Harvest Monday September 4, 2017

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The garden got some much needed rain Friday when Harvey moved through and gave us a good soaking rain. We got a bit more than an inch, which was great because it had been almost a month since we got that much in a 24 hour period. Late summer and early fall are usually dry periods for us here, but who knows what climate change will bring to those norms! Regardless, the garden is keeping us well fed and keeping me busy as well. I’m bringing in the winter squashes as soon as I think they have sufficiently matured on the vines. Last week I harvested the first of the Dickinson pumpkins and the Tetsukabuto squashes, and three more of the Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato squash. There’s a bit over 45 pounds total.

Dickinson, Tetsukabuto and Thelma Sanders winter squashes

Dickinson, Tetsukabuto and Thelma Sanders winter squashes

The size of the Dickinson pumpkin is a bit deceptive. It is very heavy for its size, and the one I’m holding in the below photo weighed over 16 pounds, and while the other one looks larger it actually weighed about 13 pounds. It’s still a lot of pumpkin though, and there’s at least two more big ones out in the garden. I’ll let these two cure a bit before I cook them up. Even the 13-pounder may require a marathon baking session!

Dickinson pumpkin

Dickinson pumpkin

The Tetsukabuto squash is certainly a more manageable size, and these first three weighed around 11 pounds total. A 3 to 4 pound squash is still a lot for the two of us to eat at one sitting though, so we will need to be creative in the kitchen. My favorite way to use a kabocha type squash is in a curry. I think we will first try this one cut into slices and baked so we can better judge its taste.

Tetsukabuto squash

Tetsukabuto squash

I also brought in the first Sugaretti squash. This 2017 AAS Winner is a spaghetti squash that is supposed to be sweeter than the usual types. I think the stripes and coloring make it look like a giant delicata. It weighed over 4 pounds, which is definitely a lot of squash! It’s prolific too, and there are several more on the vines almost ready to harvest.

Sugaretti squash

Sugaretti squash

It’s my first time growing Buffy, and the vines have given up lots and lots of the small tan colored fruits. They typically weigh a pound or less, which is a great size to serve as a side dish. The ones we’ve tasted so far were not extremely sweet, but they were very flavorful, with sort of a nutty taste and a nice consistency. There are a baker’s dozen in the basket in the below photo, and more still on the wandering vines. I have this one growing up a remesh trellis, and I noticed the top section of the remesh was bent over from the weight of the squashes on the vines. So, I am now calling this one Buffy the Trellis Slayer!

basket of Buffy

basket of Buffy

It’s been a great year here for the Tromba d’Albenga squash. I’ve been getting a couple of them almost every week, and they are still setting on the vines. In the below photo they are posing with Nadia and Galine eggplant, a Ginkaku melon, and the first ripe Cornito Rosso pepper. I used the pepper on a pizza, and more are ripening now on my two plants. I used part of the tromboncini as a spaghetti substitute, covered with homemade marinara sauce. I run the squash through the spiralizer, then blanch it in boiling water for 4-5 minutes to turn it into ‘trasta.’

mixed harvest with tromboncino

mixed harvest with tromboncino

It’s been a great year for tomatoes too. We’ve really been enjoying the Midnight Snack cherry tomatoes. It’s the best tasting of the Indigo tomatoes I have tried, and my plant has produced lots of fruit for us to enjoy. Many of this batch wound up on a salad, and others were eaten for a snack. I also roasted a few to go on a pizza.

Midnight Snack tomatoes

Midnight Snack tomatoes

I’m still getting plenty of paste tomatoes, and I made another big batch of marinara sauce for the freezer. There’s more tomatoes out there, but I’m running out of room in the freezer! I roasted a batch of the small fruited ones last week, and in the below photo it’s a mix of Sun Sugar, Sunpeach, Black Cherry and Purple Bumble Bee. The gallon container is full of Juliet. I planted four cages of them this year, and they have produced mightily. What was I thinking planting that many? I turned this batch into sauce.

cherry tomatoes and Juliet

cherry tomatoes and Juliet

The slicing tomatoes have slowed down though. I did find a big Cosmonaut Volkov to use on sandwiches. These have been especially tasty, and I have saved seeds to grow these again next year. There’s some Golden Rave paste tomatoes in the basket too, and I mixed them with the red tomatoes for sauce.

