Monday, August 31, 2015

Harvest Monday - August 31, 2015

There's some new goodies in the harvest basket this week. The first sweet peppers to fully ripen are the Yummy Belles. There were a couple of accidental harvests. The pepper on the left is a sweet frying pepper called Rosso Dolce da Appendere that ripens to bright red. Fortunately it is also tasty as a green pepper. The plants are growing next to the Anaheim peppers which I like to harvest green and I pulled the Rosso Dolce pepper thinking it was a ripening Anaheim. That was fine because I was making another batch of gazpacho and need a sweet pepper in the mix. Craig's Grande jalapeño is growing next to the Sonora peppers and I knocked a couple of young peppers off the plants, which worked out fine as well, I used them in the dish that I harvested the Sonoras for. I roasted and peeled the Sonoras and the jalapeños to incorporate into a stew that featured home processed posole (hominy) made from last year's Cascade Ruby Gold flint corn. The stew also had some Tromba D'Albenga squash, onions, and garlic. I made a very simple salsa of fresh tomatoes, avocado, Tropea onions, and lime juice to top off each bowl of stew. I'm working on a post at the moment about my home processed posole.

Rosso Dolce Appendere, Yummy Belle, Padron, Craig's Grande Jalapeño, Sonora Anaheim

Some of the Red Candy Apple onion starts turned out to be Tropea onions and here's the first of them that have finished curing. I have been using these to make what I call "instant pickled onions" - I cut them into thin slices using my handy little Benriner mandolin, then toss the slices with a pinch of salt and a splash of wine vinegar. They are ready in moments to top whatever you like to have pickled onions on.

Tropea onions
New crop Purgatory Beans! My best harvest in years. I wrote a spotlight post about them last week if you want to learn more about them. While finding space on my pantry shelf for the new jar of beans I unearthed the last of the 2013 harvest, about 6 ounces of beans, just enough to whip up a salad with tomatoes, tuna and pickled Tropea onions. The Camp Joy cherry tomatoes were perfect in the salad, they aren't as assertive as the sweet-tart Sweet Gold cherry tomatoes and I thought their savory flavor was a good compliment to the beans.

Purgatory beans
I've been harvesting the Tromba D'Albenga squash a bit large. The larger ones are perfect for making Zucchini Sott'Olio and the firm flesh of the large ones are also great for stews like the posole stew I mentioned before.

Tromba D'Albenga squash
A couple more harvests of Amish Paste tomatoes means I now have 10 pounds of canned tomatoes in the pantry.

Amish Paste
I'm not sure if there will be more cucumber harvests like this one. There's plenty of Green Fingers still coming in, but one of the Tasty Treat plants collapsed from wilt and the other may be on the way out. There would have been more cucumbers in the tally if I hadn't gotten tired of harvesting them. A number of them got to be huge and went straight to the compost from the garden.

Green Fingers and Tasty Treat
This was one of the Superstar onions that bolted. I've got all of them still hanging upside down on the curing rack outside. Most of them are keeping pretty well as their fat flowerstalks slowly dry out. I don't want to cut all the flower stalks off because they are hollow and cutting them makes the bulb more prone to getting some sort of infection. So I take them from the rack as I need them and trim them and tally them one at a time. This one is big enough to cook with for the better part of the week - about 1 3/4 pounds after I trimmed it. All of my Red Candy Apple onions have finished curing and I've trimmed them and brought them inside, but I haven't gotten around to weighing them yet.

This is not in the tally yet, but it was too pretty to not show off.

Mandan Parching Lavender corn

There were a few harvests that I didn't get around to photographing, they're included in the details below.

