Monday, July 31, 2017

Monday, July 31

It's the end of July and the tomatoes are finally starting to produce, including the slicers.   I picked the first PInk Girl and Better Boy tomatoes.  The Pink Girl has a very nice balance of flavors, excellent really.  I've been harvesting Mountain Magic and Black Plum nearly every day and putting them in salads, sliced in half.  Sunday there were finally enough tomatoes - 3 pounds - to make the first batch of salsa.
That's a mix of Black Plum, Mountain Magic, and Roma VF.  The Romas have been dropping to the ground when they turn a little bit red, not an endearing habit for sure.  I've been setting them on the picnic table to ripen, so I haven't actually picked any sauce tomatoes yet.

Along with the tomatoes, enough peppers to make a batch of refrigerator salsa.  The large pepper is Carmen, the next largest is supposedly Bulgarian Carrot, and the small peppers are Jalapeno and Fish, both hot.  I say supposedly because Bulgarian Carrot is orange and hot, and this pepper is red and sweet, with zero heat.   I expect to suffer hot pepper shortages when making the next batch of salsa, and will find myself at the farmers market buying some chilis. 

The sweet peppers were roasted on the grill, and after removing the seeds and skin, they were blended into the tomatoes.

This small batch of salsa gives me the chance to fine tune the recipe.  I don't mind a salsa that's a little too hot, but a salsa that's not hot enough is a waste, in my opinion.  This year's Jalapenos, Burpee seedlings, are much hotter than in year's past.  These were the first red ripe Fish peppers, and they are definitely hot, probably 2 or 3 times hotter than the Jalapenos, so I'm hoping that the salsa will be up to snuff.  The Bulgarian carrot is a disappointment however.  Here's the final product:

The Fish pepper is a strikingly handsome pepper.  With it's striped foliage and bush-like habit it could easily be an ornamental plant.  Although not shown in this photo, the contrast with the ripe red peppers just adds to the esthetic.  It was grown on the East Coast for use in fish dishes.

What is probably the last batch of Vertina cucumbers was picked.  They are now fermenting in a crock on the kitchen counter.

More beans.  Production from the pole beans has slowed down quite a bit.  They have been under attack from Japanese beetles and a small green 'bug' that feeds on the bean.
The Jimmy Nardello peppers and Millionaire okra continue trickling in, enough to add to stir-fries.  Eggplant has taken a break this week but I expect another wave to begin any day.

Lastly, some carrots.  I'm not a huge carrot fan but do like them for soups and stews.  I'm not sure what variety these are.

For the week:  Beans 2.7 lb, carrot 1.6 lb, cucumber 3 lb, okra 0.3 lb, sweet pepper 0.9 lb, hot pepper 0.3 lb, tomatoes 6.2 lb.  To see what other people are growing, head on over to Our Happy Acres.


Eight Gate Farm NH said...

That's some great-looking salsa. Like you, I think it should be hot but not atomic. Not sure why you think you'll have a hot pepper shortage. I would think the Fish would give you all you need, judging from the pictures you've shown here and in the past.

Margaret said...

Yum to salsa - I didn't get around to making ANY last year even though we all love the stuff. I won't be making the same mistake this time although I do still have to settle on a favourite recipe.

Dave @ HappyAcres said...

Too bad about the Romas dropping off. For me they always got BER when I grew them. It's always disappointing when something doesn't turn out true like your Bulgarian Carrot. You would have loved my Leutschauer pepper last year. It was supposed to make paprika peppers with 'mild heat' but mine were as hot as jalapenos, and there were LOTS of them!

gardenvariety-hoosier said...

Eight Gate - it's really a shortage of jalapenos. They have been engulfed by the ancho peppers and have really slowed down production. I consider them essential for any garden salsa.

Mark Willis said...

What a shame about the Not-Bulgarian Carrot. I have seen a lot of people writing about receiving seeds that turn out to be something unexpected. I hope it is not true in your case, but I think many unscrupulous sellers deliberately substitute cheap "ordinary" seeds for something that is meant to be a bit special. It seems to be very common in the world of chilli-growing.

Kathy said...

Here in the UK my friends struggle to grow Fish Chillies so it is really good to see the plants at their best! Your jalapenos look very good too

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