Welcome to another Harvest Monday report from Eight Gate Farm, brought to you by Daphne's Dandelions.
It's been another week of cooler-than-normal August temperatures. But production is still good.
A picking of tomatoes on Tuedsay:
The Burpee SuperSauce variety is really starting to amuse me. Two of them together weighed 1 lb 6 oz. (~623 g.).
And another picking on Thursday. The largest of the SuperSauce weighed 13.8 oz (~390 g.), and the others were not far below that. So, I'm probably not going to get any of the touted 2-pounders, but I'm happy. They are incredibly meaty too. Oh, and there's a zucchini that almost got away from us. The zucchini plants (Tigress F1) are starting to get powdery mildew, so I probably will be shutting them down before long. They are so vigorous, though. One of them even had a SVB but never slowed down production.
With all the accumulated tomatoes, it was time for The Kitchen Goddess to do the first hot canning of the season. Lucky for her the kitchen isn't too hot. She made 7 pints of rich tomato sauce, plus a pint each of pickled red and golden beets.
This is a tough year for tree-fruits for us. Here's a photo from last year at this time, showing how loaded the green apple tree (Granny Smith?) was:
This year? Hardly any. Maybe it's one of those cyclical things. Just look at the total harvest of pears for this year:
Pretty sad. Only 9, and they're not much bigger than figs.
Grapes are another story. Last year we lost almost the whole crop to black rot. This year looks to be much better. Better canopy management is helping, as well as frequent applications of (non-organic, sorry) fungicide.
Almost time to dust off the fruit press and other winemaking equipment!
Sunday's picking was more tomatoes, eggplants, and our first hot cherry peppers. I usually grow "Cherry Bomb," but this year I tried an improved variety of that, "Big Bomb." They live up to their name. Also a handful of grapes we will keep in the fridge until the rest ripen. Many of the vines came with the property when we bought it, so I'm not entirely sure which is which, but there is supposed to be some Vanessa and Canadice, good for both table and wine.
I'm now 100% convinced growing Chinese cabbage is better in the summer. No problems with root maggots like spring-grown ones. Look at these beauties (var. "Soloist"), together weighing almost 4 pounds:
The first picking of "Honey Select" sweet corn. It should be all yellow. It's an 80-day variety, and I planted it June 1, so it should be mature, right? Well, it doesn't look it. Next time, take only 2 ears at first!
And finally, the star of this week and maybe the season! Our first-ever artichoke! Yeah, I know, this is August. To read about my struggles growing artichokes, please see my post Artichoke Joke. And guess what? There's another tiny bud forming!
Until next time, thanks for reading, thanks as always to Daphne, and happy harvests to all!
The Supersauce tomatoes look great, a 14 ounce paste tomato is plenty respectable. Your Soloist cabbages look great, I had a lot of slug damage on the outer leaves of mine. I used Sluggo but once they get into the heads, they are immune to any predators like the garter snakes and toads in the garden.ReplyDelete
I use Sluggo too, but not this summer. Fortunately there was very little damage. I did not realize that our wonderful garden predators liked slugs!Delete
Too bad about the fruit. I feel like that this year with the apples. Last year we got a lot. This year just a couple unless the squirrels get them before the ripen. And that is the same variety of corn I'm growing. It does need more time on the stalk. I always peel it back to check it before I pick, though I can often tell just by feeling the ends. Some ripen faster than others and I always want to pick it at its best.ReplyDelete
Don't you worry that peeling back the corn affects ripening?Delete
I hear you on the fruit trees. I have a plum & cherry and, although they are only 4 years old, they did give us a couple of pounds of fruit last year. This year - nothing. Not even one cherry or plum. I'm convinced that our extreme cold this past winter killed off all the spurs.ReplyDelete
Yes, it was a tough winter, and that could well be the problem. Also, deer broke in and browsed the twigs they could reach.Delete
My apple trees did not even bloom this year! GO figure. Fruit trees are so funny.ReplyDelete
Tempermental little things, aren't they.Delete
I haven't had too many blooms on my two apple trees so I think it's the bi-annual cycle that some varieties go through. Love the grapes and huge tomatoes.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Jenny. Truth be told, we had so many apples last year it is almost a relief not to have to process them (we make hard cider).Delete
I think you are spot on about fruit trees bearing in cycles. There are so many variables which all need to happen to make a banner year. Congrat on the Artichoke - that's amazing for New Hampshire. And your wife's tomato sauce is lovely and will taste even better on a cold Winter's night.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Lexa. She does the hard part. I pick and enjoy!Delete
From what I've read some varieties of apple trees tend to bear in alternate years. I've got a Fuji and Golden Delicious, neither has borne any fruit yet, and I think the Fuji also has that tendency. There is a method of summer pruning that can help even out the fruit bearing but I'm not sure what it is, still learning, but I remember seing it discussed in video. Nice diverse harvest.ReplyDelete
Very interesting. It seems a lot of people are experiencing this. Around here I never see the commercial orchards (there are a lot) doing any summer pruning.Delete
Awesome harvest! Sorry to hear about your tree fruits. Our peach tree produced loads this year. I am however envious of your grapes. Are those seckel pears?ReplyDelete
I believe they are d'Anjou. Anyway I think I remember seeing a tag to that effect on one of the trees placed by whoever planted them. You know, Thomas, I believe it was your blog (you lived in VT, right?) that led me to the idea I could grow artichokes in NE. So I have you to thank or blame for all my struggles! Finally a payoff!Delete