Monday, October 16, 2017

Harvest Monday - 16 October 2017

Here's another Harvest Monday update from Eight Gate Farm.

We had a frost advisory mid-week. I harvested all the tomatoes showing any color, and covered the eggplants and peppers. As it turned out, while the air temperature never registered freezing, there was scattered frost on the roofs and random patches of the ground. I can't seem to figure out why.

Just prior to that, we took some things we needed, and The Kitchen Goddess made a goofy Mr. Red-Eye for me to photograph.

I harvested the rest of the Floriani Red Flint corn, which is now joining its brothers drying in the sunroom. Good thing, too, since we are totally out of cornmeal.

On Sunday we got another indication there will be close to a frost on Monday night. I figured it was time to bring in all the peppers and eggplants that were ripe or close to it. So here's a plethora of peppers and an abundance of aubergines:

Top row: generic hot cherry, Calabrese, Thai Hot, and Cherry Bomb. Bottom row: Big Jim, Maule's Red Hot, Hungarian Hot Wax, Anaheim, and Aruba (Cubanelle).
Clockwise from top left: Mitoyo, Rosita, Bride, Nadia, Ping Tung Long.

Now everything will just have to fend for itself.

I also took the two useable zucchinis, which we enjoyed that night my favorite way: Zucchini Smash, which is just the sliced fruit lightly steamed, then sauteed in butter with garlic and onions, slightly smashing as you go.

Cocozella di Napoli

Backing up slightly, on Saturday I picked all the Shishito peppers that were big enough for the grill, mostly one-biters but still delicious.

Mellow Star

TKG did a fantastic job quickly slicing and blanching the skinny eggplants, making 9 or 10 packages for the freezer. The globular eggplants we are going to fire-roast tonight, with the intention of making baba ganoush. Also the peppers suitable for chiles rellenos will be grilled.

But speaking of the freezer, I think I've mentioned that we are running 2 1/2 freezers here: a chest freezer in the barn, an upright in the utility room, and one under the fridge. All are full-to-bursting with this and prior years' vegetables and fruit. I would dearly love to empty one and stop using the electricity it takes. We spent some time on Sunday organizing things. The chest freezer had many bags of apples picked last year, with the intention of making more hard cider. But we still have several cases of cider from the year before. So I took those apples and distributed them out in the woods. Note to game wardens: I am just feeding the deer and most definitely not baiting them!

But still we have far too much frozen produce. We will try using the oldest ones in a mixed soup/puree and see how that goes. I guess it's another of those happy problems when you grow more than you can use or give away. But there's cost and effort involved in freezing them. That's why I like to grow things you can just dry and store in a closet: flint corn, beans, soup peas. I just have to plan the gardens better. Any ideas?

Thank you for reading, and thanks as always to Dave at Our Happy Acres for continuing to host Harvest Monday. Please join me there for a look at harvests all around the world.


  1. I think you may need to invest in a good dehydrator. I dehydrate tomatoes, peppers (both fresh and roasted), zucchini, onions, carrots, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, cabbage, and Tronchuda Beira. I've even found that dehydrated salsa is tasty! The dehydrator is indispensable for making tomato paste. Back when I had an apricot tree I would dry loads of apricots. Apples are easy to dehydrate.

    Oh gosh, even with all the dried veggies I still have a small stand up freezer and 2 half freezers that are stuffed although a lot of that isn't veggies.

    1. We do dehydrate, albeit with an entry-level model. Dehydrated salsa! That's a new one on me.

  2. Your alliterative haul of peppers and eggplants is quite impressive! We've got a frost possible tonight so I am doing similar harvesting today. Like Michelle I'm a big fan of the dehydrator. But we have 2 1/2 freezers running too, and they are full of goodies like yours.

    1. Glad someone caught the alliteration, and also glad I'm not alone in being Mr. Freeze.

  3. Oh, I'm having freezer issues too - and I'll join the 2 1/2 freezer group...must be a veg gardener thing :)

    Like you I'm trying to figure out how much we need to carry us through the year and perhaps just a little bit extra as you never know what the season will bring. But last years harvest of tomatoes generated enough sauce to take us through a couple of years which meant I cut down on the number I grew this year. Of course canning saves on freezer space, but I've been so short on time that I've not done a single jar this year, opting for the quicker freezer option instead.

    And I'll third a dehydrator - It's a relatively new appliance for me so I'm nowhere near Michelle's level of use, but it sure made quick work of an abundance of tromboncino squash.

  4. We also have a dehydrator and it has proved its worth alright. Dried apple rings and apple chunks are stored in jars, dried strawberries are great in porridge, dried chillies make excellent paprika. Courgettes, summer broccoli, tomatoes, sweet peppers all dehydrate well and make good additions to winter stews. With sauces I cook them right down so it is very concentrated.. it does mean the opened jar then has to go in the fridge but things soon get used. I find that if I am not careful things just get "bunged in the freezer" and languish there forgotten.
    Love your plethora of peppers and abundance of aubergines!!