Cosmonaut Volkov tomato

Cosmonaut Volkov tomato

We also got our first taste of Carbon. This is a purple tomato reminiscent of Cherokee Purple, and it had similar flavor which I enjoyed. Unlike CP though, my Carbon plant has not been very vigorous and got overrun by its neighbors. Next year I will either plant it in a different spot, or go back to growing CP. I also want to try the Black Brandywine in 2018. I love the flavor of the black/purple tomatoes, but I have yet to find one that will consistently produce for me. So, I will keep trying until I find one!

Carbon tomato

Carbon tomato

In non-gardening news, I baked up a batch of buns last week, using my tried and true Moomie’s Famous Burger Buns recipe. We use them for things other than burgers, and I have made them so many time over the years I can practically do it in my sleep. My version uses a mix of whole wheat and unbleached flours, and you can find the original recipe at King Arthur Flour (Beautiful Burger Buns). This batch is topped with a mix of sesame seeds, poppy seeds and dried minced onion. I also added a bit of wheat germ to the dough.

Moomie's Famous Burger Buns

Moomie’s Famous Burger Buns

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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24 Responses to Harvest Monday September 4, 2017

  1. Michelle says:

    Your haul of winter squash is impressive. Buffy The Trellis Slayer – too funny! Sugaretti is an interesting squash, at first glance it does look like a Delicata but the shape is Spaghetti. I’m wondering if your Purple Bumble Bee plants are happy? Mine are quite sickly and not very productive. I’m disappointed because they are tasty and I would like more of them! Same goes for the Sunrise Bumble Bee tomatoes.
    Michelle recently posted…Harvest Monday – August 28, 2017My Profile

  2. I think we need to look into growing smaller squash. The Crown Prince are rather large and we end up having to freeze some once we have cut into one.
    Susan Garrett recently posted…Tickled Pink with last week’s harvest.My Profile

  3. Lea says:

    Wonderful looking bread, but it is all those squash varieties that are most interesting to me.
    Have a great week!
    Lea recently posted…Harvest Monday, September 4, 2017My Profile

  4. Will - Eight Gate Farm - NH says:

    Haha, that looks like a mug shot for the notorious criminal Peter Pumpkinhead! But what a great-looking haul of squash. And the tomatoes are just glorious. I am so envious.

  5. Melissa says:

    What a wonderful bounty you’re pulling from your garden right now! Your Winter Squash is amazing and I’m drooling over your tomatoes. You always do so well, Dave. I do hope you’re proud of your garden this year!
    Melissa recently posted…If we were having coffee…My Profile

  6. Shaheen says:

    Your harvest of winter squash and pumpkins is AMAZING, I would so love to try the Midnight Snack cherry tomatoes, they look quite exquisite too. Yes, I am going to say it too – I am also very, very envious.
    Shaheen recently posted…Red Harvest MondayMy Profile

  7. Kaman says:

    Hi Dave, I noticed your tomatoes have “tiny black spots” on them. Mine got a lot of those spots. I am wondering what those are? I have not been vigilant enough to remove diseased leaves on my tomatoes or trellis them better or even control their growth due to a lot of health reasons. I don’t even have enough mulch coverage since I am not strong enough to buy a lot of bags of them from Home Depot. My tomato’s are full of dying yellow or brown leaves now with a huge amount of black spots. But I am still rewarded by them with a great harvest considering the amount of care I gave them. I am wondering if my plants are coming down with blight or bacterial leave spot infection. But according to Mark from Mark’s Vegetable Plot and even Mike from Mike’s Bean Patch …no matter what hygience practices you do eventually the plants do succumbed to either fungal or bacterial disease or insect damages. Not even growing the so called blight resistant varieties will prevent the inevitable. You can only delay or hold off the usual plant diseases.

    • Dave says:

      Hi Kaman, I’m not sure what the black spots are on the tomatoes. I don’t really have disease issues at present. Thankfully I have not seen any blight here on my tomatoes. Sometimes early in the season I have septoria spot, but it rarely kills any plants. I think having disease or insect problems is highly variable. My tomatoes rarely die before frost gets them. Some do, but most keep on producing until frost, though they slow down. On the other hand, my squash and cucumbers ALWAYS have insect problems (squash bugs) and sometimes bacterial wilt as well. However I rarely have squash vine borers here. I think if you do have disease problems then it is difficult if not impossible to prevent the damage. That’s my two cents worth, hope it helps!

