Harvest Monday for October 10th 2016

Autumn is in full swing down on Plot #59 and we’ve got the seasonal veggies to prove it.

A few weeks back we harvested our squash and were quietly impressed with a decent showing in our first year of semi-serious squash growing:

September 2016 squashes
Turk’s Turban and Tondo di Piacenza / Gem Squash curing in the greenhouse

We also called time on our single, lonely tromboncino squash. Not worth entering in the Sutton’s Cup, but definitely tasty – we oven-roasted chunks of it to accompany our Saturday sausages and it was pleasantly firm in texture with a lovely, nutty squash flavour.

Also on that plate were the first pulled roots of the year: a few trimmed-back but mostly manky carrots (not a good crop after all, by the looks of things), and some much nicer salsify, scorzonera and mooli (although at the risk of seeming indelicate, one of those last three gave me terrible wind yesterday… just a word to the wise, there).

October 2016 root veg
Carrots, salsify, scorzonera and mooli.

We’ve continued to pick bags and bags of runner and French beans for drying. We I deliberately planted a lot of beans this year and we’ve got the pods to prove it. Here’s a small selection drying in the greenhouse at home, and there’s another batch just like it at the allotment greenhouse, plus the couple of kilos of dried beans already packed away, and a whole lot more still on the plants:

September 2016 drying beans in the greenhouse
A quite small sample of the vast number of beans we’re drying this year. Anyone for cassoulet..?

We’ve started to pick out first kale leaves and cabbages. They went in late and the slugs have had a field-day on the latter, so there’s a fair bit of livestock to remove before the cabbages can be cooked, but they’re very tasty once you get them properly cleaned up.

September 2016 - freshly washed kale
This lot is destined for a date with a hot frying pan and a big knob of butter.

We’ve had a pretty decent chilli harvest from our main greenhouse at home as well. Here are a few ‘cayenne’:

September 2016 Chilli 'cayenne'
A few artistically arranged chilli fruits; many more went into a batch of chilli jam.

Most of them went into a few jars of chilli jam. One of the jars – the last to be filled from the jam pan – had re-crystalised and I was going to ditch it, until my Mum suggested it might make a good chilli glaze for pork chops. Good call, Mum.

Fruit-wise, we’re all about the Autumn rapsberries at the moment, although everything else has finished for the year. We’ve been stewing most of them up with apple and some of our frozen blackcurrants, for use as a breakfast porridge topping or custard-drenched pudding. Delicious either way.

Harvest Monday is a GYO meme hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres.

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8 comments

  1. That is a lovely assortment of squash you have there! I’m not familiar with any of them, though I did grow tromboncino this year. You gave me a chuckle talking about the livestock in your cabbage. That’s how I felt cleaning out my napa cabbage, where I was finding too many snails for my tastes!

    • Darren T says:

      Cheers Dave. The knobbly ones are ‘turk’s turban’ – they’re cucurbita maxima types, but they don’t grow too large – and the larger round ones are over-grown courgettes 🙂

      Snails are even crunchier than slugs, definitely not a taste sensation you want to experience 🙂

    • Darren T says:

      Thanks Julie. I’m a big squash fan myself. I’ll be growing even more varieties next year, if I can find the space…

  2. Sue Garrett says:

    We use much of our fruit as a topping for porridge too. We usually stew it with as little amount of sugar as we can and then freeze it as a compote. Then it’s a case of just getting it out of the freezer thawing and using. Also stewed it takes less freezer space.

    • Darren T says:

      That’s a very good point, Sue, especially with freezer space at a premium this time of year. We don’t tend to add sugar much to our stewed fruit either, unless there are blackcurrants or rhubarb included. We like it nice and tart 🙂

  3. Margaret says:

    Well, your “windy” comments made me burst out laughing…literally 🙂

    Those are some lovely squash – I’ve always had issues growing squash for some reason, but each year a few more lessons are learned and usually I get a slightly better result the next time.

    And I love the way you guys have two greenhouses…and it’s no big deal. Around here, greenhouses are few and far between – a definite luxury that hopefully I will enjoy at some point.

    • Darren T says:

      Cheers Margaret! I’m glad someone was amused… my lady wife certainly wasn’t. And I got some very funny looks from the cat as well 😉

      I think the main lesson I learned on the squash-growing front this year was to control the foliage. It was cut back hard at least twice, although it still made a bid to conquer the nearby sweet pea frame. I removed a lot of small squash fruitlets towards the end of the season as well, once I knew they had no chance of growing and ripening. That might have helped, too.

      Our two greenhouses are split between home and allotment. The larger (8×10) is at home, and the smaller (6×6), which came with us from our old house when we moved last July, is down the plot. And it needs a good sort-out this winter as well…

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