It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. This week we have some new additions to our harvests, including some we eagerly await each year. Our blueberries have begun ripening, and we got our first taste of them last week. For those not familiar with growing them, the berries grow in clusters that don’t all ripen at the same time. That means harvesting them takes a bit of time, and my wife usually does most of that. We enjoy them at breakfast time with our homemade yogurt, or mixed with other fruits for a snack. We freeze any extras, but these first ones will likely all get eaten quickly.
Another first was hot jalapeno peppers. I picked a pair of Pot-a-peno peppers (say that three times fast!) from a potted plant. These have just the right amount of heat to add a little zip to many dishes, including the bean tacos we had for lunch one day. This 2021 AAS Winner does great for me in containers, and also gives us peppers earlier than the ones planted in-ground. They are tasty when ripe, but I couldn’t wait that long for these first ones.
We also saw the first zucchini set on last week, a light green Middle Eastern type called Clarimore that has a mild flavor. This one is always an early and dependable performer for me here.
And that first zucchini was soon followed by another, this time a dark green one I’m growing for the first time called Noche. It’s not quite as dark as night like the name would suggest, but it is a definitely dark green with glossy skin. The spineless plants make picking painless too. Of course, in a couple of weeks we will be freezing extra zucchini like we do the blueberries. The frozen squash does well in soups and stews, and I even use the frozen zucchini in my fruit smoothies.
I cut more curly kale last week, this time the hybrid Winterbor. I used it to go in a batch of kale and sweet potato hash I cooked one night for dinner, using some of our Purple sweet potatoes from storage. I blanch the kale for about five minutes before adding to the sweet potatoes after they are cooked, and then let them cook together in the cast iron skillet until well heated. That’s as close to a recipe as I have for this easy to cook favorite.
And I pulled another one of the Forum onions to use in various dishes. I am impressed with this variety, since it makes big green tops and we use a lot of the tops in cooking. This one was a useful addition to the bean tacos and a frittata we had for lunch yesterday.
The arugula in the greenhouse is struggling in the heat but I managed to get one more cutting for use on a pizza. I’m keeping the container well-watered, and I hope to get a few more leaves before it bolts.
Another first harvest was a couple of spears of Melody broccoli. It’s my first time growing this mini broccoli, and though the first ones were early I haven’t seen any more setting on just yet. I also have Burgundy and Artwork planted, along with the broccoli/cauliflower cross Jacaranda which did well for me last year.
In non-harvest news, our resident bluebird pair have been quite busy so far this year. They had two broods fledge already, and the female has laid six eggs in nest number three. I’m assuming it is the same female, though it’s impossible to know for sure. Regardless, that’s a lot of young bluebirds coming out of that nest box and it is a joy to me to see and hear them here pretty much year round.
I’ll close with a new flower that just opened up, a Japanese Iris called Fortune. At least that’s what the label said when I bought it, although it looks nothing like the one on the website! It’s lovely though, and it adds a bit of color to the pollinator and butterfly garden area.
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 check out what everyone is harvesting!