July 21, 2021

Harvest Goodies

Garden work has transitioned from mulching and weeding to harvesting and preserving. That means the much anticipated seasonal firsts. These always taste the best! The links will take you to the recipes. 

July is blueberry month!

Fresh blueberries with peanut butter granola and kefir.

Blueberry pie! (A much anticipated season first).

The wheat is all threshed and now we're winnowing it.

Freshly ground homegrown whole wheat flour.

Our first sampling of this year's wheat was in fresh blueberry pancakes!

When we got a sunny day, I sun-baked two
loaves of fresh wheat bread
in my solar oven.

This year's wheat seems to taste better than last year's. We definitely had more consistent growth with better formed heads and grains.

Of the tomatoes, the Matt's Wild Cherry tomatoes ripened first.
They make a very fun snacking food while in the garden.

Scrambled eggs with cherry toms and goat cheese = delicious lunch!

Of "regular" tomatoes I planted two types: Eva Ball (round red ones) and Black Krim (purplish  beefsteak looking ones.)

Tomatoes: Black Krim in the front, Eva Ball in the back.

Both have excellent flavor. The Black Krim are perfect to slice for sandwiches and burgers. The Eva Ball, I believe, were developed for canning. I don't can whole tomatoes, but they will help make good pizza sauce. What tomatoes we don't eat (all kinds) go into the freezer for a future sauce making and canning session.

Of course, I had to make some of these too...

Fried green tomatoes

I don't deep fry anything, but just a thin layer of oil in the pan gets the desired crispiness.

Cucumbers followed shortly after the tomatoes.

Tomato and cucumber salad with feta cheese.

Cucumber sticks are excellent with my Ricotta Ranch dip.

Speaking of cheese, it's cheesemaking season too.

Stretching fresh homemade goat milk mozzarella.

I start by making our year's supply of mozzarella, which I grate and freeze. Then it's on to feta (stored in herbed olive oil) and halloumi (which I freeze), with an occasional farmers cheese to eat fresh or chèvre for cheesecake. The whey is made into ricotta for my ricotta ranch salad dressing (and dip) or gnocchi (which also freezes well.)

I've dug the first potatoes and picked the first green beans.

Oven roasted potatoes and green beans.

First okra picking.

Roasted okra, potatoes, and multiplier onions.

I've been doing a little dehydrating too. You may recall that last month I canned lambs quarter. It's still growing but in smaller amounts. So I've been drying the leaves to add to winter soups.

Lambs quarter finishing up the the dehydrator.

I still save my leftovers in glass peanut butter jars and freeze them for soup making when the weather turns cold. For each jar I add a pint of bone broth, and then the dried veggies make nice additions.

So July has been busy! I expect it will remain that way until September when the harvest finally slows down.

How about you? How has your July been so far?


daisy g said...

Wow, you must be pulling it in by the tons! So many garden goodies!
I am envious of your blueberry harvest, but hoping ours will be similar in the next few years.
Enjoy the bounty!

Leigh said...

Daisy, we were fortunate that someone had planted blueberry bushes and fig trees here years ago. They are well established and manage to thrive even when our weather doesn't cooperate!

Ed said...

I've never been one for canning whole tomatoes either. The entire reason I can stuff is for the easy convenience later on so must of my canned foods literally just need to be heated up. I do can some crushed tomatoes for the occasional pot of chili but I still like cooking out some of the water before canning so there is less to cook out later.

My sister-in-law makes a mean green tomato pie that she destroys my diet with.

We are starting to get cherry tomatoes and a handful of okra. We've been digging up a hill of potatoes every time we go down for the last several weeks. We also got a handful of purple zucchini too. I haven't preserved anything yet this year but the time is probably quickly approaching.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

What an amazing harvest Leigh! The wheat comment is especially interesting to me; if I could ever find the grain that will grow here, I would be interested to run the experiment.

Some tomatoes here (I should take a picture - I have never gotten actual tomatoes, just a tomato in the past) and peppers. Sweet potatoes and black eyed peas are putting on leaves to beat the band, so hopefully there is yield.

I never thought of making mozzarella and the freezing it immediately - but we only ever use it grated anyway.

I have never had fried green tomato anything, but based on your and Ed's comments, I may have to investigate.

Leigh said...

Ed, chili is a good exception to not canning whole tomatoes. I finally got Dan to try (and like!) chili last winter, so I think there will be more of it on the menu.

I know you've struggled with too much rain for your garden, so I hope your harvest is a good one in spite of that!

Leigh said...