  8. Tomato envy! All I’ve got left that’s ripe are those mealy Black Vernissage still trucking along, despite being absolutely speckled with spider mites. I’ll give it to them though, they’re not tasty at all but they are warriors! If only they could be crossed with something tastier, like Paul Robeson. I’ve tried several times this season but I’m bad at tomato crossing to begin with, and the heat dries out the stigmas so quickly they’ve always aborted. If I do manage a cross though I’ll send you seeds – the should produce black tomatoes hopefully as productive as BV, and then can be selected for sweetness. But I’m getting waaay ahead of myself!

    And not that I need another project, but if you find any viable seeds in the Tesukabuto squash, let me know! I’m told it’s unlikely but still possible. Some people are attempting to use Tetsukabuto to confer some of the moschata SVB resistence onto maxima varieties by crossing Tetsukabuto with maxima, and then back crossing those offspring to Tesukabuto, then back to maxima (I think that was the order.) Interesting stuff!
    Day – Homestead Pirate recently posted…Fire, water, air… don’t say it.My Profile

  9. Dave says:

    Ok, you lost me with all the crossing, but I can save seeds from Tetsukabuto when I cut one. They are definitely cross pollinated with other moschatas I had growing, since I didn’t grow any maximas this year (I don’t think).

    • Haha sorry! I’m a gene geek and I get easily carried away. Tetsukabuto usually makes seeds but rarely do any of them actually sprout, they’re mostly infertile seeds, just shell and empty DNA so to speak. However sometimes people get lucky. You strike me as a lucky guy, so I’ll take that bet XD

      I’m not growing any moschata this year, so the Tetsu you gave me (if they produce viable seed) will all be crossed with Maxima. A fun comparison, should we get seeds from both!
      Day – Homestead Pirate recently posted…Fire, water, air… don’t say it.My Profile

  10. Mike R says:

    What are you going to do with all those Dickinson pumpkins, make pumpkin pies? I find it funny that most people don’t realize that the canned pumpkin they buy is actually more closely related to the butternut, C. moschata. The Teks really do go well with curry, especially in a soup. The Sugaretti squash is different. I wish Harvey had gotten up here, but it stopped just short of where I live, nothing but a few drops.

    • Dave says:

      I am thinking pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin custard, pumpkin soup. Seriously, I will try and find a home for a couple of them.

  11. RAY says:

    With just 2 of you, what do you do with all that squash?
    I thought I raised a lot of squash for just me and the wife.
    (got 7 varieties covering almost 900 sq ft of my garden)
    My solution is the local food pantry.
    Do you donate?

    • Dave says:

      We donate extras to the food bank, and give extras to friends and neighbors. But we eat most of it ourselves, and we have a well stocked freezer and pantry!

  12. Lexa says:

    As a great lover of everything squash related, your post is love at first sight! What bounty Dave. I so enjoy reading about all of the different varieties that you try each year. And I must try your hamburger bun recipe. They look just wonderful. Happy Labor Day!
    Lexa recently posted…Bean and Melon Harvest TimeMy Profile

  13. Susie says:

    Fantastic harvest! I’ve just pulled some of my winter squash and looking forward to weighing them up. I don’t have Dickinson this year but recall previous harvests and they do make for a big cooking session!
    Susie recently posted…Harvest Monday: August 28, 2017My Profile

    • Dave says:

      I remember you grew Dickinson before. There may be enough to last us a couple of years if I bake them up and freeze the puree!

  14. Wow, I’m sure your harvests get better every week. I love Buffy, one of my fave TV shows (I even met a couple of the actors years ago!) so am inspired by that squash variety 😀

    Jan walked by as I was looking at your pumpkinhead photo – she enjoyed it a lot too.
    Lou@rainbowchard recently posted…Harvest Monday – early autumnMy Profile

  15. ray says:

    have you ever grown sweet meat squash?
    give it a try next summer….they are delicious…..
    hugh…..(invite the national guard!!!!) they are a native variety

  16. Phuong says:

    Wow, you grow a ton of different varieties of winter squash. And your tomatoes are still looking amazing, too. Seeing the beautiful breads you bake really makes me miss bread making, there’s just nothing like fresh baked bread.

  17. Kathy says:

    Love the look of your squashes Dave, and whilst admiring them I spotted a familiar friend.. Thelma Sanders! We’ve grow these for years and love their flavour, often roasting them in wedges with a bit of garlic oil. Thank you for sharing the burger bun recipe. I shall have a go at that when I surface from the tomato mountain

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