Monday Recap: Two Sisters, Somewhat Close

One of the many things I love about gardening is that every year brings a brand new adventure. Like the stock market, what happened in last year’s garden is no predictor of how things will go this year. Take winter squash, for instance. Last year I planted several vining types around the edge of the garden, where they wound up using the fence for support. They did quite well, though I lost a few that wound up growing in the fence itself, or got eaten by deer when they grew outside the fence.

Waltham Butternut and North Georgia Candy Roaster squash

Waltham Butternut and North Georgia Candy Roaster squash

So this year I grew most of the vining plants in a large bed on one end of the garden. However, I think I planted too many for the amount of space available, and it turned into a Darwinian experiment where only the most vigorous vines survived! Fortunately it looks like there will still be plenty of winter squash, even though a couple of them got crowded out entirely. That’s a North Georgia Candy Roaster in the above photo, with a Waltham Butternut beside it for comparison. This Candy Roaster is shaped like a giant green-tipped pink banana and weighs right at three pounds. It will be interesting to see what it tastes like. I really didn’t intend on a two sisters planting, but the squash has grown into the bush beans which are in the next bed over. At least the beans have set all their pods and are in the process of drying down.

Musica and Gold Marie beans

Musica and Gold Marie beans

Thankfully I put the pole beans on the other end of the garden, far away from the meandering squash plants. These sisters are as far apart as I could get them! The pole beans have done a great job of vining themselves, but they stayed on the trellis which has held up quite well. These beans just keep on producing this year. Fortex, Musica and Gold Marie have given us all the beans we can eat for the last couple of months, plus plenty to freeze and a few to give away. The Trail of Tears, Good Mother Stallard and Rattlesnake beans are all setting lots of pods and it looks like it should be a good year for the dry pole beans too. That’s a mix of Musica and Gold Marie in the above photo, and Fortex in the below photo.

Fortex beans

Fortex beans

My wife roasted some of the beans for dinner one night, tossed with a little olive oil and some balsamic vinegar. They were yummy, and a different twist on this versatile vegetable. The below photo really does not do them justice. The taste sort of reminded me of dry-fried beans. That’s some of our spring carrots on the plate along with a turkey breast cutlet.

roasted snap beans

roasted snap beans

Another ‘sister’ coming in from the garden last week was some zucchini. One of the Striata d’Italia was hiding from me and got a little bigger than I prefer. It dwarfs the more normal sized Spineless Beauty in the below photo.

zucchini

zucchini

Other than squash and beans, I got enough tomatoes together to make another batch of tomato paste, plus cook down some more tomato sauce for the freezer. That’s Juliet and Golden Rave in the below photo, which went into the sauce. I used only red tomatoes for the paste, since I wanted it to be as red as possible. The yellow Golden Raves are great mixed with red tomatoes for sauces, and I can’t tell they change the color much. I haven’t made an all-yellow sauce though I don’t know why you couldn’t do so.

Juliet and Golden Rave tomatoes

Juliet and Golden Rave tomatoes

A couple of Vinson Watts were great on sandwiches last week. This big beefsteak tomato is my current favorite heirloom slicer, since Cherokee Purple has not done well here again this year. I am growing the CP from saved seed, so next year I am going back to my original seed source. It is possible the genetics of the ones I saved weren’t quite true to form, so I will see if that helps things. The Vinson Watts is also from seed I saved and there’s nothing wrong with them that I can find.

Vinson Watts tomatoes

Vinson Watts tomatoes

A trio of Vinson Watts tomatoes came in with the first two Italian eggplants last week. One of these eggplants is on the menu for lunch today, as is one of the Vinson Watts. It has not been a great year for eggplant, but they seem to be finally coming on.

Italian eggplants with Vinson Watts tomatoes

Italian eggplants with Vinson Watts tomatoes

I found enough ripe Aji Angelo peppers to make a batch of fermented hot sauce. I’ve made several sauces recently, and I plan on doing an update on them later this week.  That’s Aji Angelo in the below photo. It’s probably a good candidate for a Saturday Spotlight too, since I don’t think there’s a lot of readily available information on this variety. I can hardly wait to taste the hot sauce, which should be ready to bottle up in a couple of days.

