Harvest Monday July 11, 2016

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. It’s definitely been squash-y around here, with lots of summer squash setting on the plants. I’m also getting some nice cucumbers from the greenhouse plants. In the below photo there’s a Tasty Jade cuke, plus Romanesco, Striata d’Italia, Clarimore and Bossa Nova zucchini.

harvest of cucumber and zucchini

harvest of cucumber and zucchini

My wife used some of the zucchini to make zucchini boats, stuffed with some shredded beef taco meat I had made up from a leftover roast and then frozen. We had a hard time getting the zucchini done, even with par-boiling before baking, so that recipe needs a bit of work. It’s still a novel way to make squash disappear and we will likely make it again, perhaps with a different filling. If anyone has a good recipe I would love to hear about it! I also want to make Michelle’s Scarpaccia recipe, and I can see some Zucchini Hummus in my future as well as more spiralizing – if that’s even a word!

stuffed zucchini boats

stuffed zucchini boats

I’ve harvested all the main heads of the broccoli, and the plants are making a few side shoots. The broccoli is not really liking the hot weather we’ve been having, though the rain has perked it up a bit. The side shoots are nice, and I’ll probably leave the plants until I need the space for fall plantings.

broccoli side shoots

broccoli side shoots

The blueberries and blackberries are still coming in. We freeze what we don’t eat, spreading the berries out on a pan then putting them in a bag after they are frozen. That makes it easy to get out the amount we need, since they aren’t (usually) all frozen up in a big blob.

frozen blackberries

frozen blackberries

We have two varieties of blackberries planted, Apache and Natchez. The Apache has been planted for at least eight years, while we planted the Natchez back in 2014. This is the first really good harvest we’ve gotten from the fairly young planting of the Natchez. I’ve been a fan of Apache for some time, and I did a Spotlight on it back in 2013. But the Natchez  is quickly becoming another favorite here, with berries that are about as big as Apache and perhaps even more flavorful. They are a great combo together, and I’ve harvested about five gallons of them so far, with no end in sight just yet.

Natchez blackberries

Natchez blackberries

Also coming in are the Derby bush beans. My wife made a batch of one of my favorite things, Green Bean and Bulgur Salad with Walnuts. I found some cherry tomatoes and an onion to go with the beans for the salad. We had five straight days of rain last week, dumping over five inches of rain total on us, and many of the small tomatoes are splitting. Sun Gold is prone to that anyway, but the tomatoes were fine and we enjoyed them in the salad.

tomatoes and onion for green bean salad

tomatoes and onion for green bean salad

I pulled all of the Candy and Sierra Blanca onions, since they were flopping over and some had started flowering. I didn’t plant a whole lot of them, which is too bad because they seem to have done a lot better than they have the last couple of years. I’ll weigh them up after they have cured. None of them are storage types so we will use them up fairly quickly. I can always chop and freeze some if need be.

Candy and Sierra Blanca onions

Candy and Sierra Blanca onions

I also dug the rest of the potatoes. The Kennebec did the best, with the eight plants making almost eight pounds of spuds. We don’t eat a lot of potatoes, but it is nice to have some really fresh ones. We enjoyed a couple of the Kennebecs baked last week.

Kennebec potatoes

Kennebec potatoes

The first eggplant fruits have been setting on. That’s Millionaire and Fairy Tale in the below photo, along with some of the Derby bush beans. I grilled the eggplant for a side dish yesterday.

eggplant and beans

eggplant and beans

The smallest harvest of the week was the Speedy arugula I cut to go on a pizza. It was mighty big on flavor though, and it’s one of my favorite pizza toppings. I’ve got this growing in the greenhouse in one of my salad boxes.

Speedy arugula

Speedy arugula

The pizza also featured some of our Profuma di Genova basil and slow roasted tomatoes from the freezer, with a 100% whole wheat crust I had made earlier and frozen. I bake the crust for about four minutes before freezing, then after thawing and assembling the pizza it only takes about five minutes on a hot pizza stone and it is done. You’d never know the crust had been frozen either.

pizza with whole wheat crust

pizza with whole wheat crustpizz

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!

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22 Responses to Harvest Monday July 11, 2016

  1. Our first courgettes (zucchinis) are just starting to set fruit so we are bracing ourselves for a glut.
    Susan Garrett recently posted…Gold starMy Profile

  2. Mark Willis says:

    I’m looking forward to having some ripe tomatoes, so that I can try that salad of yours with the bulgur and beans. I am also intending to have a try at growing onions next year, which I have never done before, and I fancy having a go with some of the red ones which just seem a little bit more special than “ordinary” brown ones. Shame about the zucchini boats. We don’t eat zucchini, but we do occasionally have a stuffed Marrow, filled with meat just like your “boats”. For this we par-boil the marrow until it’s nearly cooked, and then bake it in the oven once the filling has been added. (But then I guess that’s pretty much what you have tried with the zucchini!)

  3. Susie says:

    Lovely potatoes, I haven’t dug up even one plant yet though I imagine I’ll do that soon. And your onions look so good!

    We had quite a bit of rain for a couple of days (much to everyone’s relief) but a few days of sunshine ahead here.
    Susie recently posted…Harvest Monday: July 11, 2016My Profile

  4. Will - Eight Gate Farm - NH says:

    I sure do wish we were as far along as you. Your cucumbers and zucchini look great, as do the Kennebecs and onions. Our potatoes just finished flowering. I can’t believe the size of the Natchez blackberries.

