Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday Harvest - Aug 19th-26th

This week was a great week in the garden.  The tomatoes finally started to turn red!  We continued to harvest as needed for meals - thats mostly what our garden is indended for, so you wont see the same large harvest that other have posted over at Daphne's Dandelions but its exciting non the less.

Below you see one of our large mishapen cuks, this cucumber was against the fence and so it turned half way through growing.  The tomatoes are grape tomatoes which we have been harvesting all summer, and health kick tomatoes which we have been waiting for all summer.  Health kick are a roma variety although ours were not shaped much like a roma.  The special thing about health kick are they have tons of lycopene which makes them extra bright,  and tasty.  Many health claims have been made about lycopene as well but all are still theoretical.  All I know is they taste delicious and look amazing on a plate.  Many of my health kick have been cracking though as you can see in the picture.  Have you had cracking on your tomatoes before?  If so what was the cause?  I have read that cracking could be due to many sources - drastically changing temperatures (and therefore growing rates), too much water, too little water, poor nutrients in the soil, etc.  Please let me know what your experience has been with tomato cracking in the comments below.

I also harvest most of my onions this past week.  They are small because they were not getting enough sun.  They were planted perpendicular to the fence which caused only the front to get sun and the rest all reached out in that direction shading the others.  It also cased the stalks to fall over too early.  Live and learn.  I am excited to try onions again next year but in a different orientation and location.
 This is our first beefsteak tomato.  GMF loves these tomatoes for sandwiches - which is where this one went.  It was over 4 inches in diameter and had no blemishes (the one small nic you see was from the sheers hitting it when being picked).
 We also harvest some of our first baby greens from our fall plantings.  Below are some radish and beet greens.  I love over planting so you eat the thinings they are so tender and delicious.
 Also this week we saw our first pickings of red hot peppers.  Above you can see two cayenne peppers and below two cherry bombs. There are more red peppers on the plants but I am saving them for when I have enough to make homemade hot sauce!!! I can't wait.

We continue to harvest rainbow carrots as needed.  I really wish I planted more of these and I definitely will next year.  They are so beautiful and tasty.  I will plant a row a week all spring next year for continuous harvest.  We are currently coming to an end of this years harvest of carrots :(

And the eggplant never stops, along with the cucumber.  We have been picking one of each at least once every 3 days.  They are a great easy crop.  GMF is still not tired of eggplant parmesan, and I have been eating a cucumber a day just as a snack.  Look at the size of the one below!! It measured about 18 inches!   You can also see below what is probably the last of our broccoli side shoots (though I haven't taken the plant out yet). and some cajun bell peppers (they were delicious sweet like a normal red bell with a hint of spice, yum!!).  Also some sugar snap peas (they are finally producing since I took out most of the broccoli plants that were shading them, I don't expect a lot out of them).

I also harvested some more beets which I hope to can this week.  I'll post on that soon.  This will be my first year canning anything so I'm excited and nervous about it all at once.  My mom canned beets every year when I was younger and it was one of the only veg I would eat.  To this day I LOVE pickled beets.  I hope they turn out at least half as good as hers.  (on a side note, my parents are coming for a visit tomorrow and I'm super excited to show them my garden!).

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