Mid-August Harvest Update

I haven’t been keeping up with the Harvest Monday blogroll because I haven’t really been harvesting.  But that’s not because there’s nothing to eat!  I go out every day and collect foods for our meals, but it’s been a steady stream rather than anything that needs to be picked in quantity, weighed and then processed in some way.  It’s been a nice few weeks that way, and I suspect it’s the calm before the September storm of beans, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, zucchini…

Every week, I harvest about a pound (I think) of salad greens.  A huge head of Red Sails lettuce–it’s been AMAZINGLY tolerant of several heat waves and has yet to bolt or go bitter–some mesclun mix (which bolts regularly, but still has enough interesting peppery leaves to be a tasty addition), some small beet or chard greens that are regrowing after being cut back, and a variety of flavourful flowers like nasturtiums, borage, and calendula.  These all get washed and dried and go into an ice cream bucket in the fridge.  We go through the bucket over the week in our lunches and dinners.

We’ve been enjoying the salads fairly plain, sometimes with a bit of fresh onion or avocado (which we’re unfortunately not growing! 🙂 ).  As of last week, though, we have cherry tomatoes to add!  Yesterday I finally did collect enough Golden Nugget cherries to bother weighing: 10 oz (just over 1/2 lb).  An exciting marker.

Yesterday I was also able to collect the first bush beans.  Hurray!  As I’ve mentioned before, I planted a “tri-colour” blend, but the purple beans have been the only ones to really come to anything.  They look and taste great, though, so no complaints.  I have purple, green, and scarlet runner beans climbing the fence, so I’m not relying on the bush beans for too long.

Here was yesterday’s dinner harvest for a delicious, easy fried rice dish:

Dinner Harvest

A few underdeveloped onions, beans, carrots, huge swiss chard (white and red) leaves.  And a zucchini blossom!  Fried squash blossoms are an unpurchasable delicacy that I have wanted to try for years.  I don’t know that I’ll make one with this lovely flower, but I thought I’d pick it to nibble on anyway–delicious and surprisingly juicy!

To the other veggies I added some leftover rice, tofu and garlic.  I just layer everything in thin slices on top of some hot sesame oil (longer cookers at the bottom), add some leftover rice and tofu, put the lid on and let everything first steam in their own juices, then carmelize a little.  Add some tamari to deglaze and keep things from burning, stir, and repeat until you’re happy.  I usually add some hot sauce and a little fish sauce, and if I have cilantro and want a Thai twist, I use fish sauce instead of tamari and add fresh lime juice at the end.  Top with cashews and enjoy.  Yum!

The tomatoes we snacked on, and I think we’ll have another big salad for dinner tonight, as one of the lettuce heads looks like it’s about to consider bolting.

The jam bucket(s) in the freezer are also filling up nicely; the raspberries are exploding every day!  I picked another lb of berries last night too.

We’ll be starting to harvest our Yukon Gold potatoes this week too; the vines are dying back (though we never did get any flowers), and when we started to brush soil aside to check the tuber progress–whoa!  Huge big golden eggs just under the surface!  We’re giddy at the prospect!  Now we just have to make sure our storage is lined up, cause I think we’ve got a year’s worth of potatoes in our big patch…

So that’s my update–what’s been growing well for you this year despite the slightly wonky weather?


4 thoughts on “Mid-August Harvest Update

  1. Hi Toni,

    Have you got a copy of Jaimie Oliver’s “Jaimie at home”? He is big time into gardening, and has a cookbook w/some gardening info in it, with all kinds of vegs and fruits and what to make with them. He even has a squash blossom recipe – fried, I think.

    It’s a great book!

  2. Thanks Ursa,
    I love Jamie Oliver. In fact, I’m making his fish pie recipe tonight! I’ve looked at the At Home book and I love all the garden/vegetable photos; haven’t bought it yet, though. I love his Italy book, which also probably has a squash blossom recipe in it–such a classic dish. I’ll let you know if I ever get around to trying it!

  3. Oh Toni, you shame us a mere three hours south. My island garden is woefully late, still not ripe tomatoes, winter squash are the size of limes and eggplant are the size quail eggs. So I salute the beginning of your bountiful harvest–impressive!

  4. Thanks for the salute, Tom, but I deserve no credit. 🙂 We’re in a rain shadow pocket here on the islands that do give us hotter summers than most of the coast (half the rain of Vancouver or Seattle, for instance). But in my newbie first steps I went with all early season toms (a very good decision), then waited to plant any of my pumpkins, zukes, etc until the weather turned in early July (bad decision)–I don’t think we’ll get any squash this year! Diversity is clearly the key to getting SOMETHING out of the garden when the weather doesn’t cooperate. I’m thinking of you as I harvest pounds of giant raspberries, for instance!

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