It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The tomatoes are still dominating the harvests here, and I got a good haul (over 25 pounds) of the paste types last week. From left to right in the top row of the below photo we have Andiamo, Garden Ruby and Granadero. From left to right in the bottom row we have Health Kick, La Roma III and Zenzei. Garden Ruby is not a paste type, but rather a slicing tomato from the UofFL tomato breeding program.
I am trialing three paste tomatoes here this year, and I have now harvested enough of them to form an opinion as to how they performed for me. I’ve been growing Granadero for five years now, and it is my current favorite for an indeterminate vining type paste tomato. The meaty tomatoes average 4-5 ounces each, and the vines have been very productive here.
Andiamo is one I’m growing for the first time. While the tomatoes themselves are big, it’s been the least productive of the vining types this year. I don’t think I will be growing it next year.
Zenzei is a 2023 AAS Winner, and it has done very well for me this year. The fruits are a bit bigger than Granadero, and I have had no issues with blossom end rot on it or any other of the tomatoes this year for that matter. I will plan on growing it again next year.
Health Kick is my standard for a short-vine (determinate) paste tomato, and I’ve been growing it for about 15 years now. It was bred to have 50% more lycopene than most other tomatoes, and my determinate vines are usually loaded with the 4-5 ounce fruits. They tend to set on over a fairly short period of time, which makes them great for processing into sauces and ketchup.
La Roma III is a determinate paste tomato I’m trialing this year, and I am impressed with the results so far. The fruits are big, meaty and have good color. It should make a good addition to next year’s lineup of paste tomatoes here.
With all those tomatoes coming in, I made another batch of of pizza sauce. I blended up the tomatoes then cooked them down to an extra thick sauce we use for pizza. We keep these jars in the freezer, and it makes a tasty base for a homemade pizza which is on our menu often, as it was last week.
I also cooked down another batch of the tomatoes to make tomato paste. For this, I cook down the tomatoes to about 25% of their original volume, then spread on a dehydrator sheet and dry for a few hours until the desired thickness. I usually freeze the paste in ice cube trays, and the cubes are handy whenever we want to add a bit of concentrated tomato flavor to a dish.
It’s not all about the tomatoes though, and I also harvested eggplant, pole beans, hot peppers and a few of the last summer squashes.
I’m growing the Goose bean for the first time. While the pods were big and tender, both my wife and I thought the taste was pretty bland when compared to most of the other Appalachian heirloom beans I grow.
The hot peppers I harvested were anything but bland though. I got a few each last week of Hernandez, Aji Colorado, Aji Delight, Aji Rico, Pot-a-peno, Emerald Fire and Sugar Rush Peach. I’m fermenting these now to turn into hot sauce, except for the Aji Colorado which I dehydrated for making chile powder.
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 please check out what everyone is harvesting!