Monday, August 24, 2015

Harvest Monday - August 24, 2015

It was a good week of harvests last week. The tomatoes are ripening early this year. I have to look back to 2010 when I started my tomatoes extra early and enclosed the cages in greenhouse plastic, an effort that I just can't be bothered with again. Here's the August tomato harvests since 2010:

2010 - 25.8 lb.
2011 - .5 lb.
2012 - 2.6 lb.
2013 - 4.6 lb.
2014 - 21.6 lb.
2015 - 32.4 lb., and the month isn't over yet...

I can't remember the last time I had enough ripe paste tomatoes to start canning in August. I usually put up quart jars of tomatoes, but I've found that a quart of tomatoes is often more than what I need so this year I'm doing more pint jars.

Amish Paste
This would be closer to a typical late August harvest of tomatoes - cherry tomatoes and small fruited early tomatoes, along with small green peppers.

Spike, Camp Joy, Sweet Gold, and Jaune Flamme tomatoes
Mareko Fana and Padron peppers
I generally have to wait until September for the first harvests of large fruited tomatoes.

Pantano, Caspian Pink, and Mavritanskite
That green shouldered Mavritanskite had a big scar on the bottom, but it was only skin deep and the rest of the tomato was excellent. I cut off the scarred skin, and cut the tomato in chunks and used it in a salad with smashed cucumbers and leftover grilled ling cod, dressed with some leftover Vietnamese dipping sauce (lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, and pepper paste) with some fresh basil and mint.

Mavritanskite tomato
The small fruited tomatoes are really coming in quickly now.

Penn State Plum, Jaune Flamme, Camp Joy, and Sweet Gold

Spike tomatoes
One more eggplant was ready to harvest. My Actinovate and beneficial microbe soil drenches seem to be helping the sick eggplants, there's new growth and flowers on most of the plants. Perhaps I'll get a few more late harvests if the plants hang in there.

Bonica eggplant
The summer planting of Di Ciccio broccoli is producing a few small harvests. There's one "main" head and some side shoots in this harvest. The Tromba D'Albenga vines produce a squash or two every few days.

More cucumbers! I found a New York Times article about smashed cucumber salads that inspired me to try that treatment. I haven't tried any of their particular dressings, but I did like the texture of the cucumbers when they are smashed and have tried them in a couple of salads like the one I described before with tomatoes and ling cod.

Add Green Fingers and Tasty Treat cucumbers to the basket.
And yet more squash and cucumbers with a side of Padrons and Mareko Fana peppers. These Tromba squash are large enough to make a batch of Zucchini Sott'Olio (Preserved Zucchini). I think the Tromba squash are even better than true zucchini for the preserves because the flesh is more firm and the seed cavities aren't as large.

I pulled out all of the leeks that I had set out for summer harvesting. I used all of these to make a big batch of leek and cauliflower puree that I froze. I should be able to use the puree as is, just warmed up as a side dish or thin it with stock and cream to make soup.

The last two Di Sicilia Violetto cauliflowers really got away from me - again. These babies aren't babies, they are HUGE. I used half of the largest one to make the aforementioned puree. Another portion is even now fermenting to make pickles. More of it went into Smashed Cauliflower (for which I've still not written up the recipe). And there's still more left in the fridge. I'm going to make another batch of puree, this time with sweet onions instead of leeks.

Violetto di Sicilia cauliflowers
One more round of Di Ciccio broccoli, blanched and incorporated into a frittata.

Add caption
We had this bunch of amaranth last night, simply sauteed in peanut oil with garlic and fish sauce.

Tender Leaf amaranth
Not photographed last week were more harvests of pole beans and beets. Oh, and I weighed some runty garlic that seems to have cured ok. And I raided the curing rack for a couple of onions.

