Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. It’s hard to believe the month of July is almost gone. We got a brief break from the summer heat the last few days, and I celebrated by doing some weeding in the garden and on Saturday morning I went for a run without coming home drenched. The temperatures are supposed to warm up again this week but hopefully the worst of the summer heat is past us. The garden is doing great though, and harvests are keeping me busy. The pole beans are pumping out almost a pound of pods each day, and there’s over three pounds of them in the below photo. The Tromba d’Albenga squash is keeping us well supplied too. I’ve been spiralizing them, and tonight they’re going to be a base for a marinara sauce. If spiralized zucchini is called zoodles, then my wife decided the tromboncino version should be called toodles!
And speaking of marinara sauce, the paste tomatoes are starting to come on now. My old standbys Health Kick and Viva Italia are ripening now, as well as newcomer Marzano Fire.
I saved seeds from Marzano Fire last year, and one of the plants is not exactly true to type. This rogue plant has more blocky fruits, and some are almost as wide as they are long. I will be saving seed from this one for growing next year to see what I get then.
The ones last year had the classic San Marzano shape, longer than they are wide and with a pointed blossom end. In the below photo you can see them together. I will use both kinds to make a single-source marinara sauce to go on the toodles.
The Juliet tomatoes have started ripening too. I’ve been dehydrating the first ones, and later I will be oven roasting them as well as using them for sauces. I have four cages of them planted this year so I am planning on having lots of my favorite tomatoes!
I’ve been dehydrating some of the cherry tomatoes as well. That’s Sun Gold, Supersweet 100 and Snow White in the below photo.
And I also dried some of the Sunpeach tomatoes which are coming on strong. They are a deep pink cherry tomato and a sister variety to Sun Gold.
I saved out a few of the cherry toms to make a batch of my Green Bean and Bulgur Salad with Walnuts. That’s always a favorite here when we have fresh beans and tomatoes. The salad also featured some of our fresh parsley and a bit of red onion.
The summer squash plants are all done for now except for the heirloom white pattypan. I got three squash total from the two plants last week. This variety seems better able to deal with the annual invasion of the squash bugs, but we have also had a lot of ladybugs show up to start eating the little buggers.
I guess this is turning into the tomato edition of HM for me, probably since they are finally ripening. I got the first taste of a couple of new tomatoes last week. Chef’s Choice Yellow is a 2017 AAS Winner with big, meaty yellow beefsteak tomatoes. The first one to ripen was a bit misshapen, but the flavor was great. It weighed over a pound, and I cut it in half and then sliced up each half. I can’t wait for more of this one!
The other newcomer is one of the Heirloom Marriage hybrids I’m growing this year called Big Brandy. It’s a cross between Brandywine and Big Dwarf, and the first one had a wonderful flavor, sweet and tart at the same time. The plants are semi-determinate, and next year I probably need to grow them in ‘short’ cages away from the more aggressive growers.
I did find time to bake bread last week. I made another loaf of the San Fransisco-style sourdough bread I made last month. It’s a lower hydration (61%) bread made using a stiff ‘motherdough’ that I fermented in the refrigerator for 5 days. The motherdough is then used as leavening for the rest of the dough. It proofed overnight in the refrigerator in an oval brotform, then I dusted it with flour before scoring in a zebra pattern and baking in the oven on a hot pizza stone.
Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to share, add your name and blog link to Mr Linky below. And be sure and check out what everyone is harvesting!
Your tomatoes and that white patty pan do look A M A Z I N G
We can now join you in picking beans and the first ripe tomatoes are almost ready for picking.
Beautiful tomatoes, Dave! That Chef’s Choice Yellow has such great colour, it looks delicious. I think I’ll be making some toodles myself this week …
Ha, ha. Love the name “toodles”. Did you cross the Brandywine and Big Dwarf? I think this semi-determinate tomato plant will be ideal for planting in container.
Norma, I got the Big Brandy seeds from Totally Tomatoes. They also have a Perfect Flame tomato that I want to try next year, which is a cross between Flamme amd Peron.
I will check out the Totally Tomatoes web site, thanks.
Love the tomato edition! The Marzano Fire is really an attractive tomato. Are they super productive? I did not know ladybugs ate squash beetles, yay for them! And “toodles,” that’s a good one.
The Marzano Fire was very productive last year, so I have high hopes for 2017!
What a beautiful parade of tomatoes! I’ve got one Marzano Fire plant this year and the first ripe tomato is soon to come. I’ll probably be using them as slicers rather than cooking with them. One of these days when I finally have some green beans coming from the garden I’m going to have to try your Bulgur Salad, it looks delicious.
The Marzano Fire is gorgeous. I hope it tastes as good as it looks. Have you noticed any differences in taste or water content between the plum shaped and the next gen oxheart shaped tomatoes?
So many tomatoes! I’m just savouring our first ones but I know that once they get going, they REALLY get going 🙂 Well, that’s if blight doesn’t get to them first – my only determinate variety, Taxi, was the first to get hit and it looks like it won’t last past mid-August.
Wow, lovely selection of tomatoes. I’m getting beans now too. Haven’t seen any Trombonccino yet, but I planted later than normal. But there are a lot of other squash out there. love your bread. I really need to get back to baking, but it’s just way too hot right now!
I’m glad we don’t get squash bugs over here, phew.
That chef’s choice yellow is a monster!
Lovely bread too, yum.
Thanks for the welcome Dave! And wow, I have to agree with everyone else — those Marzano Fires are sexy. And I’m really intrigued by that off-type. How did it cook up? Any different from the standard?
The rogue cooked up and tasted pretty much like the regular Marzano Fire. It made a lovely fresh marinara sauce. I have saved seeds from the rogue plant and will likely have them available if anyone wants to try them. I have no idea if it is an accidental F1 cross from my garden last year, or some mutation from the original. Or perhaps the Marzano Fire line itself is not entirely stable. Who knows?
I’d absolutely be interested in growing out a couple plants. It’s a lovely tomato to begin with, and on top of that I’ve got a serious obsession with rogues and sports. Feel free to shoot me an email: email@example.com.
My first frost date here in Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley isn’t usually until mid November, so feasibly I could start a few this season. I’m also happy to swap you – There’s a 2017 grow list on my blog and I still have seeds left from most packets. If any strike your fancy, just let me know!
I love it when it’s tomato season! There are just so many different varieties to choose from, and everyone seems to grow something different. Your Marzano Fire ones are very handsome. With their orange stripes they remind me of Tigerella, which I used to grow quite frequently. I haven’t grown it for a while since I found that most of the fruit had very few stripes and were just plain red! And that is not just from one pack, either…