Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. It’s hard to believe July is almost over. After a hotter than normal June, it has actually been a tad cooler than normal here lately. Still hot mind you, just not as hot as normal. The tomatoes are loving it though, and I processed quite a few of the paste types last week, making another batch of ketchup plus a batch of Freezer Tomato Sauce on Friday.
I’m trialing several new short-vine determinate paste tomatoes this year, including Plum Regal, Monticello, and Scipio Ibrido. All have done quite well, and will likely be back next year. I’m not sure which I am holding in my hand in the below photo, probably Plum Regal and/or Monticello.
I also picked a gallon bucket from my Juliet plants. Juliet is one of my all-time favorite tomatoes, and never fails to produce loads of fruit for me. This batch went into a pot of marinara sauce I cooked up Sunday for the freezer.
For fresh eating, we are getting a steady supply of various slicing type tomatoes. The only ones I photographed last week were this batch of Perfect Flame and Brandymaster Pink. The smallish Perfect Flame is a cross between Jaune Flamme and Peron, and is a bit redder than Flamme which doesn’t usually do well for me here. The flavor has been outstanding, and though I haven’t got a lot of fruit from it I do believe I will grow it again.
Brandymaster Pink is a hybrid Brandywine type I’m growing that makes large, meaty beefsteak tomatoes. The taste has been variable though, with some great ones and some that are so-so, which could be due to the weather. The jury is still out on whether it will be back next year or not.
The eggplant has been loving the weather so far. The white skinned Clara has been the new star here so far. It’s hanging out with long time favorite Fairy Tale and newcomer Nubia in the below photo.
Clara has mild and tender flesh and it’s just the thing for an eggplant and tomato sandwich, which is exactly what we did with these two. We spread mashed avocado on the toasted whole wheat bread, then layered with eggplant, tomato and cheddar cheese. It was yummy, so much so I’m making them again tonight!
That called for more eggplant, and the dark purple skinned Nadia delivered. I also got the first harvest of the Appalachian heirloom greasy beans, from the always early variety Robe Mountain. These and other heirloom beans have changed my paradigm about what makes a good bean. They aren’t stringless, but they are easy to string and the outstanding flavor more than makes up for the extra processing. The Sustainable Mountain Agriculture Center has a large variety of bean seeds for sale, which is where I got mine. There’s a couple of Gold Marie beans in the basket too.
Peppers are ripening too. I got quite a few of the Thai Bird peppers (or Bird’s Eye pepper) from the plant I have growing in a container. I saved seeds from several of these, and I will let the rest dry naturally to use for seasoning later. One pepper adds a little zip to many dishes, including my homemade kombucha.
I pulled the bush bean plants to make room for a fall planting of them in the same spot. These are mostly Derby, with a few of the Purple King mixed in. I got just over a pound of them total, which I processed and froze. I’m replanting several varieties for a fall crop, including Derby plus Jade II, Mascotte and Castandel. Hopefully they will give us another taste of beans by late September or early October.
My bread bake of the week was a loaf of no-knead sourdough bread. I bake it in the clay baker and it gets a crispy, dark crust that my wife and I really like. The bread freezes well, and I usually freeze any leftovers for later use. This bread also makes good crostini, which is one thing we do with it a lot.
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 of any size or shape you want to share, add your name and blog link to Mr Linky below. And please be sure and check out what everyone is harvesting!
We have only grown three varieties of tomato this year but I also make tomato sauce to freeze as you say it’s really versatile and I use it in recipes that call for canned tomatoes.
It is certainly handy to have on hand Sue!
Wonderful harvests! I took a peak at the Sustainable Mountain Agriculture site and they have such an interesting variety of beans – I’ll definitely have to look at ordering from them at some point. And that loaf looks scrumptious! I love sourdough but it’s been years since I’ve made a loaf (i.e. pre-kids!).
Our tomatoes are just starting to come in – some plants are doing well and are loaded with green fruit, while others look a bit bare. I’m thinking that it comes down to which ones were able to handle all the heat we had. Now that the temps are a bit cooler, I’m hoping that fruit set will pick up on the laggards.
An enviable harvest of tomatoes, that’s for sure! The Thai peppers are so cute. I’m growing them too, and mine look to be even smaller! I wonder if it’s the seed strain. Good luck with your second bean planting.
Mine are small but potent! They are just over an inch long.
Your vegetables all look beautiful. The tomatoes are picture-perfect!
Thanks Toni! there have been quite a few tomatoes that weren’t picture-perfect though.
Look at all the beautiful tomatoes you are getting! I wish I liked eggplant. They are so pretty! I’d grow some just to give them away! Ha Ha! I pulled some of my bush beans too, one bed was looking rough, the other though seems to be well taken care of by a praying mantis and they still look good! And again, The bread looks great!
Wow! Look at all this goodness! I tried tomatoes last year for the first and last time. They all got that bottom rot and no matter what I did they just did not do well, so I am hurt about it. 🙂 Thankfully my mother in law has a great hand for growing them. 🙂
I wish I had a bucket of tomatoes like that Dave. It’s interesting you can get a second lot of bush bean plants growing this year too, I just remembered I direct-sowed a few bush beans a couple of weeks ago in some gaps at the allotment, so will see what happens.
I have a few ripe hot peppers from the over-wintered plants in my house but have yet to harvest any. We might make chilli jam as an experiment.
Yummy bread as usual!
That looks like a lot of sauce tomatoes, must have kept you busy. One of these years I’m going to try the Juliet. This year I tried Health Kick and was surprised at how early it was. Beautiful eggplant as always.
Health Kick is one of my old standbys, and it did well this year too. Scipio Ibrido was the earliest of all the paste tomatoes I planted, and Health Kick might be the biggest.