Monday, September 6, 2010

Harvest Monday - 6 September 2010

I really harvested twice this week. My first harvest was photographed without the card in the camera (again, sigh). So no photos of the pile. Just imagine a basketful of produce like I usually have. Honestly they are all pretty much alike. However I did take some photos after that to highlight a few things.

The first is the sweet pepper harvest. This is the second big sweet red pepper I've harvested. It looks beautiful. The ones of the right are more normal peppers for me however. I've always had trouble with big sweet bells. Chilies are easy for me, but not the big bells for some reason. Usually they end up about 2" long. Tiny little things. Some year I hope to learn the secret to getting big ones. Though I must confess I did get some this year so maybe it has just been the lack of heat or something lacking in my old soil. Only one plant this year is sending out tiny bells.

The second thing to highlight are my Romeo Romas. They were developed by Tim Peters. They are the most interesting paste tomato. The first few were smaller and shaped like a roma, but as they aged the shape changed to be more like an oxheart and they grew very large. The first ones all had blossom end rot too. I think the plant can't support the fruit early on. The later ones were totally BER free. These were not the largest that I've picked this week. That would be the one in the next photo. These were about 13 oz. The one below in the middle of the photo was about 19oz. And when you think about that number remember this is a paste tomato. Paste tomatoes don't have as much water in them as your standard beefsteak. I will not be growing these again. They really didn't start cropping well until the last week or so. If the weather is not long and warm like this year I might not even get a harvest. These I think would be better for the longer warmer areas of the country. And I have to say, they are easy to process. Since they are so large it is all very fast.

This was my big harvest of the week. I picked more than usual because of the threat of the hurricane that never really showed up. But if it had, I was prepared. It was too big to fit into my regular harvest basket so I just spread it out on the counter as I brought things in.

  • Beans 0.19 lbs
  • Cucurbits 4.1 lbs
  • Pepper 1.29
  • Tomato 16.62 lbs
  • Spent this week: $0
  • Total harvested this week 22.19 lbs
  • Total for the year 237.24 lbs
  • 2010 Tally $684.50

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. Your new countertop really shows off the the bounty nicely! I didn't get many photos this week, either, too much going on!

  2. Quite a spread on your countertop! Looks great!

  3. A terrific looking harvest!

    I agree with your comment about the peppers needing hot weather. This year has been our best pepper year, the weather has been hot and humid longer than normal.

    My harvest was also my second of the week, last week Wednesday I posted a basket full of tomatoes and again this weekend I had a couple of boxes full. Our weather has cooled considerably though so I will now need to start picking them slightly green and letting them ripen in the house.

  4. Beautiful peppers. I have only one large that is finally starting to turn.

    If you like the size of the Romeo Romas, but not the lateness, you should try Amish Paste Tomatoes. Some of them have the traditional paste shape but some of mine are over a pound and shaped like the ones you show.

    Glad the hurricane didn't cause any damage. We only got a sprinkle from it.

  5. Impressive harvest ! Congrats on the full size pepper. My peppers don't seem to get very big either. WTG !

  6. Peppers seems to be really finicky for me to grow. This year they have not done well at all, but last year they did great. Oh well, it keeps gardening interesting!

  7. I'm glad to hear that the hurricane didn't affect your area. It's really interesting that the Romeo Romas changed shape from romas to oxhearts. The start of your September harvest looks great, with all those beautiful tomatoes and peppers. Happy Labor Day weekend!

  8. Red Bell Peppers are beautiful! I love those! Your harvest(before hurricane) looks lovely as always! Glad hurricane moved by!

  9. Great harvest! Large peppers elude us too and it's plenty hot and humid here! One of our farmer friends suggested it's because we grow heirloom varities and they just don't get as big as hybrids...

  10. Wow, those red peppers are pretty, the bountiful harvest spread is great.

  11. The paste tomatoes are very interesting - too bad they are a late setting variety, or I would try them. I tried an open pollinated paste tomato this year (Oroma) on someone's recommendation, but I will NOT be growing these again - the plants were not healthy, the tomatoes mishapen, and the fruit did not set until late (even though it was supposed to be an early variety). No second chance for this one. I will either go back to Viva Italias and maybe grow a trial Amish Paste plant to see how it does in my area.

  12. Your harvests are so beautiful. Glad the bad weather missed you. I would have hated to think of your garden pummled by heavy rain.

