the bottom of a baking dish. I topped that with sliced tomato, chopped basil and a drizzle of olive oil. I covered with foil and baked until tender, then added slices of fresh mozzarella cheese and put it back in the oven long enough to melt the cheese. Most recipes I saw for this dish used sliced squash, but I used the spiralizer which worked out well. The end result was quite flavorful, but a bit watery no doubt from my covering the dish and from the moisture that came out of the tomatoes. Next time I will try cooking it uncovered.

Caprese Summer Squash Casserole

I’ll close with a recent photo of baby bluebirds. The parents have been busy lately feeding these four babies in the nest box. This is the 3rd brood this year. I’ve been putting up nest boxes for almost 40 years now and I never get tired of seeing them!

baby bluebirds

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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12 Responses to Harvest Monday August 2, 2021

  1. Every time I read your diary I’m inspired to be a better gardener. Seeing the chicks reminds me of excitedly checking the boxes in our family orchard as a kid, thanks for that!

  2. Sue Garrett says:

    How exciting to watch the baby birds developing, I hope they do well. Our tomatoes are just starting ti ripen albeit slowly, You keep tempting my to buy a spiraliser – what sort do you recommend?

    • Dave @ HappyAcres says:

      We have one made by Paderno that has several different blades for different size spirals and slices. We most often use the one blade size though.

  3. Will - EightGateFarmNH says:

    Yup, very impressed with the Goldilocks squash. The Pot-a-peno peppers are also impressive, getting red ripe so soon in the season. I’m guessing it’s also a small plant suitable for containers. I’m going to try the Caprese Casserole for sure. This year, the bluebirds showed a lot of interest in our nest boxes, but never seemed to settle down. Tree swallows eventually nested there, which is fine with me, as they are also beautiful, and it’s really enjoyable to watch their aerobatics.

  4. Kathy Cockar says:

    Nothing like baby birds to bring a smile to your face, even in a tough year like this one. We have half feathered bay Robins everywhere at the moment, just getting their red breasts, and they are very amusing!
    Never been sure about spiralising courgettes and squashes… would it be another gadget I barely use? The recipes you came up with do look tasty though so I am tempted a bit….

    • Dave @ HappyAcres says:

      We also use the spiralizer for root vegetables like carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes, as well as for cucumbers. We do like our gadgets, but this one does see a fair amount of use.

  5. Aw, thise baby bluebirds are adorable. We have nest boxes up for Western Bluebirds, but House Wrens are the only birds that have used the boxes. That’s OK, we like the song of the House Wren, and they help keep the bugs out of my garden.

  6. Your casserole looks delicious. We’re finished with zucchini but I’ve made note for next year. I’m always so excited to see a male Western bluebird in our neighborhood. Three broods this year. Amazing. Later this month I’ll be planting my fall crops for later garden transplant.

  7. sydfoodie says:

    I always enjoy your monday harvest posts. How do you keep track of what variety of seeds you have planted? I always lose track

    • Dave @ HappyAcres says:

      I keep a garden log, using an Excel spreadsheet that lets me record dates and other info. Otherwise I would lose track too!

  8. Andrea says:

    Just found your blog via a Pinterest search for dehydrated peppers! What dehydrator do you recommend?

    • Dave @ HappyAcres says:

      Andrea, we have had an Excalibur dehydrator for over 10 years now and are quite happy with it. Our model has 5 trays, though it looks like a comparable model now has 4 trays.

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