Monday, October 19, 2009

Harvest Monday - 10/19/09

It's Harvest Monday, hosted by Daphne of Daphne's Dandelions. Head on over there to share your harvests and see what other garden bloggers are getting from their gardens.

Daphne, I'm sorry to say that I've got one more post full of tomatoes to torment you. But, this week I'll start off with something different. I cleaned out the tomatillo plants and here's the result - a rather heavy basketful of Purple and Plaza Latina Giant tomatillos. Don't ask how much, I haven't weighed them. It's a good thing that tomatillos keep really well, I haven't had time to deal with them.

Well, onto the tomato harvest. Cherry tomatoes, 7 pounds.

Todd County Amish, 10 pounds.

Gigantesque, 15 pounds.

Blue Beech paste tomatoes. I canned 8 pounds from this box before taking a photo, so this is only 12 pounds of the 20 that I picked last week.

Caspian Pink and Hillbilly, 15 pounds total.

Aunt Ruby's German Green, Chocolate Stripes, and 3 little Black Sea Man, for a total of 24 pounds.

So the total tomato harvest last Monday, a frenzy of picking before the big storm hit, came to 93 pounds.

Thursday I harvested all the ripe Piment Doux Long des Landes sweet peppers. There's one ripe Aji Panca and some green ones that got knocked off the plants when I was staking them back into an upright position. And I found a couple of ripe Habanero Long Chocolate. About half of the Doux Long des Landes were cut into strips and sauteed with garlic and thyme until soft and then topped a pizza.

And on Friday I harvested Palace King Cucumbers, Pimento de Padron peppers, and Piracicaba broccoli shoots.

Harvests not photographed this week included a few more cucumbers, more broccoli shoots, and a box of tomatoes that pushed the tomato harvest for the week up to at least 100 pounds. Oh, I forgot, I also harvested a couple of Diamond Eggplant - for pizza!

I never expected to have such a bounty of tomatoes from this garden. The cool summers here delay the tomato and pepper harvests until the fall and I expected to also have smaller harvests. Not so, the harvest just seemed to get compacted into a late but intense 2 week period. There are still some tomatoes left of the plants, but the bulk of the picking is done, thank goodness...

And what have I done with that bounty? Canned tomatoes, dried tomatoes, frozen puree, frozen sauce, frozen paste, gifts of tomatoes... I even made a small batch of Sweet Tomato Jam, interesting - good with cheese. There's one more tomato preserving trick to try. A friend of a friend chops fresh tomatoes and freezes them raw to use for gazpacho. There might be a little bit of room left in the freezer for that.

Such strange weather lately, 4 inches of rain last Tuesday and by Friday we had sunny days and temps in the 80'sF. It felt so strange to have that much rain and warm weather. We generally have storms like that in the winter when the temperatures are in the 50sF. Warm temperatures and significant rainfall are just so foreign. There are green shoots starting to appear on the brown hillsides already, that's definitely early, I'm hoping for a bit more rain to keep the green growth. Actually, there is a bit of a chance for rain today.


  1. Go ahead and torment me. It snowed again last night. It even stuck for quite a while. Right now there are just small patches left. So I don't feel to bad about not having tomatoes. It is soup weather now. Though tomato sauce for something like lasagna does sound good.

  2. Zone 9, perched on a south-west facing hillside is pure vegetable growing heaven from what I see.
    [ insert any adjective describing a feeling of astonishment here ] harvest !

  3. Daphne, I hate to say it, but I was thinking of having tomato soup tonight.

    miss m, it is pretty close to vegetable growing heaven here! But it is a relief to see the end of the tomato glut in sight.

  4. Your tomato harvest is absolutely amazing, although I also have to say that I wouldn't want to have to do that much "dealing" with such a crop... not in this tiny kitchen anyway!

  5. Jan, I have to admit to being tired of dealing with the glut!

  6. Your tomatoes are always so beautiful! What have you been doing with all the cherries, saucing them as well? If you are looking for a canning recipe for tom's I have a nice Raw Sauce recipe. It is very nice on hamburgers & hotdogs and uses up lots of tom's :

  7. So totally drooling over those tomato pics. I have a few of those varieties growing on the balcony this summer, but there wont be as many as that! Great harvest

  8. Michelle, I can't tell you how truly envious I am of your harvest. You will have to give us a lesson one day on how you grow your beautiful tomatoes. The are even lovelier than the ones at the farmer's market!

  9. Dan, thanks for the recipe idea, I have to admit though that I just don't have any more energy for preserving tomatoes. As far as the cherries go, what I don't eat or give away - I like to slice them in half and arrange them cut side up on a rimmed baking pan, sprinkle with a bit of salt and chopped basil, drizzle with olive oil and bake at 200F until they are chewey to crispy. They end up caramelized and sweet and keep forever in the fridge. Great for snacking.

  10. Prue, You'll be harvesting your tomatoes when mine are a distant memory and coming out of the freezer in the form of sauce or puree. It'll be my turn to drool then!

  11. Thomas, Thank you! I don't think I'm doing anything special for them. Next year, if I remember, I'll post about the soil amendments that I use when I prep the planting beds, other than that I don't give the plants anything else during the growing season, other than water.

  12. I wonder if that paste variety would be worth trying here. I need a vigorous, determinate paste tomato. I've got my fresh eaters down, but I'm tired of making mixed tomato "stuff" to freeze and can.

    I pulled them before today's storm (did you get hit) and I'm confessing that I am breathing a bit easier, knowing the few cups of green and half-red are the only fresh tomatoes likely to cross my vision any time soon.

  13. Stefani, it is nice to have a paste tomato but I'm not sure that the Blue Beech variety would be the best. The tomatoes were good but those plants were the first of all the varieties that I grew to start declining, the plants were half gone by the time I started picking. I'm going to try a different variety next year, don't know which one yet.

    We only got a drizzle yesterday morning. Today I went out and picked most of the remaining tomatoes, only cherries and a few paste left to pick. I think I'll wait a couple of weeks for a few stragglers that aren't quite ripe, then I'm cleaning that bed out and planting favas.

  14. Wow - this is quite an amazing yield!!


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