Monday, October 8, 2012

Harvest Monday - October 8, 2012

Sorry Daphne, but the Solanaceae party continued in my garden this week, don't look!

Some tomato varieties are past their peak production and a couple of others are just getting there. Eggplant, none to show this week, but it's there, waiting to be harvested. The sun was setting yesterday as I finished picking tomatoes so the eggplant gets harvested today. And the peppers finally came to the party earlier this week and will be hanging around for a while.

The star performer in the garden this week was Amish Paste. These really started to ripen up in the past two weeks and I think have probably peaked this week. I'm planning on canning most of these, the harvest from the previous week was cooked down to a puree and frozen.

Amish Paste

Martian Giant was not far behind the Amish Paste. The three day heat wave we had early last week finally pushed these to ripen, seemingly all at once. I harvested these last Wednesday

Martian Giant
and these were harvested yesterday. My husband and I enjoyed our first BLT sandwiches yesterday which featured one of the huge Martian Giant tomatoes. I think this is the perfect BLT tomato, it is the perfect size - one huge thick slice per sandwich, the flavor is neither too tangy nor too sweet - just tomatoey, and it is just juicy enough to soak the bread and drip all over the place. Heavenly.

More Martian Giant

The Nyagous harvests peaked last week but are still producing well. There would have been more but some critter has decided that this variety is its favorite and I've lost a pound or two of fruits over the past couple of weeks to the marauder.


I used a few pounds of the previous harvest of Nyagous tomatoes to make a double recipe of Paula Wolfert's Sesame-studded Tomato Jam. This is not a traditional sugary pectin-thickened jam. I love this jam because it gets all its sweetness from the tomatoes and a touch of honey. The tomatoes are first roasted in a hot oven to char the skins and soften the flesh. The skins are removed and the tomatoes are cooked down to a very thick puree and then seasoned with honey, cinnamon, and orange flower water. The seeds that you see in the photo below are the tomato seeds, you sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on the jam when you serve it. It is delicious served with any number of things, from cheese to vegetables to fish or chicken or pork, or just spread on crackers. I think that a few pounds of the Martian Giant tomatoes may be destined for another batch of this "jam". This recipe is a great way to reduce a big pile of tomatoes to an easy to store treat, 4 pounds of tomatoes yielded 4 4-ounce jars of jam. The jam freezes beautifully, I pack it into 4-ounce canning jars, press a bit of plastic wrap onto the surface to help prevent freezer burn and cap it. The jam doesn't freeze rock hard which makes it possible to cut portions of it from the jar without thawing out the entire jar so it is possible to freeze it in larger portions if you prefer.

Moroccan Tomato Jam made from Nyagous tomatoes

I got a nice harvest of Rosabec tomatoes yesterday but there are not a lot of green tomatoes left on the vine. This is my favorite tomato for making Tomato Gazpacho this season, it makes a beautiful rosy colored soup that I like to garnish with the other colored tomatoes. This variety is also delicious as a slicing and salad tomato. It has a nice balance of acid and sweetness, is firm fleshed and juicy, and pretty.


Sunshine Cherry tomatoes, whew, the plant is finally past its peak of production. There are still plenty of them to keep my husband happy, he loves to snack on them and he takes a baggie of them in his lunch every day.

Sunshine Cherry

I think my favorite tomato this year is Jaune Flamme. It's beautiful. It turns a golden yellow as it ripens and then starts to turn orange starting at the stem end. When you slice it the orange color runs into the core but the gel stays green, the effect is striking. And it's delicious, with a tangy fruity sweetness and moderately meaty texture that is never mealy. We've been eating most of them fresh in salads and chopped to use in gazpacho, but they were starting to pile up so I used the last of the harvest from the previous two weeks (did I mention that they keep amazingly well just sitting on the counter?) to cook down to a puree to freeze.

My least favorite tomato this year is Wheatly's Frost Resistant. My husband described them yesterday as tangy but not sweet. They have a soft texture that's not particularly juicy. They are quite pretty and I they are perfectly good used in salads, but are not my first choice for snacking. I won't be growing them again.

The Fiaschetto tomatoes are definitely winding down. I dried a lot of these this year, there's 7 1-pint jars of dried tomatoes that I keep in the refrigerator to preserve the color. It takes at least 2 pounds of fresh tomatoes to fill one jar with dried tomatoes. I love to use dried tomatoes in frittatas and I've been making a lot of frittatas lately so I hope that the 7 jars will get me through the year. I also canned a case of pint jars full of Fiaschettos. And I used four pounds to make a double batch of Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter to stash in the freezer. Oh wow, is this sauce addictive. Perhaps I'll have to make some more...

Jaune Flamme, Wheatly's Frost Resistant, and Fiaschetto

The peppers are producing, the peppers are producing! Well, the Padrons have been producing for weeks now because they are harvested as babies.

Martian Giant tomatoes and Pimento de Padron peppers

But the rest of the peppers are finally ripening.

Peppers, peppers, peppers...

Sorry, I can't remember now all of which are which. I got enough thick fleshed peppers, bells and pimentos, to roast enough to fill 3 1-pint jars with Preserved Sweet Peppers. I dried some of the Sigaretta Dolce peppers (at the top of the photo), some of the Melrose peppers (bottom), and some of the Jimmy Nardellos (right). The Liebesapfel peppers (pimento type shown on the left) went into the gazpacho.