  13. I can never grow big peppers either. I manage to only get a few peppers from 6 or so plants.

  14. Your bell peppers are beautiful and are doing far better than mine. The first one I harvested was a runty thing with no seeds. The rest are already tired looking and they're still on the plants and not quite ripe. Oh well. I'm glad to hear that Earl didn't cause you too many problems.

  15. Great harvest Daphne. I've had issues with sweet bell peppers this year too. They sized up fine but seemingly took forever to turn red. I ended up just picking them green.

  16. Do you have to plant a particular variety for them to be red? Mine are green and will get somewhat red, but I find they start getting soft spots when they start turning red. What type are you growing?

  17. Ali, I know how you feel.

    Grower Jim, thanks

    Sense of Home, I've been picking them slightly green for a while now. I find it much easier to have few, but larger harvests than to pick every day. So if the tomato is blushing it gets picked.

    Emily, I'm growing Amish Paste this year. They aren't even half the size of the Romeos, but they are a lot bigger than the other pastes like Opalka and San Marzano. They are a pretty good variety.

    Miss M, thanks

    Village, I keep hoping some year I'll learn the secret of big peppers (and big onions). Maybe I will in another couple of decades.

    thyme, my Amish Paste plant is growing right next to it and at first I thought a branch and gotten into it. But I followed the vine and it was the Romeo. Just changing to an oxheart. So strange.

    RandomGardener, I'm glad it missed us too. The last thing anyone needs is a hurricane. Luckily we don't usually get the really nasty ones. Our waters are cooler so they are usually only Category 3 or lower. But that can do a lot of damage too so I'm always glad if they go out to sea.

  18. foodgardenkitchen, I've grown lots of hybrids over the years. It doesn't seem to make a difference.

    mac, thanks

    kitsapFG, Amish Paste was a very decent one for me. But it is hard to tell for normal years since it was so hot. I think I might grow a lot of Heinz 2653 next year since it set quickly. It was not the healthiest tomato either. It tended to die fast after its flush of fruit but it set a lot of fruit really fast. I want to try it in a normal year to see how it does then. Finding a good tomato for a cool climate is hard.

    Martha, thanks

    Kaytee, I gave up growing them for a few years because the results are just so marginal.

    Michelle, I'm shocked at how well they did. They were just put in as a lark since I didn't grow enough of my own plants to fill the whole pepper row in.

    Thomas, they do take a really long time to turn red.

    Carol, green peppers will all turn color when they ripen, but what color depends upon the variety. These are California Wonder and ripen to red. It would be fun though to have some orange and yellow peppers. I wish I could help you with the softening peppers, but I haven't a clue as to what causes that. I've had it happen to my peppers too. Not this year, but other years.

  19. Lots of nice produce this week! I have problems with sweet bell peppers too. Doesn't matter if it is hot or cold they never produce well. I think the secret is chemically feeding them in a greenhouse :-) Your Romeo Romas look alot like the Monomakh's Hat I am growing. Big oxheart with hardly any seeds. They are producing much better then my paste tomatoes too!

  20. I also have problem with growing big bell peppers. This year all of them were very small. But hot peppers did grow to a nice size. I don't know what makes bell peppers grow big, but I know that they grow big when grown in greenhouse. Maybe it’s the heat and continuous water supply.

  21. I'm participating for the first time today - I hope it's okay! I just love to see what other produce. It's pure joy! Your bell peppers look great. I admire the huge variety of tomatoes you're growing.

  22. I have a terrible time with peppers too! I had some that seemed to be ripening up when I went away and when I got back, Dh said they had just fallen off! Grrr! They were small and thin and the kids didn't like them much at all! But I am doing better with them this year than any other year so far!

  23. That's a nice and fat bell pepper. It's interesting to me that you found that a hotter summer brought you larger peppers. In my case it has been the opposite, a cooler summer brought me larger sweet peppers. I grew a different variety than yours, Corno di Toro. Maybe bell peppers like it hot, and Italian peppers like it cool!

  24. I'm slipping ;-) I really don't mind coming in at #29, when I've had a busy, busy day.

    Do you like my new French name, Anni? Sheesh, I'm even too tired to type tonight.

