July 26, 2020

Harvest Monday, 7/26/20

Tomatoes have come on strong this week. There's 45 tomato plants in my garden with 15 of them being small or cherry types. We'd been talking about drying the garden produce this year, which is why there are so many cherry tomato plants. I told my husband two weeks ago that we needed a game plan worked out because they were going to start ripening en masse.

On Sunday we processed about 40 pounds of tomatoes which are in the drying tent with a dehumidifier as I'm typing this. My husband is a ceramic artist and he uses a similar setup to quick dry newly made clay pieces in preparation for a kiln firing.

We've actually eaten a couple tomatoes the week before, but I've been kind of overwhelmed by the garden to post pictures. It's the weeding. The weeds have been going to seed and I couldn't let that happen, so between torrential rain showers I've been weeding like an insane person.

More tomatoes were picked on Saturday but aren't shown here. The small and cherry tomatoes include Juliet, Sungold, Fat Cherry, Black Cherry, Gardener's Delight, Taxi, and Juanne Flamme. The large tomatoes shown include Green Cherokee which have a yellowish skin color although the interior is very green, Giant Australian, and Brandywine. We've been eating tomatoes everyday this week so not shown are Marianna's Peace, Carbon, Oaxacan, and Goldie. The standout of the large tomatoes was Marianna's Peace, unless I'm confusing it with another tomato, it was delicious with a distinctly salty flavor. And for the cherry's, Juliet is just lovely, nice firm meaty texture with a sweet flavor that reminded me of a good grape tomato.

Also, you can see where I avoided the squash and zucchini beds because of all the rain and then was greeted by massive squashes. Must not put off visiting the squash beds. Once the tomatoes are dried, we're going to dry the squashes as well.
I've had a couple good pickings of snap beans. The first picking, the snap beans were sautéed with strips of carrots in a little olive oil with salt, pepper, and dried herbs till they were caramelized with a good bit of color. Then I added chicken stock and cooked it down until most of the liquid was cooked off.
A picture of the second picking of snap beans, right before cooking. I'm only growing 3 varieties of beans this year, Merveille De Piemonte, Purple King, and La Victoire bush bean.
The second batch of green beans was prepared in a similar manner to the first but I added orange juice at the end, instead of chicken broth. Then finished it with a Pico Fruta spice blend that includes chili pepper and lemon peel.

The tomato bed with Giant Australian, Oaxacan, Carbon, and Brandywine are dying from disease. Most likely fungal because of the very wet weather we've had this year. I'm leery of using tomatoes from diseased plants, so am pulling that bed this week.

I've already cleared the lettuce bed and one of the squash beds. The plan is to plant peas, more bush beans, rutabaga, endive, and chicory in the three beds.

Please join us for Harvest Monday, hosted by Dave at Happy Acres. A place to share what you're harvesting and the fun things you might be doing with your produce because eating goes hand in hand with gardening.