This weekend I had a great harvest from the garden. 12 pounds of produce! My poor harvesting basket was creaking and swaying for the weight. I didn’t dare carry it by the handle, I had to hold it right up close to my chest.
Starting at the top left:
- 4 Ambassador Zucchini Squash – the biggest one was 12 inches in length! I don’t normally let my squash grow this long, but they were still tender even at that maturity and length (about 8 days old)
- 3 Bennings Tint Squash (scallop shape). One was 6 inches wide. Again, I usually pick my squash when it’s younger and smaller, but these were tender also
- 5 Yellow Crookneck Squash
- 5 Pickling Cukes
- 1 regular cucumber
- 3 Raveena Squash
- 6 Lavender Touch Squash
- Manyel Tomatoes
Here’s what I did with the pickling cukes:
This is a very simple recipe found in Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats.
All I did was rinse the cukes, slice them and put them into this canning jar. I didn’t have whey on hand, so I doubled the salt as the recipe instructs (2 teaspoons salt for each cup of water).
I’m letting them sit on the counter until they turn an olive green color, and then I’ll refrigerate them.
I didn’t have fresh dill, so I added dried dill leaves and dried dill seeds. It is the first time I’ve made these, so I hope they turn out. If I can stop opening the jar and taking out another slice of cucumber. They are still crunchy and hopefully they will stay that way after refrigeration.
I sliced one of the huge zucchinis for dinner on Saturday night. I laid chicken breast on a sheet pan, squeezed a lemon over it, salt and pepper, then laid thin slices of zucchini squash over the chicken.
I had two of the Lavender Touch eggplants for lunch on Friday. Delicious.
We had the rest of the eggplant and the two smaller zucchini squash with dinner on Friday night. The eggplant is delicious! You cannot tell it is any different than the standard dark purple eggplants.
I don’t care for eggplant parmesan, I usually just cook my eggplant by dicing it, putting a tablespoon or so of butter in a cast iron and putting the cubed eggplant in the skillet, let it get nice and hot, then add 1/2 of water. Put on a lid and cook ten minutes. Never any bitter flavor. Now the one time I made eggplant parmesan, it said to do some procedure with the eggplant where you poured salt over it to leach out the bitterness. I’d never had any problems with bitter eggplant the way I make it, so I skipped that step. Ewww! Bitter City! It was difficult to eat.
While Mr. A and I were in the garden on Friday morning, I noticed that the curly tendril nearest to the stem of my first watermelon was completely dried and brown. That is an indicator that watermelon is ready to pick. It was still pretty small, barely 4.5 inches long, but I have waited too long to pick watermelon in the past and they are pasty and yucky. So I decided to go ahead and harvest it. As I pulled it from the stem, it cracked, a sure sign of ripeness. I proceeded to pull it apart from where it had cracked and Mr. A let out a disappointed, “Awwwwww!” because when he saw the color he thought it wasn’t ripe.
But it was a Yellow Pony Watermelon and they are meant to be yellow!
It was crispy and juicy. Not very sweet, but it had nice flavor. I definitely prefer crispy and juicy over mushy and pasty. We each had a small portion standing right out in the garden. The rind was so tender we could eat it right down to nearly nothing.
I hadn’t even seen the Manyel Tomatoes had turned color, and when I picked them I saw that they both had a bad case of blossom end rot. I have never experienced that before, but this tomato plant did come down with a case of Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus which is caused by the whitefly Bemisia tabaci. Green beans are also suspectible to this virus, and mine never got taller than eight inches. The two that came up on the other side of the garden, one was thriving, but then Mr. Gopher was able to get to it and ate it down to nothing.
I have a Pruden’s Purple tomatoe that has gotten very big, and is beginning to turn color. I really prefer to leave my tomatoes on the vine to ripen, but sometimes I wonder if I should remove them just as they begin to turn to ripen safely on the kitchen counter.
It’s time to plant again, but I have been going through a period of extremely low energy. I have been needing to take one or two 2 hour naps on the days I’m home from work. I am getting closer and closer to making that appointment with a naturopath who can help me strengthen and heal my adrenals and thyroid.
Those of you with gardens, how’s it going for you?