Monday, November 2, 2015

Harvest Monday - November 2, 2015

Today feels like a proper November day, it's cold, it's gray, it's raining - real rain - hurrah! A quick change from yesterday when it was sunny and warm and perfect hiking weather. I have to admit that the garden and the blog have been getting less attention lately since Dave and I have gotten back to a pretty full hiking schedule. Yesterday we got home from our hike when there was just enough light  left (and energy on my part) to get out to the garden to harvest a bunch of veggies that needed to be brought in before the rain settled in last night. None of those veggies got photographed but I did take photos of harvests earlier in the week.

The first photo this week is delayed from the previous week. I had tallied the Mandan Parching Lavender corn but not photographed it.

Mandan Parching Lavender corn
Last week I finally tallied the Monachelle di Trevio beans. These were the beans that I had such a difficult time with this year. Most of the plants succumbed to damping off but I left the survivors to soldier on. The end result wasn't impressive but I may give them another try next year - maybe the beans from the surviving plants will be a bit more resistant to damping off. I'll also have to remember to give the soil a pre-treatment with Actinovate before I set the seedlings out.

Monachelle di Trevio beans
I harvested the rest of the Honey Nut butternut squash and cleared out the vines. These were much more productive than last year because the plants were not competing with invading oak roots for water and nutrients. The four vines ended up producing 17.2 pounds of squash, 19 squash at an average of 13.8 ounces, ranging from 6.7 to 21 ounces. I baked one the other night, just split in half and roasted cut side down with a little olive oil. It needed no seasoning other than a touch of salt, it was super sweet and delicious and the skin was tender enough that I ate it too.

Honey Nut Butternut squash
Delicata squash was on the menu the other night. That one got a little fancier treatment. I cut the squash into rings and tossed them with some olive oil, laid the rings on sheet pan lined with parchment paper, and baked them until tender. The Candystick Dessert Delicata are tasty enough to be served just like that, but I came into a surplus of roasted cocoa nibs and was am looking for interesting uses for them and found a recipe in The Essence of Chocolate for roasted squash with a cocoa nib vinaigrette (you can find the recipe here on Epicurious). That was a winner and I'll surely be preparing it again. Some of those excess nibs also went into some chili modeled on the All-Bean Chili in Deborah Madison's original Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone. Her recipe doesn't include cocoa but I ran across that addition in another recipe somewhere and thought it sounded good, so I added nibs to the toasted cumin seeds called for in Deborah's recipe and ground them together. I dubbed that dish "Gold Rush Chili" because I used my Petaluma Gold Rush beans. Ahh, another recipe to write up...

A few of my summer sowing of beets survived and are sizing up. I roasted these beets and cut them in chunks and tossed them with some roasted sweet peppers and pomegranate arils for a tasty salad.

Red Baron beets
A few more eggplants were ready to harvest. The Bonica eggplants were sliced and pan fried, then incorporated into a casserole with tomato sauce, ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Big yum.

Sicilian and Bonica eggplants
The sweet pepper harvest has not finished yet.

Rosso Dolce da Appendere, Gogosar, Shephard's Ramshorn, and Yummy Belle
I don't think I'll be attempting to grow leeks again. In a perfect garden they would sit in their allotted corner of the garden, sizing up over time, store themselves in the garden through the winter where I could harvest them as needed until they start to bolt in the SPRING. In my not so perfect garden they take too long to size up, get infected with rust, and then bolt before I'm ready to use them.

Another bolting leek, you don't want to know what it looked like before I cleaned it up.
I'll stick to onions. But I still have to find the best varieties for my climate. Some of the Tonda Musona onions started to sprout so I had to use them. I ended up making an onion soup. I love my oven. I've been using it to roast rather than saute anything I think is suitable - put it in the oven and go do something else instead of stirring the pot. When I thought to make onion soup I decided to skip the saute pan and go for the roasting pan (a Spanish cazuela in this instance). I tossed onion wedges with some olive oil and salt, covered the onions with parchment paper and roasted them at 350ºF for an hour, then turned the heat down to 300ºF for another 30 minutes. Once cooled I sliced up the onions and added them to a pot in which I had quickly sauteed that leek with a couple of bay leaves and a branch of fresh thyme and a splash of wine. Add chicken stock and water and heat through. When it was time to serve the soup I used deep heavy porcelain soup bowls, ladle in some soup and add a slice of country bread, top with grated Comté cheese, another slice of bread, more soup, top with more cheese and broil until the cheese is melting and a bit browned. Sprinkle with some smoked paprika and serve.

