July 2, 2013

The First Ripe Tomatoes and Cucumber with Lots of Eggplants

A basket with almost 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of produce including green bean, tomato, eggplant, cucumber, and zucchini.

Today we got the first tomatoes and cucumber! I also spent the morning picking clean the bush bean bed.

The Paul Robeson tomato plant gave the first ripe tomatoes, my husband was helping me stake the same plant and 3 little green tomatoes got knocked off. You can see the two oval Applegreen eggplants in the back of the basket, then a Bangladeshi Long and a Thai Long Purple eggplant to the far right.

The first cucumber of the season belongs to the Japanese Long variety. Training the cucumbers up bamboo poles is working very well, I love seeing them dangling in the breeze. A nice long zucchini was also harvested today.

The bush beans got away from me because I was too busy over the weekend to do much except a little hand pollination in the garden, so the snap beans were a bit plump when they got picked today but are still tender and delicious. All the varieties produced exceptionally well, except for Royal Burgundy. The Royal Burgundy plants are tall and lush and were heavy with blossoms but the blossoms did not set very many beans, I was lucky to get 2 or 3 beans per plant.

The rabbit seems to love the Blue Lake 274 beans, I found lots of munched bean remnants today. Both Blue Lake and Royal burgundy are smooth bean varieties, which makes cleaning them a lot easier than the downy beans like Romano and Tendergreen. But I think I prefer the flavor of the downy fuzzy beans compared to the smooth snap beans.

The bush bean bed was pretty much picked clean today, so I am going to fertilize them and see if they will give a second flush of beans after some rest.


Mac said...

Congrats on your first tomato harvest. How's the taste of green eggplant, how do you use it?

Phuong said...

This is the first time I've grown the Applegreen eggplant. It has a very tender skin so doesn't keep very long, but it is yummy with a mild green flavor and just a hint of that distinctive eggplantiness, and no bitterness whatsoever. I cooked the eggplant really simply the first time with thin slices sauteed in a tiny amount of olive oil, salt, and a pinch of oregano. And served with sauteed yellow summer squash and eggs sunny side up for breakfast.

I'm thinking about the grilling eggplant next time with a shredded ginger, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil marinade. My father steams his long purple eggplants and serves it with a green onion, olive oil vinaigrette.