Ahhh, September... it's typically the month that ushers in the best weather of the year around here and this year is no exception. Thank goodness, the months that most of you would call Summer were exceptionally cool (rather than just mostly cool) and I was worried that our True Summer, which most of you would call Fall, would be equally crappy. Although the weather forecast for the rest of the week seems rather pessimistically cool, I'm hoping they are wrong... At least for now we've been enjoying mostly fog-free nights and warm sunny days. And tomato season is kicking into high gear, at least as high a gear as it can find this year.
Here's a box of Ananas Noir (top left), Katja (pink), Chocolate Stripes, and the first Not Wes (actually it's a Not Quite Not Wes).
And a plate of sliced Chocolate Stripes and Lennie and Gracie's Kentucky Heriloom....
which became a lunch of Caprese salad.
A box of Gigantesque tomatoes, the earliest and most prolific variety that I'm growing this year coming in at just shy of 27 pounds so far. It's not quite like the photo that I posted on October 12 last year, but considering the weather we had this summer I'm not complaining too much.
A sampling of some of the peppers that are coming out of the garden, or rather the bulk of the pathetic crop. One Madrid Bell Sweet on the right, this pepper had no seeds, weird. The pointy ones in the bottom of the photo are PI593480 (Morocco), a sweet pepper with an interesting hint of spiciness in it's flavor (there are more of these coming along). And the other peppers are Topepo Rosso, a moderately spicy cherry pepper, one of the few varieties doing okay this year. Sheesh, I just realized that I didn't even get around to weighing these. I'm all messed up with the peppers this week, posting photos of peppers I didn't weigh and weights of peppers that I didn't photograph. Oh well, at least they're all documented in some way.
These yellow peppers are a baccatum species called Guyana, they have a lovely aromatic fruity spiciness that is delightful. I'm happy that these plants are doing well this year. I used one of these rather than a Thai chile (which I'm not growing this year) to spice up a Vietnamese dipping sauce, big yum. And I think I'm going to use some of these in my Spicy Meyer Lemon Marmalade this year.
Here's my new experiment with a very old method for preserving green beans. In the days before canning a common method for preserving the green bean crop was to string them up or lay them out on screens to dry to make "leather britches". This method works best with old varieties of beans, the modern varieties of beans aren't meaty enough to dry well. The variety that I'm using is called Turkey Craw, an heirloom from Appalachia. The beans are usually picked when the seeds are quite well developed but before the pods begin to dry on the vines, although they can be harvested and dried when the seeds are smaller. I got my seeds in a trade with Nancy (thank you!) who lives in East Tennessee, she and her husband grow a few varieties of old fashioned Appalachian beans, all of which have interesting histories. I'll be doing a future post about these beans since there's a lot more to say about them and I also want to document my experiments with them .
And did I say that these beans are truly string beans?
And one more new item in the harvest basket, Thai Tender Amaranth. These plants sulked along for the very cool weeks of "summer" and then we had a heat wave and they took off. They finally got large enough to harvest and we enjoyed these last night simply sauteed with garlic, another yum.
These weren't in the harvest basket but my husband keeps saying wouldn't it be nice to have one of them adorn the Thanksgiving table this year.... um, honey, did you want it roasted?
Here's the harvest totals for the past week:
Thai Tender amaranth - 15 oz.
Garafal Oro romano beans - 1 lb., 7 oz.
Turkey Craw beans - 7.5 oz.
Chamomile - 2.5 oz.
Suyo Long cucumbers - 2 lb., 13 oz.
Diamond eggplant - 1 lb., 7.75 oz.
Malaysian Dark Red eggplant - 1 lb., 7.25 oz.
Sweetie Baby romaine lettuce - 15 oz.
Guyana peppers - 4 oz.
Poblao peppers (the entire pathetic crop) - 8 oz.
Tlostenna Dunajska Krajova peppers - 4.25 oz
Viego Arruga Dulce peppers - 4.25 oz.
Strawberries (both varieties) - 2 lb., 3.75 oz.
Ananas Noir tomatoes - 1 lb., 4 oz.
Andine Cornue paste tomatoes - 3 lb.
Aunt Rubys cherry tomatoes - 12.5 oz
Chocolate Stripes tomatoes - 3 lb., 11.75 oz.
Galinas cherry tomatoes - 11.5 oz.
Gigantesque tomatoes - 6 lb., 15.25 oz.
Katja tomatoes - 6 lb., 2 oz.
Lennie and Gracies Kentucky Heirloom tomtoes - 1 lb.
Not Wes (Not Quite) tomatoes - 5.5 oz.
Whew! the total for the week was 41 lb., 12 oz.
The total for the year is 476 lb., 10.75 oz.
If you would like to see what other garden bloggers have been harvesting lately head on over to Daphne's Dandelions, the home of Harvest Monday.