Roasted Tonda Musona and Red Candy Apple onions
I did have a busy week in the kitchen last week. I was still dealing with a surfeit of broccoli. We very much enjoyed a Grilled Broccoli and Bread Salad and I made No-Crust Broccoli quiches (another recipe to write up). Dave has been enjoying the pepper jam so much that I decided to make another batch, this time with Jalapeños, but my Craig's Grande Jalapeños have turned out to have almost no heat so I added some Mareko Fana peppers to the mix - that added some spice!

So, here's the harvest tally for the past week.

Monachelle di Trevio dry beans - 10.9 oz.
Red Baron beets - 18 oz. (w/o greens)
Apollo brokali - 5.9 oz.
Batavia broccoli - 1 lb., 1.9 oz.
Di Ciccio broccoli - 9.2 oz.
Bonica eggplant - 39.9 oz.
Nadia eggplant - 10.6 oz.
Sicilian eggplant - 1 lb., 10.2 oz.
Blue Solaise leek - 7.2 oz.
Criolla de Cocina peppers - 1 lb., 6 oz.
Craig's Grande jalapeño peppers - 15.3 oz.
Florina Greek peppers - 9.8 oz.
Gogosar peppers - 1 lb., 13 oz.
Mareko Fana peppers - 2 lb., 1.6 oz.
Odessa Market peppers - 1 lb., 4.3 oz.
Padron peppers - 10.6 oz.
Rezha Macedonian peppers - 1.8 oz.
Rosso Dolce da Appendere peppers - 2 lb., .9 oz.
Shephard's Ramshorn peppers - 2 lb., 3.9 oz.
Sonora Anaheim peppers - 7.1 oz.
Syrian Three Sided peppers - 2 lb., 1.3 oz.
Yummy Belle peppers - 13.3 oz.
Camp Joy cherry tomatoes - 2.3 oz.
Sweet Gold cherry tomatoes - 1.7 oz.
Honey Nut Butternut squash - 12 lb., 15.1 oz.
Tromba D'Albenga squash - 4 lb., 14.5 oz.

Total harvests for the week - 43 lb., 14.3 oz.
2015 YTD - 1129 lb., .5 oz.

The total harvests on October 31 last year were 1107 pounds, just 5 pounds less than the 1112.1 on October 31 this year. Kind of interesting how close the totals were from this year to the last. But the total as of October 31, 2013 was only 752 pounds. In 2012 the tally on the same date stood at 651 pounds. 2011 - 504 pounds (the year of the rats). 2010 - 638 pounds. My new big raised beds have really made a difference, they've all be up and running for the past two years and it really shows in the tallies.

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 lately and show us what you've been harvesting lately while you're there.


  1. A rainbow harvest. I think you've got every color of the rainbow in this late summer harvest. Doesn't that cool weather feel good? You've got rain, too. I'm hoping it make it down here by tonight without wimping away.

  2. Good eats at your house! You may not have been impressed with the quantity of beans, but they sure are pretty. I'm interested in how you prepare the parching corn, so please let us know. I wish my Honey Nut squash had produced, as your harvest looks great and sounds delicious.

  3. I'm going to have to try growing those Honey Nut squash next year. I see they were bred by Cornell, the folks who also gave us my favorite Bush Delicata squash. The vining Waltham butternut has not done well here so I am going to go back to bush varieties. I love cocoa in chili and never thought about using cocoa nibs in there. I have some we brought back from the cacao farm we visited in HI earlier this year, and I believe they will be going in my next batch of red!

  4. You take such beautiful pics!! The veggies just look so amazing on their own, but the way you show photograph them are fantastic. I'm oohing and aahing (no idea how what the proper spelling is) over the colours in each picture.

  5. Such beautiful harvests - what a difference your new beds have made! In the muddle of getting so much done in the garden this year, my totals have actually gone down despite having several more beds. I'm hoping to correct that next year.

    I'm also saving seed from all my beans for next year. I had a terrible time with germination this time round and I'm not sure if that was my fault or the seeds - it could really go either way. If I use nice, fresh seed next year, it will at least take one factor out of the equation.

  6. Nice harvest. Surprising you have trouble with leeks but can grow onions. I found that the intermediate day onions I tried this year did not do well and definitely do not keep well. I need to just cook them into something or freeze them. I had a lot of the Tropea onions that didn't get pulled as fresh onions and most have already turned soft and sprouted.

  7. Looks like it is Pink & Purple season in your garden! Those beans are really beautiful. Shame about the Leeks, but if it makes you feel any better, mine are rubbish too this year.


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