Monday, September 10, 2012

Harvest Monday - September 10, 2012

The harvests are definitely looking like summer now (finally)!

The tomato harvests are starting to pick up, although the vast majority of what is ripe is the small fruited varieties. Most of the basket is filled with Fiaschetto plum tomatoes and Sunshine Cherry tomatoes. There's a few Nyagous, Jaune Flamme, and Rosabec tomatoes, along with a couple of Amish Paste. Oh, and there's one of the few Wheatly's Frost Resistant cherry tomatoes, that one tiny pink one at the top of the photo. I am surprised and disappointed at how late the Wheatly's is, they better be frost resistant, I suspect that the bulk of the crop will be ripening round about the time of the first frost. They haven't even produced enough for me to judge if they taste good, but so far, I'm not wowed. The rest of tomatoes are delicious, my husband noticed instantly when I started putting out homegrown cherry tomatoes rather than the ones from the farmer's market. A lot of the Rosabecs have blossom end rot but the rest of the tomatoes seem to be fine. I'm guessing that since Rosabec is a determinate plant and that it blooms and sets so much of its fruit at once that that makes it more susceptible to BER. The plant probably has a difficult time taking up enough calcium from the soil and distributing it to so much developing fruit at one time. I'll have to be extra vigilant about keeping the plants evenly watered if I grow Rosabec again. I do like the flavor of that variety and it is nice that it is relatively early for a medium sized tomato. The one large fruited and supposedly early beefsteak type tomato that I'm growing hasn't produced one ripe fruit yet and nothing on the plant is even showing signs of ripening yet.

Left to right: Salangana, Kamo, and Diamond

Eggplant! Salangana is dominating this basket, but all three varieties that are producing right now have produced about 4 pounds per variety so far. The Kamo eggplant are turning dull and I'm not sure why. Dullness usually indicates that the eggplant is getting mature and seedy, but the Kamos that I've cooked so far have been seedless. Last night I prepared some by cutting them in half, salted them a bit to draw out some of the water, then put a dab of pesto on the cut side and a slice of tomato on top of that and roasted them. They came out tender and creamy, not at all bitter. I think that it is a myth that salting eggplant draws out bitterness, it just draws out moisture. In my experience, salting eggplant just helps it to cook more quickly, it doesn't even help it to absorb less oil.

Da Fiore zucchini, Neckarkönigin beans,
Tasty Green and Green Fingers cucumbers

The prolific Neckarkönigin beans produced over 3 pounds of beans in the past week, although this is getting to be the end and a lot of the beans are small and aesthetically challenged, but still tasty. The zucchini continue to produce and produce... When I found myself with a few pounds sitting in the refrigerator and more zucchini fresh from the garden I turned to a favorite recipe from Madhur Jaffrey's book World Vegetarian - a puree of zucchini, mashed zucchini really, that is seasoned with onion, garlic, turmeric, cumin, and tomato. It is delicious served hot, warm, or cold, and best of all it uses nearly 3 pounds of zucchini. I served that alongside a dish that I call Tomato Steaks, I take thick slices of tomato, wrap them in thin slices of prosciutto, sear them in a hot pan with butter or olive oil, remove the "steaks" from the pan to a warmed plate, make a sauce by swirling a bit of balsamic vinegar in the pan and pour that over the "steaks", top with some shredded basil and fresh ground black pepper. Yum! And there were a few more cucumbers last week. The plants seem to be taking a break now, maybe for good, I'm seeing the first signs of powdery mildew on them.

Pimento de Padron peppers

Yeah for Padrons! We're getting a good steady supply now, not too much nor too little, just enough to keep us happy.

Sigaretta Dolce peppers
Sweet cigarettes, um, not necessarily completely sweet. These surprised me when I included them in a chopped salad with tomatoes and cucumbers, they have a bit of a spicy kick! Not too hot though and entirely delicious. I'm looking forward to consuming more of these.

Not photographed this week were a few more broccoli shoots, and the first Lady Bell and Shephard's Ramshorn sweet peppers. And more Gigante beans went into the harvest basket but those won't be weighed and included in the totals until the beans are fully dry.

