July 12, 2021

Harvest Monday, 7/12/21

Mix of cherry tomatoes and small tomatoes like Jaune de Flamme, Sun Gold, Candyland, Yellow Pear, Bumble Bee, and Jelly Bean. None of the tomatoes are really sweet right now, which is likely due to the very hot dry weather interspersed with torrential rainfall. Yellow pear is sourish and the tiny Candyland has surprisingly crispy flesh.

Garlic chives, red shisho or perilla, and green shisho or perilla. I find perilla to have a complex herbaceous flavor that's hard to describe. People say it has an astringent or basil like flavor, but I don't find that at all. So far they've been put in stir fries at the end of cooking.

I had problems seed starting the perilla. What finally worked was wrapping them in damp paper-towels inside ziplock bags, and then wrapping that in a towel on top of a seedling heat mat with a thermometer to keep them from getting too hot.
On the left is Colza (rapeseed) and on the right is Nero di Tuscana kale. There's also assorted cherry tomatoes.

Ner di Tuscana can be a little coarse during the hottest part of our summer, but the leaves are never bitter. It's actually my first year growing Colza and I find the flavor very similar to kale, and the leaves are nice and tender with no signs of blooming. 
This is what happens when you don't go in the garden for 3 days, lots of big zucchini and cucumbers. There's a yellow Butta zucchini in the back, the short blunt ones are Bolognese which were still seedless surprisingly, and the round ones are Chiaro di Nizza.

I did grow some White Custard pattypan squash, but a few were terribly bitter. So now I'm always eating a few slices of zucchini raw before cooking.

The cucumbers on the right are mostly Telegraph which have been fantastic in salads. Luckily they go to seed very slowly.
From left to right: Stella, Nero De Tuscana kale, Colza, and sorrel. Stella's slender leaves are crunchy but it has a bitter endnote that I'm hoping cooking will tame. The bitterness could be due to the heat or the fact it's going to seed. Sorrel on the far right is shockingly lemony.

We've also been getting a few Jet Star tomatoes for a couple weeks and they are great in salads and stir fries. The plant has good disease resistance and has bounced back well after being terribly rootbound when planting was delayed. The other large tomatoes are still a ways behind.

I've been eating massive salads everyday for months. Makes me sad we didn't grow any spring lettuce. So, lots of endive, escarole, chicory and lettuce were started over the weekend in preparation for the fall garden.

One note on failures. I had started rhubarb from seed. Had nice beautiful plants, which were then killed by over fertilization. When they say one tablespoon of fish emulsion per gallon of water, that's really what they mean.

Please join us for Harvest Monday, a group of intrepid gardeners, where neither harsh winds, sun, or rain will keep us from growing vegetables.