It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where gardeners from all over celebrate all things harvest related. The summer harvests continue here but at a slower pace. I’m finally getting a decent harvest of sweet peppers here. Carmen and Jimmy Nardello are two of my longtime favorite sweet peppers. They are generally early to ripen, and that has been true to form this year. I roasted these in the oven, which we then used for a side dish one day and on a pizza.
The pole beans are off and running now, and I got a big haul of them last week. There were also a few more of the short vine Health Kick tomatoes that ripened. I turned those into a thick sauce we used on the pizza, then froze the rest. There were over three pounds of the beans, and I have been harvesting them a couple of times a week as they size up. These heirloom beans never get tough, so there is no rush to harvest them like most modern varieties.
I’m growing one new variety called Gizzard this year. This is a multi-use bean that can be used as a snap bean, a shell bean or allowed to dry before using. It is colored much like Turkey Craw, which I have been growing for several years now. There were two pounds alone of the Gizzard, so I cooked up one pound and froze the rest along with the other beans. They were tasty, with lots of mature seeds in them which gives a rich flavor as well as makes them a good source of protein. They do have strings, like all the pole beans I’m growing, but I can sit and string and snap them fairly quickly. I find it’s no harder than shelling peas or dried beans.
We are past peak tomato season, but still getting plenty to eat. Cherry Bomb is still pumping out lots of tasty and sweet cherry tomatoes. We’ve been enjoying these on salads mostly as well as snacking on them.
It has been a great year for eggplant too. We most often roast or grill them. Nadia and Galine are big purple Italian types, and Asian Delite is the skinny one with bright purple skin and a mild white flesh.
I used one of the big ones to make Baba Ganoush last week. I roasted the cut eggplant until a bit charred on top but still soft inside, then scooped out the flesh and mashed with a fork. I added tahini, olive oil, garlic and a bit of chopped flat leaf parsley from the garden. Sprinkled with a little paprika on top and served with toasted pita bread, it made for a tasty side dish for lunch one day.
I planted a really different kind of rudbeckia in the Wild Garden this spring, and it is just now beginning to bloom. Henry Eiler grows four to five feel tall and has petals that are rolled instead of flat. I think the overall effect is striking, and the flowers are attractive to both butterflies and bees. We don’t deadhead these or our coneflowers, and the finches and other birds love eating the seeds from the seed heads that form.
The Leucanthemum Sweet Daisy Birdy in the Wild Garden has gotten another flush of blooms. This Shasta Daisy is a 2021 AAS Winner and looks to be a good addition to our lineup of summer bloomers. It’s attractive to butterflies and bees too, and the rabbits and deer leave it alone.
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!