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!