Sunday, July 27, 2014

Harvest Monday - 28 July 2014

Welcome to another Harvest Monday report from Eight Gate Farm, brought to you by Daphne's Dandelions.

For us, like almost everyone in the Northern Hemisphere, beans and summer squash dominate the harvest. No need to show you. But I was thrilled to pick our first grape tomatoes (var. "Sugar Plum").

They mysteriously vanished soon after.

A really nice haul of blueberries.

The last of the "Kestrel" beets (the Detroit are still sizing-up).

 The last of the spring lettuce, New Red Fire, was harvested and the bed hoed and raked.

In it I planted a cover crop of buckwheat. This is an amazing green manure. It grows so quickly! I sowed it in my two resting beds just a few weeks ago, and already it is flowering.

But the biggest news was our onion harvest. We pulled over 200.

We grew this variety, Stuttgarter, from sets, in a 12-square plot, 16 per square as in the SFG method. Next year I think I will space them out further (9 per square), planting less but hopefully letting them grow larger. They are drying now on the floor of a garage bay, aromatic to say the least!

While we were playing in the onion bed, The Kitchen Goddess begged me to let her explore what the adjacent potatoes were doing. It did not take long to find this:

I was expecting to maybe find only small ones, but the largest was 8.75 oz. (248 g.). I think we are heading for quite a haul. The variety is "Kennebec."

Some readers were interested in last week's dish, Roasted Zucchini Tart:

So here's the recipe (sorry no metric equivalents):
  1. Roast zucchini slices (or any vegetable) with salt, pepper, and olive oil, at 400 degrees F. until most of the water is removed but not browned. Let cool.
  2. Defrost and roll puff pastry out to 1/8 in. Place on parchment-lined pan and put back in the fridge.
  3. Mix together 2 eggs, 1/2 cup parmesan, and 1/2 cup ricotta cheese.
  4. Spread cheese mixture on pastry to 1 inch from edge to create border. Arrange veggies, pushing them into the cheese mixture.
  5. Top with your favorite herbs (we used winter savory).
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.
This Saturday, we enjoyed a meal that, except for condiments, was 100% "estate-sourced." Everything came from our hands. It gives one a certain sense of satisfaction!

Herb-encrusted venison tenderloin, with grilled potato slices and zucchini-onion smash, and a garden salad, served with a delightfully dry plum wine. Delicious!

I leave you with two pictures of pollinating wasps on Gooseneck loosestrife - a beautiful perennial that unfortunately takes over whatever bed you've planted it in.

Thanks for reading, and good harvests to all!


  1. Wow on those onions! And the Kennebec potaoes. They always did well for me when I grew them. Isn't buckwheat an amazing cover crop? I'm getting ready to sow some here this week, where I dug potatoes. It's so quick, and our bees love it too.

  2. Onion harvest is impressive, particularly from sets. For bulbing onions, I use a 5 per square spacing. The 16 per square might be OK for scallions but not for bulbs if you want any size.

    1. Thanks, Dave! I will experiment with 5 and 9 per square.

  3. Lucky you to have some ripe tomatoes to enjoy! It will be a while before I see tomatoes blush in my Maine garden. You are ahead of us as well with your blueberries. Our bushes are just beginning to produce. Roasted Zucchini Tart....yum! Thank you for sharing the recipe. It sounds wonderful. ~ Rachel @ Grow a Good Life

    1. Thanks, Rachel. I'm sure you will be swimming in tomatoes and blueberries, if you aren't already!

  4. Another great harvest. Congrats on the first tomato of the season! That's always a milestone day :) And thanks so much for posting the recipe. I was one of many I am sure that was wishing for it.

  5. Congrats on your first tomatoes! It was nice of them to hang around long enough to have their portrait taken before disappearing ;)

  6. Nice harvest! I look foward to following your blog. I too have always longed for a gentleman's farm but for now, I'll have to settle for an old farm house and 1 acre of rocky land.

    1. Thanks, Thomas. You may have "only" one acre, but it is filled with beauty and things that taste good!