The harvests for the past week were the largest of the year so far and pushed the total for the year over the 200 pound mark. Here's the numbers:

Neckarkönigin beans - 3 lb., 6.8 oz.
Apollo broccoli - 7.9 oz.
Green Fingers Persian cucumbers - 15.4 oz.
Tasty Green Japanese cucumbers - 2 lb., 3.2 oz (there were a couple big ones lurking)
Diamond eggplant - 1 lb., 4.1 oz.
Kamo eggplant - 1 lb., 14.9 oz.
Salangana eggplant - 2 lb., 1.5 oz.
Lady Bell pepper - 3.8 oz.
Pimento de Padron peppers - 1 lb., 5.5 oz.
Shephard's Ramshorn pepper - 2.4 oz.
Sigaretta Dolce peppers - 4.2 oz.
Amish Paste tomatoes - 5.2 oz.
Fiaschetto tomatoes - 4 lb., 11.4 oz.
Jaune Flamme tomatoes - 9.1 oz.
Nyagous tomatoes - 15.4 oz.
Rosabec tomatoes - 8 lb., 1.4 oz.
Sunshine cherry tomatoes - 3 lb., 6.1 oz.
Wheatly's Frost Resistant cherry tomatoes - 2.4 oz.
Da Fiore zucchini - 4 lb., 2.2 oz.

The total harvests for the past week came to - 36 lb., 10.9 oz.
Which brings the total harvests for the year up to - 205 lb., 13.9 oz.

Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne on her blog Daphne's Dandelions, head on over there to see what other garden bloggers have been harvesting lately.


  1. I love seeing your eggplant harvests. Yum!

  2. I have BER problems mostly on Roma-type tomatoes, so you may be on to something. I also mulch heavily in addition to trying for consistent watering. As far as mildew, a milk spray works amazingly well and is very simple and organic. Meanwhile, I'll just drool over your eggplants and peppers, which have been a complete failure for me this year.

  3. I love your eggplant harvests, too, but I am really interested in the sweet cigarette peppers that had a little kick. Sounds wonderful!

  4. Dang, girl, that is one prodigious harvest. Great photos too. And crazy weather. Here in coastal southern California it has been just hot, hot, and more hot. Blech.

  5. Beautiful harvests I'm not getting nearly enough beans and broccoli right now. I could use about twice as much for myself. Though I'm thinking 3lbs would be way too much for me. I could always freeze it though. I have only a few beans frozen. I haven't gotten much of a harvest of them this year.

  6. mmmmmm tomatoes! What an awesome harvest

  7. Looks lovely, especially those Padrons! I think I'll have some for breakfast tomorrow.

  8. Lovely harvests! I had a lot of BER mid-season this year due to our weather. I don't salt my eggplant either. I think the flavor depends upon the variety you plant. I may be wrong, but, my eggplant are never bitter.

  9. Great harvest. My beans are getting a good bit challenged right now too. I hope you do get a good harvest out of the frost resistant cherry tomato! I would be frustrated if I didn't! Great peppers, great tomatoes!

  10. Beautiful harvest - love EVERYTHING! But I also noticed that you have a variety of harvesting baskets which is something that I have not gotten into....yet. Hmm...maybe I could hint to the husband about it for Christmas. Oh, and congratulations on the over 200lb mark. I hope to get up to that number next season!

  11. Very nice harvest! We both seem to be inundated with eggplant this season. I seem to continue to lose beans to voles, but our tomato harvest, like yours, is finally starting to pick up. I agree, yay for Padrons, they've been the stalwarts of our pepper beds for some weeks now. The bull horns I'm still waiting on to ripen...

  12. What a great harvest you have there! Next year I will be planting a lot more big fruited and paste type tomatoes. I had about 16 plants this year but lost have to a wilt, so I know 8 plants aren't enough to eat fresh, let alone have enough to can a batch!

  13. Awesome harvest. I love the eggplants. Great job!

  14. I love your cooking style - those tomatoes and the zucchini dish both sound great. I agree regarding salting the eggplant, although I do think that the sweetness of the salt may overpower any bitterness were it present in the first place. I've never had many issues with eggplants being bitter though - regardless of where I've got them.


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