Monday, July 26, 2010

Harvest Monday - 26 July 2010

I got back from vacation on Wednesday and my townhouse mates didn't pick anything so the cucumbers were desperate to be picked. Since I had so many they were made into pickles. Yum. The beans were overripe to be picked. Some were eaten as shelling beans as opposed to green beans. And the big news was of course the first tomatoes hiding behind the rest of the bounty. I picked Chocolate Cherry and GabrielleAnn (Sungold F3). I'm finding both varieties a bit sour this year. They don't have the wonderful sweet taste I associate with tomatoes. I just hope they get sweeter with age or I'll be quite unhappy with them. On top is the first tomatillo.

Then a few days later I decided I'd better deal with the basil. I cut it back by about a half. I was really starting to try to bloom and I just have to stop that. Once basil blooms it never quite produces anymore. The big question was what to do with it all. I have enough frozen. I dried a bit more. Then I put it out on the internet to my friends that I had tons of basil to give away. No takes. Ah well. Right now a lot of it is still in glasses of water on the counter.

Then it was time to deal with the chard. In the photo it doesn't look like much, but that is quite a few meals for me. I think I'll probably freeze it for the winter. I want to freeze about twenty servings and so far I just have four.

More tomatoes have started to ripen. At the top are the weird looking ones. These are Romeo Roma. So far they have been getting blossom end rot as you can see by one that was picked. I don't think I'll grow this variety again. It has very sparse foliage and any tomato that is susceptible to BER in even a high pH soil is not something I should be growing. At the bottom I have a couple of Heinz. This is my early determinate paste tomato. I can't wait for enough tomatoes to get in to make salsa and tomato sauce. I wonder if I have the pots to pull off a sauce taste test for each variety. Also to be picked is Principe Borghese which look like red cherries. It is a tomato that is traditionally sun dried. Some reviews I read said it wasn't good for fresh eating because it was too dry and the flavor wasn't right. Well I heartily disagree. These tomatoes taste sublime. They have a very intense and complex tomato flavor that you don't often get from cherries. They taste more like a real tomato. I keep wondering if the seed I have is not the same as other Principe Borghese seeds. Whatever they are, I'll save seed and grow them again next year.

And my first zuke in a while. The cucumber was missed in the first picking of cukes earlier. How can I miss a cucumber that big?

  • Beans 0.83 lbs
  • Cucurbits 7.28 lbs
  • Greens 1.63 lbs
  • Herbs 1.35 lbs
  • Tomatillo 0.12 lbs
  • Tomato 1.63 lbs
  • Spent this week: $0
  • Total harvested this week 12.83 lbs
  • Total for the year 52.36 lbs
  • 2010 Tally -$59.75

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 show off, add your name and link to Mr Linky below.


  1. What a delicious looking harvest, I am so so so jealous of the tomatoes!

  2. Wow, that's a lot of basil! The cucumbers are growing so fast that it's easy to miss one or two. I had to throw out at least a dozen of my pickling cucumbers when I got home. They had gotten way too big!

  3. I love seeing the varieties of tomatoes you grow. I had several cucumbers get away from me this week as well. Each time I thought, "How could I miss that?" Somehow they seem to hide in plain sight. Great harvest!

  4. Is this your first week of harvest that consists entirely of bounty from your new house? It looks great! You have a great variety of tomatoes here, and I'm going to write down some of the names to put on my list of considerations for next year. I'm surprised to hear that you didn't like Sungold F3. I've been reading up about the Sungold hybrids, and how everyone seems to love them, but maybe it only applies to Sungold F1.

    I love the irony of how you're pruning your basil to prevent it from blooming, which reduces production, yet you are already overwhelmed with the quantity of basil you have at hand. :)

  5. Looks great, Daphne! I just came back from vacation, myself, and my garden pretty much bit the dust while I was gone. :(

  6. Nice harvest! Love those cukes, wish mine were more productive!

  7. It is interesting that you really like the taste of your Principe Borgheses. Ours are really pretty bland tasting. They are a bit larger than most cherries, plum shaped with a pointed end - a very distinctive shape. They're great dried though!

  8. Great harvest Daphne! I need to look up a good refrigerator pickle recipe as we're being overrun with them now.

    Jealous of the tomatillo. My purple ones are almost there I think. A few have burst through the skin but are still green.