  25. I had BER on my Super San Marzanos, but they seem to be clear now. Great pic of your large harvest, it looks great.

  26. Ok, seriously, I am so jealous of your red bell peppers. Mine are taking forever to turn color!

  27. Dan, that might be the trick. I hope not though since I won't do that.

    vrtlarica, Hmm I don't water them anymore than anything else. I wonder if I watered more they would grow bigger.

    balcony/paradise, certainly. The more the merrier.

    Shawn Ann, oh how sad. I occasionally have them rot on the plant (in other years not this hot one), but I've never had them fall off on me. Well not yet...

    Angela, it could be. Maybe I should be growing Italian peppers instead since we are usually cold.

    Granny, you still made it on Monday. Not everyone does. I get a good handful that post on Tuesday each week. The posts are just as fun to read, but I wonder how many people come back and see them besides me. Now get some rest.

    GoneferalinID, my San Marzanos seem to be free of BER the Opalkas had a lot of issues with it at the end. Most though were fine this year.

    meemsnyc,well I hope yours turn soon. I'm getting little green peppers forming on some that I picked the red peppers on before. I think I'll have to pick those green once they size up. I'm sure they won't have time to turn.

  28. My large tomatoes are very late this year, here in RI. But Stupice has been producing its heart out all summer.

  29. It's just not fair that you should have that many tomatoes to harvest! lol What a summer it has been for us in PNW... can't complain too loudly though for we have had an ample supple of "green" things. The Brassicas continue to outperform.

  30. Great looking harvest! I planted 3 sweet pepper plants this year, and then it turned out that they were hot peppers! Oh well, they are still delish!

  31. Yep, I'm usually one of the late ones. My excuse this week is Labor Day, and my other excuse is that I'm on the west coast, so that a last Monday night post wouldn't show up until Tuesday anyway. But the main reason is terminal laziness! Hey, terrific harvest there, Daphne. As usual, I'm in awe of your produce. I got 6 lbs of produce this week, plus 14 eggs, and I'm pretty pleased with that.

  32. Beautiful array of tomatoes. I haven't had good luck with bell peppers, either. They get sunscald or are thin-skinned and tiny. What kind of cherry tomatoes are those?

  33. Daphne, what a fantastic harvest!!! I'm especially drooling over your beautiful RED peppers!!

  34. The colorful peppers look so pretty in stir fried dishes. I bet you've got something special planned for yours.

    I'm not really complaining this year about my peppers. They didn't get huge, but I'd say I had a decent harvest. And if you're not morally opposed to hybird seeds, the Big Bertha bell will grow long if not especially fat peppers.

    I was late to the party. Was getting ready to push the publish button just befor midnight and fell asleep.

  35. Karen Anne, I would have thought they would be early this year with the heat, but it doesn't always happen.

    Di, lol we paid for it last year when we got the cold summer and the late blight epidemic. Though I confess to doing OK last year, it was nothing like this year. And I had the same number of plants. Too bad I can't trade red things for green things. My lettuce bolted in June this year.

    Tiny Gardener, You just never know what you will end up with sometimes. Things get mislabeled all the time. I even had issues with messing my tomato labels up this spring. I had a couple of unknowns until they started fruiting.

    Lou, yes you usually are. But worth waiting for. I almost didn't think about it being Monday for a while because of the holiday, but then remembered. It would be sad if people keep coming to see it and it not being here. I usually try to have it up by 8am EST. Someday I'm just going to plain forget and you will all think something horrible has happened, but it will just be a senior moment. And I'm not that old yet. I've got a year yet before AARP will have me.

    Manda, I'm growing three that I consider cherries. The black ones are Chocolate Cherry. The red ones are Principe Borghese, which is supposed to be a drying tomato. And my yellow one is an F3 Sungold which I call GabrielleAnn. Though to be honest she could be an EmilyAnn since my markers got mixed up at one point. I name them with the Greek alphabet (don't ask why I have no clue). So Ann signifies the first of that line to be grown. Gabrielle was my third F2 in the row and Emily was the fifth.

    Toni, thanks

    Cheryl, Sadly they have been eaten. The big one got taken to a dinner with friends. I got some lettuce from the farmers market and then used my peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Yum. The little ones got eaten in my morning eggs. As to hybrid seeds (mostly for onions and brassicas). I use them all the time. I prefer the non hybrids for the easy to save seeds as in most years I try to save a lot of seed.

  36. I've been canning and freezing all week. I also have a LOT of pears to deal with soon!