Monday, August 23, 2021

Harvest Monday - 23 August 2021

 Hello again from Eight Gate Farm! Most of the tomato variety holdouts got their first harvest this week; just two are still being shy. I'll start with the determinates.

This is Red Siberian, an OP variety. Despite not claiming any special disease resistance, it's holding up pretty well. Of course, all of my tomato plants are diseased to a greater or lesser extent. It's just something I have to live with these days.

Red Siberian

In recent posts I've mentioned two "workhorse" tomato varieties I grow for canning production: Juliet and Roma. This week the third horse made an appearance, Rutgers, an OP classic. I'm not sure why this year they're turning orange on their way to red-ripeness.


Stellar is a hybrid determinate offering a pretty good disease resistance package. 


Iron Lady is another one, which even claims some resistance to Septoria Leaf Spot, which is much more of a problem here than early or late blight. Unfortunately, it's not immune.

Iron Lady

As its name implies, Bush Steak offers beefsteak-sized fruits on a determinate plant. I grew it last year and was impressed with the taste. Unfortunately it seems to have almost no disease resistance, and the plant is already dead now. I think this one won't make the cut next year.

Bush Steak hybrid

Celebrity is a widely-grown hybrid, again with some resistance. The plant is doing pretty well relatively speaking.


Last of the determinates is Plum Regal, a hybrid paste tomato, also claiming a good disease package.

Plum Regal

Turning to the indeterminates, I got the first Cour di Bue. It normally has an oxheart shape, hence its name, but these first fruits have more of a beefsteak shape.

Cour di Bue (OP)

Amish Paste is another old traditional, making large fruits.

Amish Paste

I grew San Marzano for the first time last year, and liked it. I planted two plants this year.

San Marzano

The above indeterminates are more or less heirlooms. This year I tried a hybrid paste tomato, Big Mama. This looks promising, as the largest of these is nearly 10 ounces, quite big for a paste.

Big Mama hybrid

Lastly, the first heirloom Brandywines! This is by far our favorite tomato for flavor, despite being Ugly Ducklings. These should be fully ripe in a few days, and we are looking forward to them.

Brandywine pink

You may think I grow too many varieties of tomatoes, and you could be right. But it wouldn't be very fun to only grow two or three.

Two eggplant varieties made their first appearance this week: the hybrid Bride and the open-pollinated Thai Long Green. Not sure why one of the "brides" is "extra-curvy."

Bride and Thai Long Green

I'm growing Pepperoncini peppers for the first time. The small plant is very productive. The Kitchen Goddess already pickled and canned this batch.


On Monday we dug the Kennebec white potatoes. While not a huge crop this year (I estimate 20 lbs.), many are large and scab-free. Can you find the one red potato I didn't find when harvesting that crop? It's having a "Where's Waldo" moment now.

Kennebec potatoes

I also pulled all the red onions. This is a Cippolini-type called Red Marble. 

Red Marble onions

For continuing harvests, I said last week the white sweet corn was not quite ready. Well now it is, and while the cobs are small, they have supreme flavor. I've been enjoying 3 or 4 each night. Yes, I am a glutton when it comes to corn.

Illusion hybrid sweet corn

I'll now show some group photos, all of things I'm continuing to harvest this year. This was Monday's harvest:

Monday's harvest

And this was Wednesday's, shortly before Tropical Storm Fred came through (it didn't do much fortunately).

Wednesday's harvest

On Friday, it looked like Henri, at one point a Cat 1 hurricane, was headed right for us. It got downgraded to a tropical storm, and fortunately veered west, just giving us heavy rain on Sunday. So this was Friday's harvest. Note the proverbial forgotten cucumber, included for comedy.

Friday's harvest

We took the rainy opportunity on Sunday to can 7 quarts of chopped tomatoes. This supplemented the 8 pints of chopped we did earlier in the week. The stores are being replenished! That's a good feeling.

Two tropical storms in a week is excessive, I think! Thanks for reading, and thanks again to Dave at for providing a home for Harvest Monday.


  1. It's good to hear Henri just gave you rain. You have a lot of tomatoes coming in now, and I can relate. Other than Juliet, I don't think I'm growing any of the varieties you mentioned. I have grown Big Mama and Plum Regal in the past though, and I might plant one or both here next year. And if I had great sweet corn I would be filling up on it too!

    1. Thanks, Dave. I'm growing twice as many tomato plants as I used to, to offset the loss from disease. It's very discouraging.

  2. I think we all excuse gluttony when it comes to corn. So many tomatoes! I'm resigned to give up my tomato plants by September. Thankfully the winter garden is ahead.

    1. Thanks, Sue. While a large part of me is envious of your winter gardening, another part doesn't mind the winter break!

  3. Wow that's a lots of tomatoes. The kitchen goddess must be kept extremely busy. I've never heard of most of your varieties. There must be thousands of varieties across the world. I wonder whether some are the same just with different names.

    1. You're right, Sue. I'm pretty sure many varieties are just different names.