Todays Harvest Basket 9/3/14

2014
09.07

Today’s Harvest Basket September 3, 2014

Tomatoes and Peppers galore! Bell, Jalapeño, Habanero, Felicity peppers

Hot and sweet peppers. Photo: Patsy Bell Hobson

Hot and sweet peppers. Photo: Patsy Bell Hobson

 Chile, “Classic Jalapeño” Pepper, hot

Felicity, sweet pepper, no heat.

Red Bell Pepper, sweet

Arkansas Traveler, Martian Giant, Brandywine and assorted cherry tomatoes.

Brandywine tomato

One slice will cover the bread on a BLT.

One slice will cover the bread on a BLT.

Big old Brandywine was so heavy, it dropped off, stripping the vine’s exterior by several inches.

From an old line of Brandywines, known as the Sudduth’s strain.

Sudduth’s strain comes from tomato collector Ben Quisenberry in 1980. He got it from Dorris Sudduth Hill whose family grew it for over 100 years.

Big pink beefsteak-like fruits can grow up to 2 pounds on indeterminate vines.

This is the tomato by which all others are measured for taste. Brandywine is a consistent winner in tomato taste contests. The intense tomato flavor is the perfect balance of acid and sweet taste.

Today’s Harvest Basket 8/30/14

2014
08.31

Tomatoes, peppers

Today’s Harvest Basket August 30, 2014

Every tomato plant has ripe, sun warmed tomatoes.

Every tomato plant has ripe, sun warmed tomatoes. Photo PBH

Plus, four cups of cherry tomatoes. The neighbor’s tomato garden is about to run down for the season, not many more tomatoes will ripen. He has planted seed for a fall garden already.

In the upper left photo, may be the last of the Gold Medal tomatoes in my garden. Blight has cut the tomato season short. There is a Gold Medal tomato plant in a container on the deck. There may be as many as a half-dozen tomatoes on that plant. Blight is also overtaking the plant on the deck.

One pound and one ounce. Brandywine. Photo: PBH

One pound and one ounce. Brandywine. Photo: PBH

As the  “Italian Pompeii” plum tomatoes ripen, they go into a freezer bag. Sometime this winter, on a cold snowy day, I’ll pull those tomatoes out of the freezer and make some amazing sauces or chili. I learned this tip from Renee’s Garden.

To learn more about this beautiful, meaty plum tomato – Pompeii – Italian tomato from seed

or,  Grow a spaghetti sauce theme garden in a 4′ x 4′ raised bed

Capellini Pomodoro made with plum tomatoes.

Capellini Pomodoro made with plum tomatoes. Photo: Patsy Bell Hobson

 

Pomodoro is a simple tomato sauce made from plum tomatoes. A quick, light tomato sauce fresh made.

Literally, apple of gold, pomodoro is an indication the first tomatoes were yellow, not red.

It is time to plant lettuce and radishes.

 

 

Today’s Harvest Basket 8/29/14

2014
08.30

Green beans, eggplant, onions, tomato

Today’s Harvest Basket, August 29, 2014

About a pound and a quarter of fresh green beans

About a pound and a quarter of fresh green beans

Green beans

are a favorite vegetable to grow and freeze for later use.  It has been a good year for green beans. The bean plants are a collection of seeds, the end of a couple of different seed packets. These bush beans are about 5 1/2″ long and straight.

With a long rainy spring, the first planting of beans was later than usual. Planting too early is a waste of seed. Beans do not like cool, wet soil and will rot.

These straight, skinny beans are tender and need very little cooking.

These straight, skinny beans are tender and need very little cooking. Photo: Patsy Bell Hobson

We’ve been planting short rows of beans, every 2 or 3 weeks. That has made for plenty of fresh green beans all summer. There is enough to freeze a few packages now and then.

I like the idea of freezing a couple of packages of beans when there are fresh green beans. It sure beats, having to set aside a full day for canning a big batch.

Green beans almondine – A quick and easy way to prepare fresh green beans is green beans almondine. Simply steam beans, toast sliced or slivered almonds. Brown butter, toss beans in the butter and sprinkle with almonds.

2 quarts of cherry tomatoes. This is two days worth of picking.