The same peppers

More zucchini, in spite of the quickly spreading powdery mildew. And yet a few more cucumbers and Rolande filet beans. This harvest was from last Wednesday and I harvested but didn't photograph like amounts of the same vegetables yesterday.

Da Fiore zucchini, Tasty Green and Green Fingers cucumbers,
Rolande filet beans

I'm still plucking dried pods of Greek Gigante runner beans off of the vines. I've got enough shelled beans to fill 4 1-quart jars and there's a few remaining pods left on the vines that haven't dried yet. I will weigh the harvest and add them to the harvest tally when all the beans have been shelled and dried.

Greek Gigante beans in the pods

The heat wave last week lasted three days with peak temperatures that hit 98º on Monday, then 101º and 102º the next two days and then cooled down to the more typical highs we experience this time of year. The local weather station didn't record any temperatures after 4:00 pm Friday afternoon so it doesn't show this weekend's highs and lows, but the highs per my gauges hit the mid-70ºs, right about normal. Coming up, it's supposed to cool off a bit more and there's a slight chance of showers.

The heat wave was just enough to push the lettuce over the edge and it is now bolting, dang it. I harvested but didn't photograph one head of Sweetie Baby romaine to use in the BLT. I guess we'll be eating a lot more green salad in the next couple of weeks, I will need to harvest the rest of the lettuce this week but it should keep well in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. The heat also caused some damage in the garden, a number of plants were sunburned, but that's a post for another day.

Here's the harvest totals for the past week:

Rolande filet beans - 11.6 oz.
Green Fingers Persian cucumbers - 10.5 oz.
Tasty Green Japanese cucumbers - 1 lb., 14.3 oz.
Sweetie Baby romaine lettuce - 6.8 oz.
Jimmy Nardello's peppers - 1 lb., 2.2 0z.
King of the North bell peppers - 9.2 oz.
Large Sweet Antigua peppers - 12.1 oz.
Liebesapfel pimento peppers - 1 lb., 2.8 oz.
Melrose peppers - 11.6 oz.
Moroccan peppers - 6.9 oz.
Odessa Market peppers - 7 oz.
Pimento de Padron peppers - 13 oz.
Sigaretta Dolce peppers - 9.2 oz.
Sunnybrook pimento peppers - 5.7 oz.
Wisconsin Lakes bell peppers - 1 lb., 3.9 oz.
Amish Paste tomatoes - 12 lb., 15.8 oz.
Fiaschetto plum tomatoes - 3 lb., 4 oz.
Jaune Flamme tomatoes - 2 lb., 6.7 oz.
Martian Giant tomatoes - 11 lb., 14.4 oz
Nyagous tomatoes - 6 lb., .2 oz.
Rosabec tomatoes - 4 lb., 13.5 oz.
Sunshine cherry tomatoes - 3 lb., 9.2 oz.
Wheatly's Frost Resistant cherry tomatoes - 2 lb., 4.9 oz.
Da Fiore zucchini - 4 lb., 1.1 oz.

The total harvests for the past week came to - 63 lb., 4.6 oz.
Which brings the totals for the year up to - 444 lb., 8.4 oz

Wow, maybe I'll hit 500 pounds this year. That would be great considering I had two full months without harvests and another month with only capers to harvest and I've only had three out of four beds up and running. I also didn't grow some of big producers, such as winter squash and fava beans. 

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. Well you have a few things that aren't tomatoes. Your bean harvest is impressive. I'll have to weigh my beans soon. I'm running out of canned beans from last year. When I do more I'll probably get to weighing all those dried beans.

  2. As always, your incredible organization has me aspiring. . . pretty pretty peppers.

    I still have a bunch of very stubborn green Early Girls. Sigh.

  3. What a good Harvest!
    Nervenruh is envious.

  4. WAAAHHH! I want that heat wave! Those tomatoes are simply beautiful and you have so many of them too. Thank you for sharing the tomato jam recipe - it looks like one that should be tried.

  5. Holy cow--your harvest is incredible! I'm so envious of your tomatoes--our have been done for awhile due to blight. I agree, Jaune Flamme is one of my favorite tomatoes--they're delicious and beautiful. Congratulations to you on an amazing harvest!

  6. Looks like I have some seeds to hunt for this winter! Great harvest and awesome post.

  7. Holy smokes your harvest is AMAZING! I've only just started my edible garden and have a long way to go...time to comb through all your archives and learn what I can!

  8. All I can say is that I am suffering tomato envy from your wonderful harvest. The different colors, shapes, sizes! Your garden is simply amazing.

  9. I have fallen in love with your Nyagous pictures. You have a fantastic collection of tomatoes, and that jam... mmmm, great idea!

  10. Beautiful tomatoes! I love that Martian Giant! Very nice! Sorry something is getting one of your maters! Great harvest week for you!

  11. Wow! You plant a lot of different varieties of tomatoes! The jam recipe sounds delish, think I'll jot it down for next year as my tomatoes are done for this year.

  12. Gorgeous gorgeous tomatoes! I had to smile at the fiaschetto tomatoes since we're in southern Puglia at the moment, where these are from... and all of the passato we've been using while cooking this week are made from these!

  13. Another great week! Those Martian Giants really are giant and completely gorgeous! I've not heard of them before, but you have me intrigued!

  14. I am seriously impressed with your incredible tomoatoes and peppers. They look wonderful.


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