P.S. Any chance your SIL would share her green tomato pie recipe???

Leigh said...

TB, fried green tomatoes are something I never heard of until I moved to the south. Here, they are a delicious tradition!

Sounds like you have some things doing well in your garden. Wheat grows almost everywhere, so you should try a "pancake patch" (Gene Logsdon's term!) some year.

Mozzarella freezes quite well, I find. Even in chunks. I guess because of it's stretchiness. With goats, of course, making it is another seasonal activity.

Nancy In Boise said...

Looks great! We're getting our first pickling cukes, Kale, chives, basil and tons of eggs! Cool that you have your own wheat, wat's the flavor like? One of these years I need to buy a solar over and try that.

Leigh said...

Nancy, if you get halfway decent sun, I highly recommend a solar oven. Everything cooked in it seems to taste better!

Ed said...

I think I have it. If I can remember when I get upstairs, I will post it for you.

Ed said...

Well I looked and I don't so I guess my memories faulty. I'm pretty sure we asked her for it but either we lost it or she wouldn't give it to us because it was a family secret. Next time I see her, I'll see if I can find out which of those it was and get a copy if it turned out we lost it.

Goatldi said...


On the porch with coffee in hand enjoying the Tate report 😊

For some reason I have a sudden craving for blueberry pancakes.

wyomingheart said...

Great garden bounty, Leigh! So happy to hear the good news about that wheat! Very awesome project growing and processing your own flour! We are steady processing as things are ready. We just roasted and put up 20 Anaheim Green Chili, which I will be posting about soon. Have a wonderful week end!

Nina said...

due to late frosts, my zucchini and cucumbers are late. However, the green beans have been stellar producers this year. Great harvests from the radishes, onions and natural dye plants too. Blueberries won't ripen until August here and I'm looking forward to that. It was a good year for gooseberries and there are lots of unripe blackberries on the brambles. Yay mid summer!

Mama Pea said...

Oh my, all those blueberry pictures look wonderful. Ours are still little green orbs. It will be a while yet until we have some of our own. But we did have blueberry pancakes this morning as you did. Ours were made with einkorn flour (not homegrown :o(). I envy you your ripe tomatoes. But I never met a fried green tomato I liked. Too much a northern gal, I guess. Your first potatoes are large! And the picture of the oven roasted potatoes and green beans is making me hungry even though we just finished eating! I could gobble them up.

Leigh said...

Goatldi, blueberry pancakes are a Sunday breakfast tradition. But the year's best is with fresh blueberries! The freshest wheat makes a difference too. :)

Leigh said...

Wyomingheart, it's a busy time of year for gardeners. :) I'm looking forward to you post!

Leigh said...

Nina, I'm glad to year your zucchini and cukes are just late instead of destroyed! I envy your gooseberries. It's too hot here to grow them.

Leigh said...

Mama Pea, I never tried fried green tomatoes until I moved to the south. Now, it's a dilemma every summer, do I pick those first green tomatoes to fry, or wait for the first ripe tomato!

I've never tried einkorn flour. Is it tasty? I may have to see if I can grow a pancake patch.

Renee Nefe said...

Your fried green tomato recipe is different from mine, I bread mine in corn meal. I've oven fried them before with great results. Course I need green tomatoes for any of that...maybe at the farmer's market but they're here on Sunday during church. :p

Rosalea said...

Beautiful pics, Leigh. What a bounty of home grown goodness. That fresh ground wheat sure gets my attention! I bet it is so delicious. What do you do with the okra? We like fried green tomatoes, but that won't happen until we have a good few ripe ones first!

Leigh said...

That would be great, Ed. I appreciate your efforts!

Leigh said...

Renee, I think it's better with cornmeal, but I was out so flour was it! Next time - cornmeal!

Leigh said...

Rosalea, mostly I coat the okra with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cornmeal, and then oven "fry" it. That's our favorite way to eat okra. It freezes well too, so it makes a nice side dish in winter months.

Nancy In Boise said...

What brand of solar oven do you use? Thanks!

Leigh said...

Nancy, I have a Sun Oven. It was a little pricey, but I think the features make it worth it. Plus, it gets hotter than a lot of them do.

MattB said...

Biblical plague of grasshoppers here in west Texas. They ate everything I planted as it came up. Had tomatoes inside and when I put them outside the grasshoppers are eating any tomatoes that bloom. Put potatoes in ground two weeks ago. they are eating anything that pokes up out of the ground. But your stuff really looks good!!

Leigh said...

Matt, that's devastating! How discouraging. :(