The invasion of the cherry tomatoes. Photo:pbh

Today’s Harvest Basket 8/24/14

2014
08.24

Today’s Harvest Basket August 24, 2014

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes, peppers, tomatoes

 

Basket duo

Basket duo

It is no surprise that tomato season is at its peak. Two of the tomatoes that are big producers, in my garden this year, are Arkansas Traveler and Martian Giant.

 

The Arkansas Traveler variety will produce, even in the hottest climates. The plants have produced pink 8 oz. fruits nonstop all summer. Once these plants start producing, it seems like I have picked tomatoes every day or every other day all summer long.

 

Martian Giant is a beefsteak-type slicer that produces a heavy crop of juicy, red, 12 ounce tomatoes. I bought these seed

Too many tomatoes?

Too many tomatoes?

because of the name. I was curious what Martian Giants looked and tasted like. They are a good, meaty tomatoes that you can’t tell from most midsize tomatoes. This is not a giant tomato. Nor is it from Mars. It is just plain good.

 

Cherry tomatoes

This is a basket of over 200 cherry tomatoes, just over four pounds. All of these are headed to the dehydrator. In a day or two, they will be sun-dried tomatoes. Dry and ready for storage in a quart size zip lock bag and stored in the freezer.

There were more cherry tomatoes but I ate them while getting them ready for the fruit dryer.

There were more cherry tomatoes, but I ate them while getting them ready for the fruit dryer.

Also, in the basket are some sweet peppers that look like a big jalapeno. But they aren’t hot. They are sweet in either the green or red stage.

Today’s Harvest Basket 8/22/23

2014
08.24

Eggplant, chard, green beans – Today’s Harvest Basket August 22, 2014

Pinks and purples make  this outstanding plant ideal for containers,  and any where you need a vibrant splash of color.

Pinks and purples make this outstanding chard and eggplant ideal for containers, and any where you need a vibrant splash of color.

Tomatoes and peppers sometimes seem to reign supreme over August. All those reds, oranges, yellows seem to take over. These are the container grown vegetables  the deck.

Peppermint stick

Peppermint stick chard has beautiful, vibrant green leaves, with bold peppermint stick colored stalks. It is pretty enough to be seen in the flower gardens and in container plantings. Peppermint stick chard is a new offering and an Exclusive from Renee’s Garden.

Peppermint stick chard is as good in the peppermint stick chard is as good in the ornamental garden as it is in the vegetable garden.

Peppermint stick chard is as good in the peppermint stick chard is as good in the ornamental garden as it is in the vegetable garden.

This variety is bolt resistant and has been growing in containers all summer.

Baby leaves have served as a substitute for lettuce in a sandwich and salad. It is best combined with other greens to make a mixed greens salad bowl. Add some of these leaves to a spinach salad.

Any dish that calls for cooked spinach will work with chard. The full size leaves make an excellent green rice casserole. Saute the chopped stems and add them to the dish.

Some variety of chard is growing in my garden most of the year. In the hottest part of summer, chard does well in the shade of taller plants. When container grown flowers are gone for the summer, poke a few chard seed in the pots for color.

Over the years, I’ve grown all seven of the varieties that Renee’s Garden offers. I like to combos in the Neon Glow and Bright Lights chard. But the one that really stands out and seems to do best in my garden is the Pot of Gold.

Those yellow stems are the color of gold finches. Plant just a few seed in the shade of caged tomato plants or trellised vines. When a little chard is handy, it’s easy to incorporate into a lot of dishes.

Green beans

I grow green beans differently than my grandmother. Her goal was to process a lot of food for winter eating. My goal is to have fresh green beans for as long as possible. Plant a few feet of the row every two weeks.

green beans are always best fresh.

green beans are always best fresh.

Here, at the end of August, I am still harvesting and planting beans. I’ll plant a few beans the first couple of weeks in September. I might even end up with fresh green beans for your Thanksgiving table.

Those late beans could freeze. That’s OK. The frost-killed plants are still good for the soil. I may have wasted a few pennies worth of seed.

The big payoff is that I’ll be picking fresh green beans, long after most folks have quit gardening for the year.