  9. prue, thanks

    Robin, I didn't have to throw away any of my cukes luckily. I grow some parthanocarpic cukes. They don't even have males. So usually they aren't pollinated at all so the seeds don't get big. I did notice though that one of my cukes had been pollinated. I have a neighbor that grows cukes and makes pickles too. The bees have been busy.

    GrafixMuse, the one I missed wasn't hidden by anything either. I couldn't believe I missed it.

    thyme2garden, Yes this is the first week without the old house. Everything is from the wall garden. Since F3s are the third generation they can have some very wonky genetics. You never know what you will get. But I wonder about it. The Chocolate Cherries are sour too and those weren't last year. Those should be breeding true so maybe it is something in the soil or maybe the other ones got more or less water. Who knows why they are as good. Sungold F1s (the ones you buy from the stores) are all exactly alike so they ought to all taste good.

    Ribbit, oh no! I hate when things die when I'm gone.

    henbogle, thanks

    villager, I keep wondering if there is more than one strain of Principe Borghese. I see some of the fruit photos have a more plum shape and are slightly bigger. Others look more like mine. Also some say they aren't good for fresh eating and some say just what I said. I'm drying some to see what they are like that way.

    Thomas, I can't wait to see what the harvest is for the tomatillos. I have a ton that have set. They are growing much better than they have in the past for me.

  10. We've missed a few cucumbers along the way. It's good for a chuckle. Just exactly how do they hide so well?

  11. Lovely basil and Chard. I am getting ready to start some more Chard, hopefully it isn't too late, but I am going to try anyway!

  12. My mother-in-law told me to put 2 tums with each tomato plant when I plant them and to give them 2 more every few weeks to prevent BER. A veggie expert (forget who) said that BER is a lack of calcium that comes out the most in the dry humid weather. I do know that when we added the tums, we didn't have the BER other neighbours had. Of course any kind of calcium works, we just had the tums on hand but eggshells would work also and any other calcium you can think of.

  13. Nice harvest. I had trouble missing huge cucumbers this week too. I'll have some in next week's photo's too because I returned home today to some monsters. Time to make another batch of pickles.

    Your cherry tomatoes sound great. I need to try some new varieties next year since mine are just so-so in flavor.

  14. Awesome looking harvest! Congrats on the tomatoes. I know you were really looking forward to them. I hope they start tasting better. My grape and red lightning toms did better after they'd been producing a little. I'm a little envious that you are getting cukes. Mine are less than a foot high, since I planted them too late. Still hoping that it wasn't too late to get a decent harvest out of them. Thanks for hosting!

  15. I'm amazed how you juggle 2 gardens in a short time and manage to get a big harvest from the new house.

    I've always wonder about Principi Borghese, all of the photos I saw were plum shape and people rave about how versatile it is.

  16. Late to the party again today! I've been outside getting stuff done before it gets too hot (and I'm three hours behind you).

    None of my cherry tomatoes taste sweet. I thought the Black Cherry was supposed to be, and although it's very good, I'd like something much sweeter. My supposed Sungold evidently isn't a Sungold, it seems to be some type of yellow grape tomato, and so far no sweetness. Even my Angora Super Sweet was sour!

    I think My Clear Pink Early (regular sized fruit) is probably my sweetest tomato so far, but I've only eaten one so it may have been my imagination, comparing it to the flavor of the others. Nyagous was really good, too.

  17. mamaraby, I wish I knew. I understand how the beans can hide since they look like the stems of the plants. But cukes look nothing at all like any other part of the plant.

    Shawn Ann, I hope it works out for you.

    adele57, I use eggshells and bonemeal. But my soil is slightly alkaline this year and usually you don't get as much BER in tomatoes then. I don't have much in any of the others (haven't found any other yet, but doesn't mean it doesn't exist). I had to toss three of the Romeos so far.

    Emily, Last year I barely made any pickles as it was a bad cucumber year. I wonder how many jars I'll make this year before I quit. Probably not too many more as I really don't need a ton. I'll have to start eating more cucumber salad to use them all up.

    Dirt Lover, I've found that to be the case sometimes too. I can only hope they sweeten up. Chocolate Cherry isn't too terribly sweet anyway, but I've never had them taste sour before.

    Mac, I just hope the harvests keep up. I won't have much in the way of fall harvests since I don't have a bed to put them in, but I'll survive one year of eating from the farmers markets for that.

    Annie's Granny, you're late just to make a splashy entrance aren't you? I went out a couple of times today. Once to pick (more of the Principe Borghese) and once water then again to deal with my unruly tomatoes. Hmm strange that you are having the same issues as I am. I've never tasted a sour Sungold before. Of course mine is an F3 and it might just be the genes that got paired up wrong, but still. The Chocolate Cherry has no excuse. You have to do a good taste test post for us soon. You have so many varieties.