Speedy arugula - 7 oz.
Purgatroy beans - 3 lb., .9 oz.
Purple pole beans - 2.6 oz.
Stortino di Trento beans - 3.6 oz.
Green Fingers cucumbers - 3 lb., 6.6 oz.
Tasty Treat cucumbers - 4.3 oz.
Sicilian eggplant - 1 lb, 10.8 oz.
Candy onion - 1 lb., 11.9 oz.
Tropea onions - 2 lb., 7.1 oz.
Craig's Grande Jalapeño peppers - .7 oz.
Padron peppers - 8.4 oz.
Rosso Dolce da Appendere pepper - 4.2 oz.
Sonora Anaheim peppers - 8.7 oz.
Yummy Belle peppers - 9.7 oz.
Amish Paste tomatoes - 6 lb., 2.1 oz.
Caspian Pink tomatoes - 1 lb., 10 oz.
Jaune Flamme tomatoes - 1.9 oz.
Mavritanskite tomatoes - 1 lb., 9.8 oz.
Pantano tomatoes - 7.4 oz.
Tromba D'Albenga squash - 8 lb., 2 oz.

Total harvests for the week - 35 lb., 14.4 oz.
2015 YTD - 590 lb., 2.5 oz.

If I had gotten around to tallying the Red Candy Apple onions I would have passed the 600 lb. mark this week. I'll do it today so I can hit the mark this month.

Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne on her blog Daphne's Dandelions, head on over there to be inspired by what other garden bloggers have been harvesting lately.

Totally off topic - 

I want to give a heads up to US readers who are nature lovers to watch the first segment of Big Blue Live tonight. It is being broadcast live from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a place I love and where I spend every Thursday afternoon as a volunteer guide. You will get a glimpse of something that I too often take for granted - the incredible wildlife that inhabits or visits Monterey Bay. UK viewers already got their shot at it, now it's our turn.


  1. I keep willing my chillis on, hoping they will ripen before the weather turns cold(er). I think I may have to get my little plastic greenhouse out soon. Your corn is amazingly beautiful - too good to eat, surely!

  2. The basket of peppers is superb, especially those Yummy Belles ... I hope they live up to their name.

  3. Those peppers are gorgeous, and I can't get over the corn. Since it's a "parching," does that mean it's used for something like corn mush? And I've set my DVR for Big Blue Live!

    1. Parching corn is eaten as a snack. The dried kernels are roasted in a dry skillet until they puff a bit. They're supposed to be somewhat like "corn nuts" only better. It's a flour corn, so it can also be ground to make cornmeal and it's suitable for making posole/hominy/masa. I hope my crop is big enough to try all three preparations.

  4. You are doing great with 600 pounds already harvested. I love that purple corn. Not that I can grow dried corn. My husband loves the sweet corn too much for that.

  5. I love tuna and white bean salad, though I've never got to make it with homegrown beans. The cherry tomatoes sound like a good addition. And I'm with Will, the corn is lovely and what will you do with it?

    1. I hope to parch it for snacks and grind it for cornbread and nixtamalize it to make posole - if I harvest enough.

  6. You are starting to get some interesting items from the garden. I'm trying to use up the Tropea onions, of which I have a lot from a full bundle, before they go bad. No surprises in the Tropea bundle but the Superstar onions were almost half leeks. My Superstar got nowhere as big as yours but I found they do rot easily. Most of the ones I harvested developed mold/rot on the stem end and were tossed. Keeping the stem on makes sense, but I am not sure I will bother with them again.

  7. Beautiful harvests - particularly envious of those cucumbers. Mine are all but toast now and I didn't get even a mini-glut all summer. Quite disappointed on that front.

    I've never heard of parching corn - it looks amazing & I can't wait to see how well it fares for you in those three preparations. And that is one whopper of an onion!

  8. Gorgeous peppers and beautiful lavender corn, can't wait to see your homemade posole.

  9. Your peppers are really awesome! And the lavender corn is so cute! I like it

  10. Beautiful produce, M. I'm pulling some Florida trial tomatoes next week. Three new ones from UFL. Not good for me or California as the skins are very tough and the flavor is bland. I've heard that cool California evenings will thicken tomato skins. Wonder if this is true. Padrons keep pumping out - yea!

  11. Your first picture of the peppers are proper green and gold from the garden. And that sweetcorn is perhaps the prettiest I have ever seen. Absolutely delightful looking harvest.


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