Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. Much of last week for us was dominated by installation of a new furnace and a/c unit that wound up taking four days. Since the inside unit is in the attic, and the access is through the kitchen, things were a mess to say the least. But we’re back to what passes for normal around here, and it didn’t stop me from bringing things in from the garden. One thing I did was clear out most of the vining squashes, which netted three more Tetsukabuto, and one each of the Sugaretti spaghetti squash and the neck pumpkin Turkeyneck. We also got out first taste of the Tetsukabuto, and it was delish. I cut half of one into slices and roasted it for a side dish one night, then roasted the other half to make into pumpkin cake. The flesh is deep orange, fairly dry, and I thought it was very flavorful. I will try and get a pic when I cook the next one up.
Another thing I did was finish digging the sweet potatoes. Since that was a marathon process I broke it up into two sessions on two different days. It has been a great year for sweet potatoes here, and I think I will do a separate post on them once they have cured and we can start tasting them. This week I dug six different varieties from the unfertilized bed, orange fleshed ones called Redmar, Beauregard and Indiana Gold plus the white fleshed ones called Korean Purple, Grand Asia and Violetta. The 30 plants yielded 108 pounds of tubers, bringing the yearly haul to 169 pounds. That is way more than we can eat ourselves, probably 125 pounds more, so we will be giving away lots of sweet potatoes to friends once they are ready to eat. That’s Korean Purple in the below photo, and the white spots are where the skin rubbed off while I was digging them out. They’ll cure up fine and the skinned spots don’t hurt the storage time any, they just really stand out on the white fleshed ones.
In other news, I got enough ripe baccatum peppers to make a quart jar of pickled peppers. These are all ones with mild heat, including the round Malawi Piquante, the red Kaleidoscope and the orange Aji Golden. I soaked them overnight in a 10% salt solution then drained and rinsed before putting them in the jar and adding a sweet brine of vinegar, sugar and water. I also threw in a few cloves of garlic for added flavor. I don’t process these so they will need to be refrigerated.
I also harvested some of the ripe Korean Hot peppers I have growing in a container. They look like a cayenne pepper but are actually quite mild and flavorful. I dehydrated these and will use them in kimchi once I have veggies to ferment. I have a couple other Korean peppers I’m growing this year and they should be ready for harvest soon.
Another pepper I harvested last week was a sweet one called Doux Des Landes. We grilled a couple of them and were disappointed with the taste, which was pretty blah. I will likely dry the rest of them as they ripen and use them for paprika, which will hopefully intensify the flavor a bit.
One of the most exciting harvests of the week was the first picking of the fall planting of Derby bush beans. I pulled the spring planting and sowed more seeds in the same spot on August 9th. I got right at two pounds from this first batch, with more on the plants. These are great when oven roasted in a cast iron skillet, and the tender beans cook in no time. The beans were nice and clean with minimal insect damage too. I’m happy I took the time to replant these for a fall crop, and it looks like a good strategy to try in years to come. I just have to remember to order enough seeds for double cropping.
And last, but certainly not least, was a big haul of Chef’s Choice Orange tomatoes. I think any tomatoes we get in October are exciting, and slicers are even more precious this time of year. That harvest called for BLT sandwiches for dinner one night, and we have also been enjoying the tomatoes on salads and sliced and eaten straight up.
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!