  5. Oh for five days of rain! We won’t see any until at least October here in SoCal. The blackberries are gorgeous and I can imagine their good flavor. The Fairy Tale eggplant is very nice. Hope it’s as tasty as it is beautiful.

  6. David Velten says:

    It is really nice to see all those summer vegetables coming in. Be a while here. We make zucchini boats a lot. I don’t remember having to parboil them. A favorite way to stuff them is Middle Eastern style with ground lamb, garlic, onions, pine nuts, a little tomato sauce and spices, either a blend like harissa or just some cinnamon and nutmeg. They freeze well so you have an instant dinner come winter.
    David Velten recently posted…Harvest Monday 11 July 2016My Profile

  7. Michelle says:

    I’m so glad you reminded me of Scarpaccia, I can’t believe I haven’t made a batch yet! When I make zucchini boats I use raw meat in the filling and by the time the filling is done the zucchini are cooked to perfection. Another of my Dave’s favorites is when I top grilled or pan fried zucchini with a topping like taco meat or seasoned ground meat and shredded cheese.

    Ahh, 5 days of rain, we don’t often get that much even in our rainy season! At this time of year it is pure fantasy. Eggplant is still a fantasy as well and if I can’t keep the rabbits from munching the plants it may stay that way this year.
    Michelle recently posted…Harvest Monday – July 11, 2016My Profile

  8. Julie says:

    Wow.. 5 days of rain! We had three days last week and I thought that was a lot. I’m intrigued by the idea of zucchini hummus. I keep meaning to try a recipe for beet hummus. Those blackberries look huge and delicious. Speaking of delicious, your pizza is making me want some for lunch!
    Julie recently posted…Harvest Monday 7/11/16My Profile

  9. Margaret says:

    Wonderful harvests! Lucky you, getting zucchini & eggplant already! I’m still waiting for my squash plants to size up….they are taking their sweet time, that’s for sure! The green bean salad also sounds delicious – our beans are starting to flower, so I’ve made a note of that one. Hopefully I’ll be trying it by the end of the month 🙂 And how do you manage to grow arugula at this time of year? I would think that it would be much too hot, especially in the greenhouse.
    Margaret recently posted…Harvest Monday – July 11, 2016My Profile

    • Dave says:

      The Speedy arugula does pretty well in the greenhouse. It is hot in there, but gets a bit of afternoon shade.

  10. Chhaya says:

    All those squashes look absolutely delectable! The zucchini boats sound interesting, I am sure the meat could be replaced with a vegetarian alternative and the green bean salad is a vegetarian’s delight! I definitely have to try it soon..!
    My cucumbers are setting now and I am keeping my fingers crossed that I will be able to harvest some!!

  11. Shaheen says:

    Not much progress in my garden, other than I am harvesting some salad greens and strawberries. I join in with a bowl of salad. Hope that is okay. Your aubergines are fantastic and its nice to see what you have made with your courgettes too.
    Shaheen recently posted…Quick and Easy Strawberry Asparagus Spinach Salad in Poppy Seed DressingMy Profile

  12. Mike R says:

    Kennebecs have been an excellent tomato for me. They keep well and taste great. The blackberries are huge.
    Mike R recently posted…Monday July 11My Profile

    • Dave says:

      The Kennebecs did well at my old garden across the river in Ky too. I should have been growing them here before now!

  13. Mike R says:

    Correction, I meant potato not tomato.
    Mike R recently posted…Monday July 11My Profile

  14. Courgette hummus sounds really interesting. With any luck my summer squashes might do well this year – last year the plants never really seemed to get going.

    As usual all your meals look delicious – giant blackberries too!
    Lou@rainbowchard recently posted…Harvest Monday – pestoMy Profile

  15. Phuong says:

    You’re harvesting so many different vegetables. Hmmm, homemade pizza sounds so wonderful. And 5 gallons of blackberries is truly a beautiful thing.

    When do you plant your potatoes? I’ve tried growing them in Kentucky and didn’t get a single tuber. In Idaho we’d plant them in March, but usually it’s too wet here at that time of year.
    Phuong recently posted…Harvest Monday, 7/11/16My Profile

    • Dave says:

      I got the potatoes in the ground this year on April 5th. That was later than usual but like you say, it was too wet to get them out any earlier. I do think sweet potatoes are easier to grow here. They love the heat, and you can plant them in June when it’s usually easier to work up the soil.

  16. Kaman Lai says:

    Hi Dave, I am wondering if I may tap into your wisdom and experience again. I would like to start a few more poles of pole beans this week to have more beans frozen for this coming winter. Although I have really enjoyed my small spring planting of bush beans Jade and Prevail and know bush beans mature much faster with a more concentrated harvests and I did get a decent harvest, I seemed to get constantly injured and it is getting harder for me to deal with bush beans. Is it too late to plant more pole beans if I intend to grow Northeaster and Fortex from Johnny’s Seeds which have an earlier mature dates of approximately 70 days? Or even Rattlesnake Beans with a later mature date?
    Sincerely, Kaman

    • Dave says:

      Hi Kaman, I made a small sowing of pole beans myself in early July. Fedco Seeds recommends sowing Noreaster in July for a September harvest, so I think that would definitely work. Fortex and Rattlesnake sounds like good ones to try also.

  17. Kaman Lai says:

    Thank you very much Dave!

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