It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. We’re celebrating Labor Day here in the U.S. today, and it should be a quiet day here at Happy Acres. I’ve been busy harvesting and preserving lately, and a quiet day is not a bad thing at all! Our harvests are typical for late summer, with beans, eggplant and tomatoes keeping us supplied.
I tried a new heirloom pole bean this year called Rose and it is starting to set on now. The pods are large and meaty, and like many of the Appalachian beans they have strings. It’s named after the Rose Family in Panola, Madison County, Kentucky, and the dried seeds are speckled with blue. It’s a selection from the Sustainable Mountain Agriculture Center, and they an amazing collection of heirloom bean seeds. I cooked these in the slow cooker, and they had a rich full flavor.
The Juliet tomatoes are slowing down and not setting many new ones, but I still managed to get over three pounds of them one day last week. I cooked these down into sauce.
I felt like Peter Piper last week when I picked an assortment of hot peppers one morning. I’m including the Mellow Star shishito pepper here which actually has no heat. I pickled most of those. Other peppers in this batch included Hernandez, Early Flame, Chili Pie and Honeypeno. I’ve got most of them fermenting for a batch of hot sauce.
I also get the first ripe Dustbowl guajillo peppers. I call these “Dustbowl” because I originally got the seeds in 2015 from a company called Dustbowl Seed which is now out of business. I’ve been growing them ever since, and saving the seeds for replanting. The guajillo is my favorite pepper for drying and turning into chile powder. I’m also growing the hybrid Minero and El Eden guajillos, but the Dustbowl was the first to ripen for me here in 2022.
It has truly been a great year for eggplant. We’ve enjoyed an assortment of size and shapes from the small-fruited types like Fairy Tale and Gretel and the larger Asian and Italian varieties.
One of of our favorite treatments is to slice the eggplant thin on a mandoline slicer, then brush with olive oil and roast on a sheet pan in a 400°F oven. When the eggplant is soft we top with grated Parmagiano Reggiano cheese and let that melt on the hot eggplant. We served this for dinner one night with fish and a roasted Starry Night acorn squash.
It has also been a great year for the hardy hibiscus, and we have been enjoying the flowers on a daily basis this summer. This is only the second year growing for most of them, and the plants (and the flowers) should just keep getting better every year.
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 please take a minute and check out what everyone is harvesting!