  18. With all that basil, I would definitely make pesto! Yummy.

  19. that's a lot of basil!

    I wish I'd planted chard- even though I only kind of like it- it's just so beautiful I'd like to have it around!

  20. Your neighbors are nuts not to pick those cucumbers and beans when you were gone. But all the better for you, you've got lots to pickle and shell beans are yummy.

    Your new garden is doing great, look how much it is producing. You can buy a house, sell a house and keep two productive gardens at once! Now having only one garden will feel like a vacation.

  21. "you're late just to make a splashy entrance aren't you?"

    Hey if it's good enough for the celebrities that attend pro basketball games, it's good enough for me ;-) Next time I'll don my ballgardening gown and my high heeled clogs and really make an impression.

  22. Only the only thing worth a toot this week is my peppers... goodnesss, I've got 'em coming out of my ears! Wish I had more variety like you. ;)

  23. wow, what a bounty of a harvest! i am totally digging those chocolate cherry tomatoes. i'll definitely keep an eye out for them when i do my next seed order.

    i really like how you took an inventory of weight too. i've never done that, but that really helps you gage the effectiveness of some crops. thanks for the tip!

  24. That's some harvest. I suppose it was lucky for you the residents neglected the crop. It all looks superb and I'm curious about hearing more on your Principe cherry. Was it seed I sent you? I have heard the same mixed reviews but have yet to get a descent harvest from them for various reasons.

  25. I grew a dwarf type of basil this year that I'm not thrilled with so I have basil envy also. And the rest of your harvest looks great as well.

  26. Everything looks so good. My cucumbers have not been very productive at all this year and seeing yours is making me wonder about trying to plant some more for a late season harvest.

  27. everything looks lovely. especially jealous of the ripe tomatoes - i only have a couple of cherries so far.

  28. Those cukes can be downright sneaky sometimes ;) Just made a small batch of pickles today, looking forward to see how they turn out. I wish my basil plants were producing as nicely as yours. Great harvest!

  29. meemsnyc, sadly my family doesn't like pesto all that much. It is very sad.

    abigail, it is beautiful. I've planted eggplant because it is so pretty. I'm not a great fan of it though.

    Angela, they are nuts. One of them likes making pickles too. There were plenty to make some. Too many just to eat, but lots to make pickles. And one garden really does feel like a gardening vacation. Part of it though is just not having to drive there all the time. Some people do it all the time since they have a community garden. Having a garden right at your fingertips is so much easier.

    Annie's Granny, I want photos.

    Jamie, As soon as my tomatoes ramp up, I'll have to start picking peppers too. Some are almost ready. I detect salsa in my future.

    a tasteful garden, last year they tasted so good. This year not so much. I wish I knew what the difference is.

    Ottawa Gardener, yes the seed was sent to me from Wintersown. It could well be a different seed than what they say it is. It is juicier than I expected. Though I have read some comments from others that their seed is like a cherry tomato with big tomato flavor just like mine is. So it may just be another strain. I've dried some and the dried tomatoes smell fantastic. But whatever they are, I'll save seed from them because I really like the taste.

    Stevie and michelle, I wish you were here to give the basil to then it wouldn't go to waste.

    Jeana, I wonder if you have time. I once tried planting a second zucchini crop once and it never fruited, but if you have space it doesn't hurt to try and you might get a good harvest.

    Sarah Ruth, Hopefully your big tomatoes will start soon.

    Manda, I keep thinking of trying new recipes but then I'd have to wait a while to try them. At least jam is instant food.

  30. Such a bounty you bring out of the garden! That basil looks like pesto time to me!

  31. it is so nice to see what other people are harvesting!

  32. I never really paid attention before to how much zukes and cukes look alike. Interesting.

    "Late to the party" is the first line of my Harvest Day post. Granny, that twin thing is kicking in again. I promise I didn't read your comment before I made my post.

  33. June, well I used up a lot today making a tomato zucchini casserole. I haven't tasted it yet, but I hope it is good.

    sweetlocal, I love to see all the harvests from around the country and the world. Though it often takes me a couple of days to get through them all.

    Cheryl, they do look a lot alike. For me they are both so prolific in the summer too. Sometimes I don't know whether I should be eating up all my cukes for a meal or doing the zukes instead.