Aji Angelo peppers

Aji Angelo peppers

Yesterday I baked a loaf of Cracked Wheat Bread, another recipe from Whole Grain Breads by Machine or Hand by Beatrice A. Ojakangas. This one was proofed in a round brotform then slashed in a scallop pattern before baking on a hot pizza stone. These recipes are relatively easy to put together using the bread machine for the mixing and kneading, and so far they have all been tasty. This bread should be good for sandwiches in the coming week. I like using the scallop slash because it lets the bread expand a bit lengthwise in the oven and makes slicing easier, at least it does for me. It’s called that because the finished bread sort of resembles the shell of a scallop.

Cracked Wheat Bread

Cracked Wheat Bread

In other news, many of the sedums around here are starting to bloom. The one in the below photo is a compact variety called Picolette. It has pinkish flowers and bronze-red foliage. That’s lemon balm behind it, which needs to be cut back before it starts dropping seeds everywhere. They are both planted in the Wild Garden.

sedum 'Picolette'

sedum ‘Picolette’

The Wild Garden is where we have put plants that attract the birds and the bees, along with butterflies, pollinators and other beneficial insects. Last year I grew some amaranth for the birds, and of course it self-seeded. The volunteer plants have grown better than the ones I set out last year, which always seems to be the case, doesn’t it? The one in the below photo is called Elephant Head, though I think ‘elephant trunk’ would be more fitting. The five foot tall plants make a stunning display, if nothing else. Hopefully this won’t turn into a weedy problem in future years.

Elephant Head amaranth

Elephant Head amaranth

Also notable is the buckwheat I planted as a cover crop. Less than 20 days after sowing, it is already showing flower buds. I will let it bloom and then hopefully cut it down and work it in the bed before it sets seed. I have some oilseed radish seed I may plant to overwinter in this bed. It’s a daikon type radish with a long taproot that helps to open up the subsoil. It can take some freezing weather, down to 20°F according to Johnny’s, then the radishes and roots will freeze out and leave holes in the soil. It’s also a good cover crop to let flower and attract beneficial insects, and to control nematodes.

buckwheat blossoms

buckwheat blossoms

That’s a look at what is happening here in late August. To see what other gardeners are harvesting and cooking up, visit Daphne’s Dandelions where Daphne hosts Harvest Mondays.

 

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22 Responses to Monday Recap: Two Sisters, Somewhat Close

  1. shaheen says:

    Wow your zucchini is long, my ones have been well fat due to neglect.

  2. Dave's SFG says:

    We’re enjoying huge harvests from the same beans, which are really prolific this year. Roasting them sounds like an interesting way to vary the serving of beans we eat every day. I’m growing Cherokee Purple again this year because I like the flavor, but I may just give up on them. The vines are disease prone and with all the catfacing, cracks and green shoulders, a lot gets wasted. Some even go direct to the compost pile. A tomato like Vinson Watts sounds like a better bet for the limited space I have.
    Dave’s SFG recently posted…Beans and Squash and Tomatoes, Oh no …My Profile

    • Dave says:

      I’ll give the CPs one more shot next year from different seed. I love the taste, when I get one, but if they can’t produce anything worth eating then they are just wasting space.

  3. Autumn says:

    My husband and I like the Cherokee Purple tomatoes too. I didn’t grow them this year, but I doubt that they would’ve done well anyway since it’s been such a cool summer.
    I have made a variation of your green bean, tomato, and quinoa salad a couple of times. I realized that we didn’t have walnuts, so that led to a change in the dressing, but it was perfect for putting our abundance of green beans to use. Thanks for the dinner inspiration – boiled beans and bean salad get old after a while. When I pull out the frozen beans later this year, I’ll have to give roasting a try.

    • Dave says:

      Glad you are enjoying the salad. Roasting is another great option as is grilling. Maybe it should be called the incredible edible bean!

  4. Margaret says:

    Beautiful harvests…that Candy Rooster squash is gorgeous. Hopefully it tastes as good as it looks. I can almost smell your bread – Yum! And what you said in that first paragraph – so true.
    Margaret recently posted…Harvest Monday – August 25, 2014My Profile

  5. Barbie says:

    Your harvests are so beautifully end of summer. Love it! Great pics, too and that bread – I’m drooling here!
    Barbie recently posted…Harvest Monday 8.25.14My Profile

  6. Daphne says:

    The name Candy Roaster really makes me think sweet. I wonder if it would make a good pumpkin pie. This year I’m only growing butternut squash as winter squash. I’ve long since given up on anything the can be hurt by the SVB.
    Daphne recently posted…Harvest Monday 25 August, 2014My Profile

    • Dave says:

      I’m sure either pumpkin pie or pumpkin custard will be one of the options for the Candy Roaster. I was happy the vines managed to make this squash.

