I tell you, nothing says summer like ripe tomatoes! We had the first taste of slicing tomatoes yesterday. These Early Girls and Moretons in the photo below aren’t real big, but they sure were tasty. The next early tomatoes to ripen should be the Champions (1&2), and they are larger. Of course, bigger is not always better, even when it comes to tomatoes!
I also harvested the first eggplants of the year. These are Fairy Tale, a small eggplant I have growing in containers. We grew this variety last year in our MG AAS Display Garden, and they were positively loaded with these 3-4″ long little beauties.
Last year the MG’s were encouraged to take some home and try them out. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them, so I sliced them in half lengthwise and slapped them on the grill. They were done in no time. We liked them so much I decided to grow them here this year, and I’m glad I did.
They are giving us our first taste of eggplant. The plants are about a foot tall now and covered in blooms and fruit. Fairy Tale is a 2005 AAS winner. I’ve not been real impressed with the AAS vegetables in the last few years, but this eggplant is worth trying in containers or in the ground. Its mild tasting white flesh is not bitter and has very few seeds.
We also continue to get a lot of blackberries. Last week I picked about 12 pounds/2 gallons of them. Apache continues to be our best performer. My wife has decided it is the best tasting of the blackberries, but I can’t decide on my favorite just yet. I know one thing – it is sure easy to fill your bucket when the berries are so big!
We’re getting quite a few pole beans also. I’m having to make at least two trips a day to the beans to hand pick the Japanese beetles from them. It seems they have turned the pole bean area into a giant swap meet.
These Japanese beetles seem to be interested in two things only: eating and mating. The photo below shows the damage they have done to the bean leaves. You can see through many of the upper leaves.
The same thing happened last year. The plants survived the onslaught and produced a lot of beans for us to eat. This is the only thing they have attacked this year, though I’m keeping a watch out on the blackberries because they do seem to like them too.
I used some of the beans and some cherry tomatoes in this Walnut Green Bean Salad. The recipe is here and this dish is one of our summer favorites when we have fresh beans and tomatoes. We love the taste of the bulgur in this dish.
We also got blueberries, onions, summer squash, cucumbers, lettuce and broccoli in the harvest bucket this week. The total haul for the week was 37 pounds.
I also got the third possum of the year in the live trap. This one was kinda cute, in its own possum way, so I got a snapshot of it before it went to the retirement village a few miles from Happy Acres. I don’t know where all the possums are coming from this year, but I know where they are going, and that’s elsewhere!
For more harvest funvisit Daphne’s Dandelions.