This is the time of year when I have to hold myself back from buying too much food at the farmers’ market. We’ve got lovely stone fruit and melons but the grapes, apples, and figs are starting to arrive. In the midst of all the corn, squash, tomatoes, and green beans, we’ve got shelling beans, peppers, and gorgeous greens. It’s harvest time folks and it’s hard to decide what to eat. I want to eat it all.
Someone near and dear to me likens this time of year to “when it’s still the height of baseball season and the opening game of football is on”. I don’t know about that, but I guess I see the point. Here are a few harvest-time photos to keep you entertained.
Gravensteins from Andy's produce in Sebastopol, MacIntosh apples and Asian pears from Gabriel Farms in Graton.
Eggplant from my sister's garden in Forestville.
Grapes from "i forget which vendor" but he sells stone fruit, tree fruit, and grapes at the Sunday Temescal market and the Tuesday Berkeley market. He has dark hair and is very friendly.
Potatoes from River Dog Farm.
Dry farmed Early Girls from Dirty Girl Farm. Did I mention that Heirlooms are dead to me 3rd year running?
An embarrassment of plums from a family member's tree. They were all going to go to waste and I couldn't stand it, so we harvested the whole tree and I promised to make and redistribute jam. I must say the number of plums was a bit overwhelming.
Plum-Lemon Verbena Jam waiting to gel.
Sweet, gooey success! Also made Plum-Rosemary
Plums after jamming and freezing. Our friend and neighbor is making plum wine with most of these. Forage Oakland is coming for the rest. Thank goodness. No waste!
Two unusual heirlooms from my favorite farm, Annabelle Lenderick's La Tercera Farm. You'll find her at the Saturday Berkeley Market and I think Marin too with her mostly unheard of varieties from Sardinia, Sicily, and other places. (she's only selling her own stuff August-December and sells for Star Route the rest of the time). I forgot the name of these shelling beans but they're gorgeous aren't they? Ranging from creamy white to pearlescent gray to shiny black–all in the same bucket. We boiled these until tender with a crushed garlic clove and some onion and then sauteed them with more onion and garlic and lots of olive oil. To serve, I drizzled them with more olive oil, added Parmigiano-Reggiano, and plenty of salt and pepper. The greens are called agresti and they're kind of like Italian sea vegetables in texture, which to me gives them a briny sea taste. but perhaps that's just a suggestion from my textual association. I followed Annabelle's advice and boiled them in salty water, drained, rinsed, spun dry and dressed with pounded garlic (my addition) lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Along with some sliced tomatoes, sweet onion, and feta and some good bread, that was dinner. And you won't hear me complaining.