It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where gardeners from all over celebrate all things harvest related. The weather here is now a bit more seasonal, with cooler temperatures and less humidity. We haven’t had anything close to a frost yet, but it usually happens sometimes in late October or early November. The garden is still pumping out beans and peppers, with a few eggplants and squashes joining in. I even found a few paste tomatoes last week, which joined in with the peppers and eggplant for ratatouille we had for dinner one night. I also found another tromboncino squash setting on the vines.
Turkey Craw is a prolific heirloom pole bean that has big and flavorful seeds. It can be used as a snap bean, as a fresh shell bean or as a dried bean. The original seed is said to have come from a turkey’s craw brought home by a hunter. Consider me skeptical about that, but it certainly makes for an interesting story!
Regardless of the origins, this bean is popular in the area within a hundred mile radius of Cumberland Gap where the states of Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee join. I dried quite a few last year for planting and for cooking, and it is a distinctive looking bean to say the least, brown with tan flecks.
We are still well supplied with sweet peppers. Escamillo is a big yellow Italian bulls horn type, and a 2016 AAS Winner. Like Carmen, it was bred by Johnny’s Selected Seeds and the two make great companions in the garden and in the kitchen.
Sweetie Pie is a thick-walled ‘mini’ bell pepper, and also an AAS Winner.
Cornito Arancia is a new introduction, and was also bred by Johnny’s. It has a deep orange color when ripe, and is a similar size to Cornito Rosso, which I am holding next to it. We’ve been enjoying all the sweet peppers, and they have appeared in a number of dishes.
The eggplant has slowed down considerably but we’re still getting a few each week. The one I’m holding (Nadia) got sliced and roasted for eggplant sandwiches. I’ve harvested almost 40 pounds of eggplant so far this year, and it is one of our favorite vegetables. We don’t generally buy them at the grocery, so we enjoy them from the garden while we can.
The guajillo peppers are finally ripening. I dry these and grind them up to make a mild chile powder. I often smoke the green ones left at the end of the season and turn them into a smoked chile powder.
My wife found a bag of frozen spinach from a previous year’s garden and turned it into a crustless spinach and cheese pie last week. It’s much like a crust-less quiche, though with only a couple of eggs and a bit of whole wheat flour to help hold it all together. It was seasoned with fresh parsley and chives from the garden plus feta cheese and a little dried dill weed.
In other news, I’m growing a hardy chrysanthemum in the Wild Garden that has just now started blooming. It has three inch pink flowers, and they have been visited by butterflies and bees since they opened. The plant really took off after I set it out this spring, and will likely need to be pruned to keep it from overtaking its neighbor plants! I spotted both skippers and sulphur butterflies on it, though the sulphur I saw was camera shy and kept flying away.
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!