Harvest Monday October 17, 2022

It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. I started digging sweet potatoes last week, which is always a time of great anticipation. What is waiting there under the soil – will it be a good harvest? It looks like it won’t be a record year like 2021, but I believe we will be well-supplied with tasty tubers. Feeling my age, I’ve been breaking up the task into smaller digging sessions, and I hope to get the last ones dug today since freezing weather is in the forecast.

first of the sweet potatoes

I’ll do a full recap on the sweet potatoes later, but one of my favorites for baking is called Bonita. It seems to have done fairly well this year, though many of the roots are big enough to feed a family of four! Of course, the ones you see in the grocery have been graded out, and ones that are deemed too small or too large are used for processing and not the fresh market. Bonita has a sweet, moist white flesh and a light pink skin. My wife and I sometimes share the big ones.

Bonita sweet potato

I pulled the first turnip greens last week, starting with one called Topper that makes lots of tender leaves but no roots. My wife and I both love the greens, and as usual I sowed more greens than I did roots. We do enjoy eating them both, and I hope I will get some roots soon.

Topper turnip greens

The sweet peppers have been late to ripen this year, but we have a lot of them now. I’m growing mostly the bull’s horn types plus Jimmy Nardello’s frying pepper and Sweetie Pie mini-bell. They are really sweet when roasted or grilled, which is how we cook a lot of them.

Cornito Arancia and Cornito Giallo peppers

Cornito Rosso and Sweetie Pie peppers

The hot peppers have done well this year, and I harvested quite a few green jalapenos to turn into hot sauce. Emerald Fire and Early Flame have both been loaded with peppers.

jalapeno peppers

And, the shy producing Sugar Rush Peach finally gave us a decent harvest. A few of them could stand to ripen a bit more, so I will let them sit for a few days before I turn start them fermenting to turn into hot sauce.

Sugar Rush Peach peppers

I finished drying a batch of guajillo peppers last week, and ground them up for chile powder. The guajillo peppers make a fragrant and mildly hot chile powder, and they are my favorite for this use. The grinding process usually has me sneezing a few times, but the end product is well worth it to me.

dried guajillo peppers

guajillo chile powder

In non-harvest news, I baked another batch of sourdough rye focaccia bread. I used a recipe from Elaine Boddy’s Whole Grain Sourdough at Home, and uses a blend of bread flour and whole grain rye flour. It’s naturally leavened with my homegrown sourdough starter. I sprinkled course salt over the top and a bit of fresh rosemary on one end. I served it up with soup one night for dinner, and along with salad another day. Leftovers freeze well too.

sourdough rye focaccia bread

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!


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Harvest Monday October 10, 2022

It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The weather took a sudden turn colder last week, and we had moderate frosts a couple of mornings. I was scrambling to harvest all the frost sensitive crops I could, except for the sweet potatoes which will need to be dug this week. I got a lot of pole beans that I shelled and froze, plus a few eggplant. It has been a great year for eggplant, and we have had plenty to eat for several months now.

October harvest

I finally got a few ripe Sugar Rush Peach peppers, though hardly enough to make a decent amount of hot sauce. They have taken forever to ripen, and I believe I need to try a different seed source other than the one I got them from (Refining Fire Chiles). Adaptive Seeds lists it and says “Ripens early for a C. baccatum pepper and produces well even in cool growing conditions.” Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds says “super early, high yields of these exquisite sweet-hot peppers.” Neither of those describes the plants I have grown the last couple of years, which get big but are late bearing even in our hot climate.

Sugar Rush Peach peppers

On a happier note, I also found a few end of season tomatoes. The quality wasn’t great, but for October tomatoes I’ll gladly take them!

late season tomatoes

I used the tomatoes and eggplant along with sweet peppers from a previous harvest to make a batch of sheet pan ratatouille. I served it on creamy polenta, and this dish has become a favorite for us here. We really enjoyed this batch since it will surely be the last until next season.

sheet pan ratatouille and polenta

With frost approaching I picked all the ripe hot peppers I could find to make a bit more hot sauce. This round included Flaming Flare, Early Flame and Sweet Jalapeno. I also got a few more of the Garden Salsa which I am drying to make chile powder. If the frost spared the plants, I will harvest green ones for chile powder too.

assorted hot peppers

I also got a big harvest of the C. baccatum Aji Rico peppers – right at three pounds worth! This 2017 AAS Winner is truly a star producer for me here, and the ripe peppers have a great flavor along with a medium heat level. They make a tasty hot sauce, which is what I plan to do with these.

Aji Rico peppers

I also have a new one I’m trialing here this year called Aji Colorado. It has only ripened a few so far, and while the peppers have a good flavor I don’t think they are any match for Aji Rico.

Aji Colorado peppers

My wife used several of our Escamillo and Carmen sweet peppers to make a pepper quiche. We enjoyed it for dinner one night, and the leftovers were even tastier for lunch the next day.

sweet pepper quiche

pepper quiche with baked apples

It seemed like a good time to gather any winter squash that had matured, and I found six of the Centercut and one big Turkeyneck neck pumpkin. The Turkeyneck weighed a whopping 12.5 pounds, and the six Centercut squashes totaled 17 pounds. That should keep us supplied for our winter needs! The Turkeyneck squash get big, but I think the mature Centercut has a better flavor so I will likely grow more of it next year and skip the Turkeyneck. I also harvest the Centercut at the green, immature stage when it is great for roasting.

Centercut and Turkeyneck winter squashes

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!


