Lots of new stuff in the last two weeks to show. The beans are coming in strong now. This picture from last week's harvest shows Provider, Fortex, and the new bean on the block, Kentucky Blue, a cross between Kentucky Wonder and Blue Lake.
I kept them separate in order to try out the Kentucky Blue's. It's a good bean that tastes more like Blue Lake, the most common commercial frozen bean, than Kentucky Wonder. But it's not as good as Fortex, and doesn't seem to be as productive. I always try to plant at least two different varieties of pole beans as insurance. Last year was a terrible bean year. The Fortex did poorly but the Marengo Romano's did well. Unfortunately the yellow beans were terrible after freezing.
There were more beans, nearly nine pounds over two weeks. The Providers are mostly done, but the pole beans are producing heavily. Now I mix them together and most get frozen.
Okra has been coming in as regularly as the beans, several pods a day. I've pickled two quarts now, always with hot peppers. Hot pickled okra is my favorite pickle.
Okra is tricky to harvest. If it is growing very fast it can get large without getting woody, but if it's growing slow it will get woody before sizing up. And okra can go from tender to you can't cut it with a power saw very quickly.
The first tomato, a Big Beef that weighed over a pound, came in a week ago. Company was over and the tomato was sliced and eaten before I could get a picture. So this is the second tomato of the season, a twelve ouncer.
The onions were judged cured by the sun, and since rain was on the way the tops were cut off and the bulbs were bagged. Twenty-three pounds of Ruby Ring and Red Long of Tropea. Not bad.
Also 37 pounds of potatoes, shown in an earlier post. Strawberries are resuming production, although it looks like the birds get as many as I do. The Autumn Bliss raspberries are starting to ripen.
I also got three Calypso pickling cucumbers and one Diva slicer. The pickling cucumbers are not coming in fast enough to make a batch to ferment. The vines are looking better and I'm hoping that enough to fill a gallon crock will ripen this month. Last week, 47.4 pounds (including potatoes) and the recent week 32.4 pounds (including onions). To see what people are getting from their backyard gardens go to http://www.ourhappyacres.com/. Get out there and get your hands dirty!
I tried Kentucky Blue a few years ago and my experience was the same as yours. And I also agree about the yellow Romano beans. I don't like them by themselves, but I do freeze them with other beans. Looks like your onions did do well. I had a good year here, though some had started rotting with all the rain. That Big Beef tomato is a beauty!
I agree about the okra. They can be so sneaky. I can look and look and think I harvested everything and the next day there will be a huge one I missed!
Wonderful harvests - I'm especially loving the onions. Some of my onions have sized up ok, but a couple of varieties that have done well in the past (such as the Copras) are still tiny. I suppose every crop has it's off year, and this time it's the onions turn.
I'm like you with the beans - I always grow several varieties, just for insurance against possible failure. Your favourite pickle would be my nightmare - I'm not keen on pickles at the best of times, but I hate Okra anyway! Still, I expect you probably hate some of the stuff I grow...
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