  7. Michelle says:

    So many good things from your garden this week. I would be tempted to call that Candy Roaster a Zeppelin squash, that was the first thing that came to mind but I saw it. 🙂 I love to roast green beans also, and the Musicas are great prepared that way, and they are also great done on the barbecue. Those Vinson Watts are beauties, I can’t wait for my first slicers to ripen up. Gorgeous bread. And I’m looking forward to hearing how the fermented Aji Angelo hot sauce tastes.
    Michelle recently posted…Harvest Monday – August 25, 2014My Profile

    • Dave says:

      We love the beans grilled too. I think we can fit more in the oven however. I’ll be sure and report on the hot sauce. The chopped peppers looked and smelled different from the others, so they surely will taste unique too!

  8. Jenny says:

    Very nice sized squash! too bad some of it got too crowded. Love those beautiful tomatoes and eggplant comparison.
    Jenny recently posted…Black Dirt HarvestMy Profile

  9. Stoney Acres says:

    Wow, things are looking good in your garden!! We have had a real cool spell at our place and our main crop tomatoes are refusing to ripen. So not canning for us yet. I think I’m going to go back to pole beans next year. We have been growing bush beans for the past few years and I’m just not happy with the results. Your crop is making me think I need to go back to good old poles!!
    Stoney Acres recently posted…Monday Harvest Report – August 25, 2014My Profile

  10. Lexa says:

    another wonderful weekly harvest Dave. I will be most interested to see you dried bean harvest and to read how you use them. I am still a rookie when it comes to cooking “fresh” dried beans. I am a bit intimated by cooking times etc. Love the looks of your Candy Roaster too. That’s one I have yet to try. And as always, your bread makes me swoon!
    Lexa recently posted…Blackberry DelugeMy Profile

  11. Thomas says:

    That candy roaster squash is beautiful. What an interesting shape. Those hot peppers look great as well. I need to search for a good hot sauce recipe as well have a ton of thai chili peppers to contend with.
    Thomas recently posted…The August Harvest – Tomatoes, Tomatoes and More TomatoesMy Profile

  12. Mike R says:

    The oilseed radish as a cover crop sounds like a worthwhile experiment. I’ve noticed that parsnip does a great job of breaking up the soil and this may do the same. I guess this year weeds will be the cover crop in the empty beds.
    Mike R recently posted…Monday August 25My Profile

  13. Norma Chang says:

    I am looking forward to learning what the North Georgia Candy Roaster squash taste like.
    Deer ate all my sedum, flowers as well as leaves, leaving just a stick in the ground, really sad looking.
    Norma Chang recently posted…Harvest Monday, August 25, 2014 – Black Soy Beans + Tri-color AmaranthMy Profile

  14. marcia says:

    Quite a newsy posting. I learn a lot from your blog. For instance after your description of Juliette tomatoes I went looking for them. I have 2 plants for the first time this year. My goodness, are they mass producers. I’ve used them for sauce and it’s wonderful. I’ve been freezing them for sauce making in the winter. Now I need to freeze some basil to go with it.

    Never tried roasting beans. May have to try that.
    marcia recently posted…Postscript to Monday’s HarvestMy Profile

  15. Will - Eight Gate Farm - NH says:

    I’ve never seen Georgia Candy Roaster before. Would it happen to be a C. moschata variety? I have to fight off SVB. Truthfully, they attack even C. mos. around here. Love the concept of a wild garden. The buckwheat I planted was such a pollen-insect magnet that it broke my heard to chop it down. Has an odd fragrance though. Nice harvests and use thereof.

  16. Sarah C. says:

    I am so glad I found your site! It’s such a great resource as you seem to be growing so many different kinds of veggies, some of which are on my maybe list for next year. The Striata caught my eye this time around. It looks delicious.

    Do you have a recipe for that bread somewhere on your site?

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