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Harvest Monday October 3, 2022

It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. It was a small harvest week for me here, since my wife and I went away for a week and visited Sedona, AZ. There were quite a few pole beans waiting for me on our return, as well as a decent amount of eggplant. I brought in over four pounds of beans, and there are a few more out there to be picked in a day or two.

beans and peppers

I also got a LOT of sweet peppers. My one Escamillo plant was loaded, as were my two Jimmy Nardello plants. I got a few Carmen and Sweetie Pie peppers too. I have requested that my wife bake one of her pepper pies, which is a quiche-like dish that features the peppers.

sweet peppers

I did get a few hot peppers too. I got enough of the Flaming Flare along with a few of the Hernandez to make a fermented hot sauce with these Fresno type peppers. Flaming Flare is a 2015 AAS Winner and a good producer for me here. Hernandez produced a bit earlier, but seems to have stalled out for the moment. Fresno types have about the same heat level as jalapenos, though the peppers usually have slightly thinner walls.

Flaming Flare and Hernandez peppers

Flaming Flare peppers

It’s my first year growing the Rose bean, which is named after the Rose family that grew it and passed on the seeds to others. It did well enough I decided I would save some for planting next year. The seeds themselves are beautiful, though of course the color is lost when cooked.

Rose beans

As for our trip, we did a lot of hiking in Sedona, and the condo we stayed at had great views of all the Red Rocks around us. One night we were treated to a double rainbow at sunset. I’ll try and share more pics later this week since I have plenty of them!

Sedona sunset rainbow

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!

 


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Harvest Monday September 26, 2022

It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. It’s officially autumn now, and the hot weather seems to be gone for at least a while. The harvests are slowing down, except for peppers and beans. It will be time to dig sweet potatoes soon though, and that will keep me busy for a couple of days. I usually wait until early October for that harvest.

late September harvest of eggplant and peppers

assorted hot peppers

The hot pepper harvest last week included green and red jalapenos, plus a fiery hot Early Thai pepper I have growing in a container. I will dry these, and they will be more than enough for our uses. One of these goes a long way to add heat to any dish!

Early Thai hot peppers

One pepper I’m growing for the first time is Jaloro jalapeno. The fruits go from light green, to yellow and orange, and finally on to red if allowed to fully mature. It has a medium heat level, and I got a few last week to try at the yellow/orange stage.

Jaloro peppers

I have been keeping busy picking the pole beans. I got over seven pounds from two heirloom varieties last week. In the below photo it’s Lazy Wife Greasy on the left and Turkey Craw on the right. I’ve grown both for several years now and they are productive for me as well as very good in the kitchen. I blanched and froze most of these, but cooked up some of the Lazy Wife Greasy for a couple of our meals.

Lazy Wife Greasy and Turkey Craw beans

It’s not all beans and peppers though! I got a small cutting of Miz America mizuna from a container plant I have growing in the greenhouse. These leaves went into a frittata I made for lunch one day.

Miz America mizuna

And I also got a couple more of the mature Centercut squashes. These two weighed a bit over three pounds each. I’ll let them cure for several weeks before cooking.

mature Centercut squash

In other news, I baked up a batch of sourdough focaccia bread. I’m using a recipe from Elaine Boddy’s Whole Grain Sourdough at Home. It featured a mix of bread flour and whole grain rye flour, and was naturally leavened with sourdough starter. I sprinkled course salt over the top and a bit of fresh rosemary on one end. I love this recipe for focaccia, and we enjoyed several pieces of it while fresh and then I froze the rest for later use.

sourdough focaccia bread

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!


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Harvest Monday September 19, 2022

It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The weather has gotten a bit cooler of late, just in time for the arrival of autumn. However, record heat is forecast here for this week so it’s not exactly sweater weather just yet! I have been busy harvesting pole beans and hot peppers, which is typical for this time of year. I got almost six pounds of beans last week, most of which got blanched and frozen for later use. And I got a decent amount of ripe hot peppers too.

September harvest

hot peppers and eggplant

I have been turning many of the hot peppers into various sauces. Aji Rico peppers are a hybrid baccatum variety and a 2017 AAS Winner. I got 1.5 pounds of them last week, which was just enough to fill a pint jar for fermenting. They are one of my favorite for hot sauce, with a mild heat and a fruity, citrusy flavor when ripe.

Aji Rico harvest

Aji Rico peppers

A couple of new hot pepper varieties I’m trying this year are Lemon Spice and Pumpkin Spice jalapenos. They were bred by New Mexico State University, and according to this article they were created by crossing a bell pepper with Early Jalapeno pepper. There’s also an Orange Spice version, but this year I am just growing the Lemon and Pumpkin colored ones. Most jalapenos eventually turn red as they ripen, but these do not. I plan to make hot sauce with them.

Lemon Spice and Pumpkin Spice jalapenos

The Annina eggplant continues to give us fruits, though all the eggplants have slowed down production considerably. It has been a great year for eggplant though, and we have enjoyed eating it on a regular basis. We never buy it at the grocery, so it’s a seasonal treat for us. I believe this batch wound up on an open-faced eggplant sandwich.

Annina eggplant

The slicing tomatoes are producing a few mostly small specimens now, but I got one decent sized Benevento last week. This Artisan Seeds variety is one of my favorites for flavor.

Benevento tomato

In non-harvest news, I baked a batch of Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls last week, using my Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread recipe but shaping the dough into balls and baking in an 8 inch square pan. We ate several and then I froze the rest for later use.

Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

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!


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