Monday, August 14, 2017

Harvest Monday - 14 August 2017

Welcome to another Harvest Monday update from Eight Gate Farm. Once again, we lead off with the "first" harvests of this week.

Full-size tomatoes have finally started rolling in. The paste-types were the first to be ready. There were two "Pony Express" (left) and one "Roma," shown with a handful of not-the-first Sugar Plum grape tomatoes for scale.

Pony Express was a variety I'd never heard of. I got them at a garden center to make up for other paste-tomato seedlings that did not fare well. All I could find about them was they are "early" and "productive," which sounds like damning-with-faint-praise.

Shortly after, Amish Paste presented itself. This is an heirloom nearly everyone is aware of and many grow, though it's the first time for me.

Amish Paste

We did a blind taste-test of Pony Express and Amish Paste. Both were good, but AP had a more rounded, better-balanced flavor.

After that the first slicing tomato was picked. This is "Rutgers," a variety we've grown for years and depend upon. Really it's a dual-purpose tomato, and as always it had outstanding flavor.

The last first this week was a "Bride" eggplant. I find it very attractive.

Last week I wrote that we took a few "Reliance" peaches from the tiny tree we planted just last fall. We let them sit on the counter for a few days, then tried them. They were wonderful. So The Kitchen Goddess picked the entire crop this week. Not bad for the first year!

She also strip-mined the remaining spring Mesculin Mix, and separated the results. There was Red Russian kale:


And a bunch of varieties of lettuce:

I guess she was full of energy this week, because she attacked the badly-overgrown herb garden.

A representative mid-week harvest:

And another:

The beans are slowing down just as the Diva cucumbers are picking up. We now have close to 3 pounds of them in the fridge, and TKG is considering revising her never-give-'em-away policy!

TKG made a batch of Pico de gallo (fresh chunky salsa) from our tomatoes, hot peppers, and cilantro. She then made a batch of corn tortillas. So our Sunday morning breakfast was Huevos rancheros, even including our own black beans. Delicious and hearty!

Huevos rancheros
That's all for this week. Thanks for reading! Please join me in viewing all the exciting posts on Harvest Monday, hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres.


  1. Hold your horses - you had peaches after one year? Colour me green with envy! I have a 3 year old nectarine and was hopeful that we would get a taste this year, but only a few fruit set (due to a late frost) and those then disappeared - I'm still not sure if they just fell off or were snatched.

    And that Bride eggplant is beautiful! I'm definitely partial to the long, Asian eggplants as I feel they are simply better in all respects than the oval varieties.

    1. Thanks, Margaret. I'm tending to more and more prefer the Asian varieties too.

  2. I've read that Amish Paste is a very good tomato but have yet to grow it. Looks like the Diva is doing what it does, produce more cukes than you can use, but they are really good aren't they?

    1. They are really good, and this is the first year we've had what might be called a surplus.

  3. Those are some lovely peaches, especially from so young a tree! Disease problems make them hard to grow here without an industrial spraying program. I tried Rutgers 250 tomato this year and while they are tasty they are smaller than the original, which I will try next year!

    1. There was an old peach tree on this property that never produced anything usable for us, and finally gave up the ghost a few years ago. Starting fresh!

  4. Amish Paste is my favorite paste tomato, it seems to be really well suited to the cooler climate here and it has great flavor. I didn't grow any this year because I still have a 1 1/2 cases of quart jars from last year. It's a good producer here!

    1. I'm pleased so far, although I do prefer determinates for sauce production.

  5. What a great harvest from a first year tree! You have the touch it seems and picked the absolute right tree for your area. I loved your Huevos Rancheros. It is such a great feeling to make most of a meal out of ingredients that you have grown. Have a great week!

  6. What a great harvest. Isn't it just soul satisfying to have a whole meal from your own place?

  7. Yum, huevos rancheros! Ditto on the great peaches, I've tried fruit trees but can't seem to figure them out and they just wither away after a few years with no fruit. So congratulations on not just fruit, but that actually tastes good.

  8. Isn't it great when you have grown absolutely everything on the plate? People who don't grow their own don't know what they are missing!!