It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where gardeners from all over celebrate all things harvest related. As we near the end of August, the summer garden is still keeping us well supplied with warm weather crops like tomatoes and eggplant. And last week, the sweet peppers finally began ripening as well. Sweetie Pie and Carmen are two dependable and tasty performers for me, and I have both these AAS Winners planted in ground. I have lots of hot peppers both green and ripe coming on, and I have used a few of these already as needed.
The pole beans are setting on nicely now. I have at least four different varieties yielding, with the rest of them blooming. I am freezing what we don’t eat. I string and snap the beans, then blanch in boiling water for three minutes before they hit the freezer. I find if I freeze them on freezer paper lined cookie sheets I can break them apart more easily for later use instead of having them all in a big frozen blob. We use the same treatment for blackberries and blueberries, though of course they don’t need to be blanched.
Paste tomatoes are winding down, and I’m not exactly unhappy about that. I made another batch of tomato paste last week as well as another batch of freezer sauce. Granadero, Juliet and Health Kick have all done well and made a lot of sauce, ketchup and tomato paste.
I also used the paste tomatoes for a fresh marinara sauce to make a casserole dish of grilled Eggplant Parmesan Casserole. I baked the sliced eggplant in the oven instead of grilling since it was so hot outside. After assembling the casserole, it finished in the oven until it was bubbling and cheesy. It’s comfort food for me and my wife, and we had leftovers for the freezer as well.
Slicing tomatoes are still coming on strong. Benevento is a new release from Artisan Seeds. This hybrid beefsteak is red with yellow stripes outside and solid red flesh on the inside. It has a great flavor, and the fruits keep well both on the vine and after harvest.
I have been growing Chef’s Choice Orange for several years now, and this 2014 AAS Winner always does well for me. It and Chef’s Choice Yellow are the only two large yellow/orange tomatoes I am growing. We have enjoyed these on sandwiches and as a side dish. Any extras wind up in sauces along with all the other tomatoes!
Pink Cherrywine is another new release from Artisan Seeds. I think the flavor compares favorably with Sunpeach, which is a pink cherry tomato I’ve grown for several years now.
This time of year, meal planning usually revolves around which veggies are available. One meal I made last week featured roasted eggplant and sauteed avocado squash along with a prosciutto and parmesan stuffed pork tenderloin. Most of our entrees are not so elaborate, but this one was easy to put together.
This spiderwort plant has gotten its second (or third) wind and is blooming again. I have heard some call it a weed, but the bees absolutely love this native plant. We have several planted and one or more has been blooming pretty much all spring and summer.
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!