Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The past week was a busy one here, with lots of both harvesting and kitchen time. We are at the height of tomato season (or is that the throes?), and I brought in over 60 pounds of them last week in all sizes and colors. I felt like a magician trying to make them all disappear! There’s a big tub of Juliet in the below photo, along with a mix of paste tomatoes in the strainer. We used the processing types to make unseasoned sauce, ketchup, and tomato paste. It was a joint effort between me and my wife that sure involved a lot of stirring on the stove! I also dehydrated more of the small fruited types, and made a batch of marinara sauce for the freezer.
We’ve been eating a lot of the big slicing tomatoes either on sandwiches or as a side dish. They’re all AAS Winners in the below photo, and from the top it’s Chef’s Choice Orange, Chef’s Choice Pink and Chef’s Choice Yellow. All have been giving us lots to eat lately, and I’m not sure I have a favorite among the three. More tasting is required!
The Chef’s Choice Pink is a lovely pink beefsteak with meaty red flesh. It has a nice sweet taste, with few seeds, and it has starred on several sandwiches so far this year. It met up with grilled eggplant and cheese one day for lunch, stacked on some of my fresh-baked whole wheat bread. That sandwich came back again yesterday for lunch, with the Chef’s Choice Yellow tomato.
The summer planting of lettuce is still giving us decent tasting leaves, despite our hot weather. I often pluck off a few leaves as needed for sandwiches. I’m not sure which one is in the below photo, but it made an appearance on a BLT one day. I need to start some seeds for a fall planting too.
Another of my favorite slicing tomatoes is Captain Lucky. It is a green when ripe o/p tomato with flesh that is a lovely mix of green/pink/yellow. Pretty only gets you so far though and Captain Lucky has a great taste to match the striking looks. I was forced to eat the first one all by myself one day when Lynda was out for lunch! She got to join in on the second and third ones though.
A couple of 2017 AAS Winners showed up in harvests last week too, the Midnight Snack tomato and Mini Love watermelon.
Midnight Snack is a new indigo-type cherry tomato that has the anthocyanin pigment, which gives it a blackish-purple look. The first ones on my vine ripened in the shade so the skin is mostly red. Newer ones setting on have the distinctive dark coloring though. I tried Indigo Rose when it was first released and I was not impressed with the flavor at all, but my wife and I both agree Midnight Snack is very tasty indeed. It’s also a nice size, and should prove very useful for all the things we do with cherry tomatoes.
Mini Love is a personal-sized watermelon with red flesh and a minimum of seeds. The vines are compact, and poor placement on my part had them being overrun by more vigorous neighbors. Still, I’ve found couple of fruits and hopefully the vines will give us a few more. Next time I’ll plant them near less rambunctious growers.
Other than tomatoes, more of the winter squash are starting to mature. It’s the cream colored Buffy in the below photo, along with Pinata delicata and a big tromboncino. The tromboncino have wound up in a lot of meals, including one where we spiralized and roasted it before covering it with a marinara sauce.
The eggplant are coming on strong now too. In the below photo the Dancer in the middle is sporting a racing stripe, with the purplish-black Nadia on the left and Galine on the right.
That’s a sampling of what I’ve been harvesting. Things have been coming in so fast I’ve had a hard time keeping up with it all , which is not a bad problem to have for sure. I did manage to bake a couple of loaves of bread, one of which was not camera shy. It’s a whole wheat sandwich loaf, made using some freshly ground red and white wheat from Bluebird Farms.
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!
The Captain Lucky tomato is very striking and looks far more exotic than a tomato.
“personal-sized” watermelon – love that description! And love the looks of it, oh how I wish I could grow watermelon but our season just isn’t long enough.
Amazing harvest you’ve had, what a load of work with all of those tomatoes.
I looked once again at your 2017 vegetable list to count how many different tomatoes you grow. I came up with 34. This was in the context of seeing your massive Juliet harvest this week. I know they are productive, but I’m wondering first of all how many Juliet plants this represents, and by extension, how many tomato plants overall you have. The Chef’s Choice Pink looks especially mouth-watering, but all is fantastic, as usual.
For Juliet I have 4 oversized cages with two plants in each. I probably have around 60 tomato plants overall.
Wow Dave, your harvest this week was awe inspiring! Just when I was thinking it was the end of the post, it was like one of those “No wait, there’s more!” infomercials. Truly abundant!
Now, stop me if I get sappy, but it just reminders me how truly amazing this whole planting thing is: I mean, how small is a tomato seed? Itty bitty! And here you are, hauling in laundry baskets of food that came from less seeds than could fit in a closed fist. Wild!
Wonderful harvests!! The tomatoes all look wonderful – I particularly like the interior shots. And that watermelon looks scrumptious! It’s turning out to be a tough year on the harvest front in my garden – oh well, I’m just going to chalk this up to a bad year and “know” that next year will be much better 🙂
I know what you mean about the tomatoes. Yesterday I canned a batch of marinara, and tomorrow I’ll pick more tomatoes and can a batch of salsa. Later in the week it’ll be time to can again, with no end in sight. That’s a great looking, and nice-sized watermelon!
I am just in awe of the bounty from your garden. You must be putting in 12 hour days to deal with it all. Captain Lucky sure is a beauty!
I probably sound like a broken record, repeating all of the other comments, but “WOW” what a harvest! That basket of Juliet tomatoes blows me away. And I absolutely love the interior tomato shots. Captain Lucky looks like a work of art. I will imagine you this week busy as usually, trying to keep up with your harvest, creating wonderful sauces and more. Have a great week.
What an amazing array of beautiful food! And the watermelon…wow! I visited a garden recently where someone was trying to grow them…not sure how successful they are over here.
What an awesome harvest week you’ve had! We got hot and dry again so yields were down. You are having a MUCH better tomato year than I’ve had! Love your eggplants, squash and melons too; I haven’t seen a trombonccino on my vines yet, but I planted a lot later than normal this year.
Those are some impressive tomatoes! They are huge and very good looking!
Dave I am very envious of those Captain Lucky’s especially as I canot find a source of seeds here in the UK. They look so tasty!
I usually make spicy “cook-in” sauces with our tomatoes, but I like the sound of your unseasoned sauce, and also the dehydrator paste. Could you tell me if the sheet for yours is silicon? Mine is a circular design, so I would have to cut something to fit. Do you fill more than one shelf at a time? Thank you for your help.
Kathy, the sheets I have are made of paraflexx, and came from the dehydrator manufacturer (Excalibur). It looks a lot like silicone to me, so I think that would work as well. I had three shelves in use the other day, with the thermostat set to the fruit setting (125-135°F). It took almost three hours to dry to my likeness, though that really depends on how long you cook it down on the stove first. I hope that helps!