Monday, October 26, 2015

Harvest Monday - October 26, 2015

I had a "catchup" harvest last Monday after being gone for over a week, fortunately the tomatoes were basically done before I left so I didn't come home to rotting tomatoes. But the broccoli went nuts in my absence.

Batavia broccoli
The Batavia broccoli heads seemingly tripled in size and the rest of the plants continued to put out side shoots. The only tomatoes that are still producing, just a bit, are the Camp Joy cherry tomatoes, which Dave claimed for his lunches.

Di Ciccio and Batavia broccoli, and Apollo brokali
The Tromba D'Albenga vines are going nuts, crawling all over their corner of the bed, through the old corn plants, up the bean trellis that I've not yet cleared out, so they keep producing. Most of the squash don't get pollinated but they still produce good long firm necks (the best part) before the seedless seed end of the squash starts to wither.

Tromba D'Albenga squash
The "summer" pole beans have been producing modest second pickings and one of my Padron plants that had been a modest producer through the summer has now found its way and is pumping out the pods.

Stortino di Trento and Purple Pole beans, Padron peppers
I got the Egg going once again for another smoking party - De La Vera and Craig's Grande Jalapeño and a stray Rezha Macedonian got the apple and almond treatment along with some NTRs that had spent the last 10 days in the fridge. I reserved about a pound of the Craig's Grande Jalapeños, including a bunch that I had harvested before vacation, to make another batch of pepper jam.

De La Vera, Craig's Grande Jalapeño, and Rezha Macedonian

When the smokers were done I raised the heat to roast a few more peppers, a big bunch of Giallo di Cuneo peppers ripened while I was away.

Giallo di Cuneo peppers

A few more Lady Bell and Florina Greek peppers were ready to harvest also. The Lady Bells got rather shaded by other peppers that grow taller so the harvest wasn't as good as in years past. I'll  have to remember that for next year.

Long des Landes, Florina Greek, and Lady Bell peppers

When the peppers were finished I roasted up about a pound of broccoli florets which went into a salad with chickpeas and roasted peppers with a smoky tahini dressing (my version of a broccoli and lentil salad - the original recipe can be found here). That salad was a real winner so I'll have to post my modified version of the recipe on my recipe blog, some day...

Yesterday I selected a variety of veggies to give to a friend. She got everything but the Syrian Three Sided pepper that was sunburned on one side.

Clockwise from upper left: Criolla de Cocina, Long des Landes, Padrons,
Syrian Three Sided, Mareko Fana, Stortino di Trento and Purple beans, Yummy Belles
She also got many of the Tromba D'Albenga squash and the eggplant.

Bonica eggplant and Tromba D'Albenga squash

One thing that I didn't get around to photographing this week was the shelled Mandan Parching Lavender corn. I was really pleased that my little patch produced 4 pounds of kernels. It wasn't as productive as the Cascade Ruby Gold or Floriani Red corns last year (5+ pounds each), but the plants are dwarfs and with small cobs, so I was expecting much less. I'll show a photo of them next week along with a photo of the Taos Pueblo Blue corn that I'm nearly done shelling.

Speaking of corn, the dried whole kernel corn keeps exceptionally well and we enjoyed some of the Floriani Red from last year as freshly ground polenta with long cooked broccoli. I tried a new-to-me method of cooking polenta that I'm definitely going to do again, oven cooked polenta. It's the most simple method I've tried yet and produced excellent results. You'll find all sorts of recipes for oven cooked polenta on the web, but here's the basics -
Combine 1 cup of polenta meal (not instant) with a quart of liquid (I used half stock and half water) and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir together in an oven proof container (I used a Staub cocotte). Bake uncovered for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in some butter. Back  in the oven for 10 minutes. Add cheese if you're going to use it just before serving. It can be held in a low oven before serving.
It is almost too easy! You truly do not have to stir it for the first 40 minutes - it looks a bit funky but it all comes together.

So, even though the summer harvests are quickly winding down it was another good week. The shorter days have things growing and ripening at a slower pace (unless you're broccoli) so I don't have to rush to harvest the peppers as soon as they ripen, they keep well on the plants for at least a few days so I harvest them as I have time to deal with them. That means more peppers to come in the following week, but after that they will be nearly done.

Here's the harvest tally for the past week:

Purple Pole beans - 6.5 oz.
Stortino di Trento beans - 1 lb., 4.3 oz.
Apollo brokali - 11.9 oz.
Batavia broccoli - 9 lb., 5 oz.
Di Ciccio broccoli - 15.3 oz.
Mandan Parching Lavender corn - 4 lb., .2 oz.
Bonica eggplant - 1 lb., 6.4 oz.
Criolla de Cocina peppers - 8.7 oz.
Craig's Grande Jalapeño - 1 lb., 8.9 oz.
De La Vera peppers - 15.9 oz.
Florina Greek peppers - 15.9 oz.
Giallo di Cuneo peppers - 3 lb., 10.5 oz.
Lady Bell peppers - 11.2 oz.
Markeo Fana peppers - 2.5 oz.
Padron peppers - l lb., 9.4 oz.
Long des Landes peppers - 2 lb., 1.2 oz.
Rezha Macedonian peppers - 2.1 oz.
Yummy Belle peppers - 8 oz.
Camp Joy cherry tomatoes - 15.3 oz.
Tromba D'Albenga squash - 10 lb., 15.6 oz.

Total for the week - 42 lb., 14.8 oz. (19.5 kg.)
2015 YTD - 1085 lb., 2.2 oz. (492.2 kg.)

Harvest Monday is hosted by Dave on his blog Our Happy Acres,  head on over there to be inspired by what other garden bloggers have been harvesting and cooking up.


  1. Well, this is the point where us chilly gardeners look upon your harvests and just sigh.

  2. I can always count on your blog as a source of inspiration, Michelle. That polenta recipe sounds right up my street. Of course it must be even better if made with home-grown corn (I wish!).

  3. What beautiful harvests - that's an incredible number of Pardons from one plant! And those Tromba Will said, it does make one want to sigh ;)

    I MUST try that polenta recipe - one of the reasons that I don't often make polenta is not only because of the constant stirring but the molten gets me every time.

  4. Ditto what Mark said - I always get inspired (and hungry) reading your posts! You tried the broccoli salad recipe that I want to try. Chickpeas or lentils both sound good as the legume.And I'm having BGE envy since it sounds like you got three different things smoked & roasted out of one firing. The pepper jam is a big hit here too. I'm enjoying it on crackers as a snack.

  5. Hmm, the words "broccoli" and "went nuts" have never come together in a sentence for me. I think I'll give it one more go next season as I actually had something this year, but still not much. I'm definitely going to find some of those Tromba seeds - they seem to grow so much they might just outrun the squash bugs. Fabulous harvest as always, Michelle!

  6. Lovely harvest! I like the peppers, so various!

  7. Happy to see all your colorful vegetables. While seeing your blog it gives me an inspiration to grow plants. It will be really good to taste food with home made vegetables...

  8. Wow, your broccoli heads are enormous, I must keep in mind this variety for next year.


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