Here's the details of the harvests for the past week:

Tender Leaf amaranth - 1 lb., 11.7 oz.
Purple pole beans - 4.2 oz.
Rattlesnake beans - 1 lb., 3.2 oz.
Stortino di Trento beans - 1 lb., 2.1 oz.
Three Grex beets - 1 lb., 9.7 oz. (trimmed)
Di Ciccio broccoli - 12 oz.
Di Sicilia Violetto cauliflowers - 16 lb., 2.3 oz.
Green Fingers cucumbers - 2 lb., 6.2 oz.
Tasty Treat cucumbers - 1 lb., 15 oz.
Bonica eggplant - 1 lb., 4.6 oz.
Early Red Italian garlic - 14 oz.
Lorz Italian garlic - 1 lb., 6.3 oz.
Blue Solaise leeks - 2 lb., 8.9 oz.
Candy onion - 12.9 oz.
Superstar onion - 1 lb., 4.6 oz.
Mareko Fana peppers - 5.4 oz.
Padron peppers - 6.6 oz.
Amish Paste tomatoes - 4 lb., 15.7 oz.
Camp Joy cherry tomatoes - 2 lb., 2 oz.
Caspian Pink tomatoes - 13.1 oz.
Chianti Rose tomato - 8.3 oz.
Jaune Flame tomatoes - 4 lb., 6.5 oz.
Mavritanskite tomato - 12.6 oz.
Pantano tomatoes - 2 lb., 5.3 oz.
Penn State Plum tomatoes - 16.9 oz.
Spike tomatoes - 1 lb., 13.8 oz.
Sweet Gold cherry tomatoes - 4 lb., 8.8 oz.
Tromba D'Albenga squash - 8 lb., 2.3 oz.

Total for the week - 67 lb., 11 oz. (30.7 kg.)
2015 YTD - 554 lb., 4.1 oz. (251.4 kg.)

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


  1. That is a huge harvest this week. It is interesting that your tomatoes are early this year. I always wonder what makes plants do that sometimes. It isn't always the heat either. Last year we had a hot summer, but my neighbor's tomatoes took a long time to get red.

  2. Such an abundance of tomatoes, and every one perfectly ripe. Outstanding! Spike is a really pretty tomato I have not noticed before. Now that Mavritanskite? Maybe not so much, but I'm glad I'm not the only one that cuts off the ugly parts and is happy with what's left.

  3. I've been making tomato sauce with "scratch and dent" tomatoes from my favorite farmer at the midweek market. Your oddly scarred one would have fit in perfectly. I just cut off the soft or scars, and then they're ready to simmer down.

    1. That's what I would typically do with my funky tomatoes, but this was my first ever harvest of that variety and I wanted to savor it fresh.

  4. Nice harvest. Your garden is really starting to ramp up. The smashed cucumbers are an interesting idea. My mother used to make a wilted cucumber salad by salting sliced cucumbers and onions, letting them weep, then squeezing them in her hands to extract the moisture. So squeezed versus smashed but it did change the texture of the cucumbers. Dressed with just vinegar, but I sometimes use fish sauce, lime and sesame oil for an Asian version.

    1. I do the same treatment with the wilted slice cucumbers. The smashed cucumbers are chunkier and have a different texture, they are quite nice in their own way. It's nice to have yet another cucumber treatment in my repertoire.

  5. Your produce is always so perfect (except maybe that Mavritanskite). My tomatoes seem early this year too - I didn't have a lot but there are very few left on the plants. So many beautiful bright colours on the tomatoes, I think I'll have to get into more yellow and orange tomatoes next year.

  6. Beautiful harvests & very envious of that Tromba squash. I'll have to try that smashed cucumber salad, maybe with the lone cucumber sitting in my refrigerator right now. Unfortunately, it looks like my cucumber season is all but over. My Tromboncino squash is right next door & it appears to have picked up the powdery mildew. Oh well...I guessl try again next year.

  7. After being treated to an eyeful of such gorgeous vegetables, I want to fill this comment box with stars and 'likes'! You've made my morning!

  8. I will have to make a note and try the smashed cukes for next season, since ours are done for the year. And I love your tomato displays, funky or not!

  9. I'm glad you posted a photo of De Ciccio broccoli. I have recently picked a similar batch and it has helped me to compare mine with yours. You win! I have just replaced mine with "Apollo" Brokali. And your photo of the 4 types of tomato in boxes side-by-side is a real classic. I could look at photos like that all day long...

  10. Great harvest, I like small fruited tomatoes and squashes, didn't plant any cuke this year, no smash cucumber salad for us. Creamy leek and cauliflower sounds good, gotta give it a go this winter.

  11. Your tomatoes are such perfect specimens, must be the controlled watering. Looks like everything is coming on strong. So wonderful.

    We had such a wet year everything ended up dying an early death.


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