It's been a very good week in the bean patch. With the exception of the pole beans, which have experienced a slow down, most everything is doing very well. After a number of very bad years for tomatoes, this year is proving exceptional. I harvested these Pink Girl slicers before they were fully ripe. An animal, most likely a rabbit, had gnawed at the lowest tomato on the vine, so I picked the 'low hanging fruit' and put them in the windowsill. The tomato on the right is a small Better Boy.
The burlap bag with Kennebec potatoes was emptied. Not a great yield but the quality is good. Best of all, no vole damage!
After drying in the sun for nearly 2 weeks, the Pontiac onions were ready to take inside. Next year I'll have to seed more since the seedlings did not transplant well into the beds. And I'll definitely have to grow the Red Tropea onions again.
It's also a great year for eggplant and I've been looking for ways to use the bonanza. I've been making eggplant omelettes (eggplant with eggs) and found they are very tasty in the morning. The Bride eggplants, being long and thin, work perfectly. I peel the skin, slice them in half lengthwise and cook them in a covered pan until soft. The sliced eggplant is placed on the omelette after the eggs set up, then the whole thing is folded and flipped. A garnish of chive, okra or sweet pepper and the day starts off nicely.
The Silver Queen sweet corn ripened last week, and Friday I picked a batch for freezing. The ears are not as nice as Bodacious, and it's not a sugar enhanced corn but it's still very good. This is my first year growing sweet corn, and it seems to me that the Silver Queen has a bizarre growth habit of sending up secondary stalks from the base of the plant. These stalks try to form an ear but don't succeed in making a fully formed ear of corn. The small ears on the right were deemed not suitable for freezing and targeted for immediate consumption.
The 'backup' summer squash that was seeded in mid-June produced it's first squash. The first plant was lost after a few squash were picked, and it's nice to be 'back in the squash' again. Next to the squash are a Bride eggplant, Millionaire okra and a sprig of Genovese basil. The squash is a mystery squash, supposed to be an Italian squash like Cocozelle but looks more like a modern F1 hybrid.
All of the above went into an Italian vegetable stir-fry in the Breville wok. The cubed squash and Andouille sausage get about a 5 minute head start, then the eggplant, sliced onion, okra, basil, oregano and thyme are added and sauteed at medium-high heat until softened. A sliced paste tomato is added and stirred for another minute or 2, the heat is turned off and the whole affair is sprinkled with grated Parmesan.
Sunday was salsa-making day. First I rounded up the peppers from the garden. On the left are the mystery peppers, which were supposed to be hot Bulgarian Carrot peppers but are actually sweet peppers. At the top of the picture are 2 Carmen peppers, and just below them are 3 Magyar paprika peppers. At the bottom are Jalapeno and ripe Fish peppers. (I really need to refinish the grill stand this winter).
Since it was looking like a shortage of hot peppers I went to the Bloomington farmers market on Saturday and picked up some jalapeno peppers and a few habanero peppers, in case they were needed. The jalapenos that I bought are jumbo-sized, something I'm a bit leary of in the vegetable world. I found their heat a bit lacking, so I grilled them along with the sweet peppers, in the hopes that the steam generated inside the peppers would extract the heat from the seeds into the surrounding meat. The hot peppers from the garden were cut up fresh and put in the salsa.
I usually grill the sweet peppers and, after deskinning and deseeding, add the pepper flesh to the tomatoes and blend. I've found it makes a richer tasting salsa.
The tomatoes were gathered up. These are the Mountain Magic and Black Plum tomatoes, almost 6 pounds.
Also some Roma VF tomatoes, just over 2 pounds.
After several hours of grilling, boiling, deskinning, deseeding, chopping, slicing and dicing I was rewarded with 7 pints of canned salsa plus 1 pint of refrigerator salsa (the canner can fit only 7 pints). That seems like a lot of work. And yes, I added a habanero to the sauce. The heat seems about right but it's too early to know for sure.
Total for week 37.5 pounds:
Potatoes 2.7 pounds
Onions 10 pounds
Eggplant 1.3 pounds
Okra 0.3 pounds
Beans 0.7 pounds
Corn 7.1 pounds
Summer squash 1.1 pounds
Sweet peppers 1.5 pounds
Hot peppers 0.4 pounds
Slicer and salad tomatoes 9.9 pounds
Paste tomatoes 2.6 pounds
To see what other gardeners are getting, head on over to Our Happy Acres and check it out.