 

 

 

Today’s Harvest Basket 8/19/14

2014
08.20

Tomatoes, squash, peppers

Today’s Harvest Basket

August 19, 2014

Peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, are in high production.

Peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, are in high production.

Find a lot of answers and information about tomatoes on the  Tomato Pages

 

Today in the kitchen

Made a small batch of Honey-Cinnamon Canned Peaches. Each jar has a small piece of cinnamon, a few whole allspice, cloves and a little ginger.

The peaches recipe is on my Saving Summer on Pinterest.

 

Choose your favorite anti-pasta ingredients to make a no cooking summer supper.

Add sun warmed cherry tomatoes, peppers. baby vegetables from the garden

Add sun warmed cherry tomatoes, peppers. baby vegetables from the garden

Oh, time to visit the Hill in St Louis for a few Italian cured meats, then on to shop for marinated artichokes, garlic stuffed olives, spicy peperoncini, all the things that make a good anti-pasta plate. This and a plate of sliced tomatoes with  mozzarella make the perfect summer supper.

Anti-pasta light supper or party platters is in your fridge

If you do check out this recipe, please leave a comment. I’d love to know you visited my HubPages.

 

In the garden

Today, we tore out the cucumber vines and the zucchini plants that were covered with squash bugs.

As the Gold Medal tomatoes give it up to the tomato blight, these Bradywines are just about to start producing.

Looming sunflowers growing above the Brandywine tomato plants.

Looming sunflowers growing above the Brandywine tomato plants.

 

 

Today’s Harvest Basket 8/18/14

2014
08.19
  • Today’s Harvest Basket

August 18, 2014

Squash, peppers, tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes

  • Today in the Kitchen

Canning salsa. I made a small batch of golden salsa with the giant yellow tomatoes and a mild red salsa with all the red varieties.

We need a few (NOT many) hot peppers for the salsa.

We need a few (NOT too many) hot peppers and paste tomatoes for the salsa.

We are eating zucchini every day. You might not always recognize it or know it, but we are eating zucchini every day. The summer squash glut is about to come to a halt. Thanks to the squash vine borers.

The cucumbers are finished for the year. Thank heavens they still have plenty at the farmers market. We have 4 jars of Bread and butter pickles and 4 jars of kosher dill spears.

Eight quarts of crushed tomatoes are canned, and we think we need more for all the soups and chili to come this winter.

2 quarts of cherry tomatoes. This is two days worth of picking.

2 quarts of cherry tomatoes. This is what I picked in two days.  Photo: Patsy Bell Hobson

 

These cherries will go into the dehydrator. The food dryer is running 24-7 these days. So, I should have plenty of sun-dried tomatoes.

These are extra sweet cherry tomatoes, so when they dry and the flavor is concentrated – each little tomato becomes an explosion of sweet summer in your mouth.

What to do when the garden explodes: dehydrate

Cherry tomatoes are first to ripen

 

There comes a day

When every flat surface in the kitchen is covered with produce. I need to bake, dehydrate, freeze, and can today. So this is what’s for dinner:

Anti-pasta light supper or party platters is in your fridge

anti-pasta

Anti-pasta for dinner. In Italian, anti-pasta means all your favorite (First course) stuff on one plate.

 

Today’s Harvest Basket 8/16/14

2014
08.17

Today’s Harvest Basket August 16, 2014

Tomatoes, squash

A basket full of tomatoes

A basket full of tomatoes. Giant Martian, Arkansas Traveler, Gold Medal.

I planted tomatoes in stages. These tomatoes were planted the earliest.

A month later, I planted a variety of Brandywine tomatoes.  They include yellow and black Brandywine tomato plants. There are green tomatoes on the vines but it will be awhile before they kick into high production.

A few weeks later, I planted six Amish Paste starter plants that looked half dead. These will be the third wave of tomatoes. By that time, I may morph into a tomato zombie. Cut me and I will bleed tomato juice.

Basket of cherry tomatoes. Going straight into the food dehydrator.

Basket of cherry tomatoes. Going straight into the food dehydrator.

 

As you can see we have all the full-sized tomatoes that we can use. I shared some with the neighbors and the rest of the cherries are going straight into the food dehydrator.

