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Late Summer Harvest

My tomatoes are almost done, and my zucchini are puttering out.  I pulled up all my pickling cukes and am ignoring my lemon cukes:)  The red potatoes are all dug (and the rest are waiting patiently...).  All the shell beans are harvested and canned.

But there's still plenty coming in.  I picked the first butternut squash yesterday, as the vines are starting to die off.  There are at least 12 more to pick, but I want to leave them out to store up the last sugars the vine will supply them before the rest of it dies.  I've harvested at least 10 muskmelon... although half weren't harvested or eaten in time.  But the chickens sure enjoyed them!  We've eaten one watermelon, and two are still maturing.  I'm done with watermelon, BTW- they take up way too much space, I've never had more than 3 melons, and they never have much taste.  I reserve the right to change my mind, as I do kind of want to try an heirloom variety that is known to do well farther North.
Cantalope goodies- cantelope infused rum and cantelope granita.
I've also got a few surprise harvests.  First, my beans.  Last year picked probably 2 quarts of beans... which isn't a lot.  The plants didn't do well, and most didn't even germinate.  This year I planted pole beans and made sure I had good seeds.  I replanted anything that didn't germinate in a few weeks.  I made sure they were innoculated and that the soil was loose.  But still they seemed slow to start.  And I was late trellising.  It was starting to look like I was going to have another poor harvest.  So I was ignoring them.  Then I realized that I had a bunch of beans on the bush plants I interplanted with the beets.  That was a nice surprise.  And then I looked closer at my pole beans (which got big really fast in just these past few weeks).  Lots and lots of beans.  I missed some that got too large thanks to my neglect, but there were still plenty to pick and there seem to be quite a bit more to come.  I may have some beans in the freezer after all.
Only a fraction of the eggplant I have to harvest and preserve.
And my eggplant.  I have one thing to say about it- holy eggplant, Batman!  You see, I didn't have any aspirations for growing eggplant.  I planted it as a trap crop for the potato bugs (which worked, but was an overly ineffective method of pest management).  I only sprayed them for bugs a few times and the bugs ate them up good early in the season.  And I had heard that eggplant are notoriously difficult to grow.  So, much like the beans, I had been ignoring them.  But they suddenly got big, and got blossoms, and then started to grow fruit.  Now on 6 plants I have like 20 eggplant.  Nice surprise as well... although now I'm scrambling trying to come up with ways to preserve eggplant, which is something I've never done before.

Thankfully Eggplant Parmesan is one of my favorite foods... it's such a cliche way to prepare eggplant, but I love it.  I've also found a recipe for eggplant preserved in oil, and I breaded and fried 5 eggplants worth of slices to put in the freezer for future eggplant parm and the like (I've heard it's good on sandwiches).  That took care of 1/4 of the eggplant I have to preserve.  Anyone have any ideas?

And of course, there are all the peppers.  I'm trying to give them as long as possible to get as ripe as possible (which in Minnesota in a stretch).  Then I'll be canning some pickled peppers.

Are you still harvesting?  What are you doing with it?


Cait said...

Can you freeze eggplant? I had the same problem, but in a smaller quantity. Everything is dying off and *poof* magic eggplant.

webbsway said...

We like to fix stuffed peppers with either hamburger mixture -OR- fish mixture (like you make fishcakes with) The day you make those and bake them fix baked beans to go with them and then freeze all of the ones you don't eat.

I don't know what they are doing to our canned mackeral in VA. this year-but it is just plain NO GOOD! What are they doing to our foods?

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