I’ve certainly gotten good use from the dehydrator. It’s running around the clock for days.

 

Learn more:

What to do when the garden explodes: dehydrate

Make sun-dried tomatoes to use up cherries

 

 

Gold Medal tomatoes and Mozzarella slices.

Gold Medal tomatoes and Mozzarella slices.

 

Big, sweet, yellow tomatoes are weighing in at about a pound each. I have never tasted a sweeter tomato.

 

 

GBBD 8/15/14

2014
08.16

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day
August 15, 2014

Once again, there are sunflowers in bloom and if I am lucky I will have even more next month.

These are about 10 ' tall.

These are about 10 ‘ tall.

These are heavy flowers an have faced down all week.

These are heavy flowers have faced down all week.

 

I am guessing this sunflower is 12 ' tall.

I am guessing this sunflower is 12 ‘ tall.

 

 

There are lots of sunflowers on my Pinterest pages.

Sunflowers are big, happy flowers. I love them.

The common name “sunflower” applies to the popular annual species Helianthus annuus.

You can buy the seed at Renee’s Garden.

 

 

Datura

Datura is a night bloomer.

Sometimes they open on cloudy rainy days, thinking it is night time.

Sometimes they open on cloudy rainy days, thinking it is night time.

 

There are night moths that come when these flowers bloom.

There are night moths that come when these flowers bloom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, we have flowers 24-7 at the Hobson Estate in the summer. Datura, sometimes called moon flower, is a “witches weed.”  Datura has a history of causing delirious states and death. It was well-known as an essential ingredient of potions and witches’ brews. The seeds are produced in lots of spiky balls. Fail to pick up every single seed pod, and you will have more every year. They take up lots of space.

Resurrection lily, Naked Lady, Surprise Lily, Magic Lily.

Sometimes called Surprise Lily, or Magic Lily.

 

IMG_1494

Sometimes called Naked Lady or resurrection lily.

Sometimes called Surprise Lily, or Magic Lily.

The leaves sprout and grow in the spring, then die back during June. Then in late July or early August the flowers appear.

When I first moved here it was a long time before I got to plant these bulbs. I gave away a lot of these bulbs. The original few I had were given to me by two different friends. Before I moved to Cape, I dug up a small portion the many that bloomed every year in the hottest part of the summer.

If you have these lilies, how did you get yours? I gave about six bulbs each to at least 5 different people. Every year I think of the friends who gave them to me.  It looks like it is about time to divide them again.

 

“We can have flowers nearly every month of the year.” ~ Elizabeth Lawrence.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens started Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. What’s blooming in your garden? Share with other garden bloggers on the 15th of each month. Leave a link in Mr. Linky and the comments of May Dreams Gardens.

 Thank you for visiting my blog: Oh Grow Up!

 

Today’s Harvest Basket 8/13/14

2014
08.14

Today’s Harvest Basket August 13, 2014

Tomato, pepper, squash

summer squash, tomatoes and cherry tomato, sweet pepper

Some Gold Medal tomatoes look like they are tie-dyed.

Yellow Tomatoes

Big yellow Gold Medal tomatoes are the sweetest tomatoes I ever tasted. No two tomatoes look the same. Some tomatoes are all yellow, some have a dot or swirl of red. If you are seeing a big red splash on the outside of the tomato, it will look like that on the inside too.

Six tomatoes fill up the basket (+ a pint of cherry tomatoes.)

Six tomatoes fill up the basket (+ a pint of cherry tomatoes.)

It turns out that the yellow tomatoes are the star producers in the garden today. I picked six Gold Medal tomatoes today. Those 6 tomatoes weigh 8 pounds.

One more good thing about the yellow one-pounders, the ripe fruits tend to last a few days longer than other tomatoes once they are picked. Surprising for such a sweet tomato.

First offered to the public in 1921 as Ruby Gold  in John Lewis Child’s catalog in New York. Ben Quisenberry renamed it Gold Medal in his 1976 catalog: “The sweetest tomato you ever tasted.”

Too much water.

Too much water.

Our rainy spring and summer have caused this golden beauty to crack. It is unsightly but doesn’t affect the taste.

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