Monday, August 6, 2018

Harvest Monday - 6 August 2018

Hello again from Eight Gate Farm. We had a number of "first harvests" this week.

The first red slicing tomatoes.

Oregon Spring
I was curious about this variety, "Oregon Spring." It is an open-pollinated type, described by Fedco as a "hedge" tomato for cold summers when others have trouble ripening. It was said to not mind cold springs either, and could be set out extra-early, as long as it was protected from frost. So indeed, I planted them outdoors on May 14, ten days before the others. It grew well. It wasn't our first slicer to ripen, but still came in ahead of the rest. What I was not prepared for is the is outstanding! A nice mix of sweet and acid, very juicy, with no noticeable seeds. It actually is not supposed to do that well in hot and humid summers, as it develops blemishes. Well, since summer got going it has been just that, and yes, there are blemishes. The only thing I can criticize about it is the skins are somewhat tough, maybe due to the weather. I will grow this again for sure.

Then we got the first sauce tomatoes, "Amish Paste."

Amish Paste

While we are grateful, what do you do with just two sauce tomatoes?

Over in the green fruit division, we got our first "Diva" cucumbers, which are always such a treat.

And the first "Anaheim" peppers.

We love chiles rellenos. For years I've tried to grow the NuMex variety "Big Jim" for this purpose. I reached the conclusion that our climate does not support it. But trying Anaheim for the first time last year, we got tons of 7", mildly-spicy peppers that are perfect for rellenos.

Now a sampling of continuing harvests:

Yellowfin zucchini
Danvers Half-long
Various broccoli heads and side-shoots
Mixed medley of goodness
Same as above. Look! Another Amish Paste. Still enough though.
And from the community garden plot of The Kitchen Goddess and her mom:

The big tomatoes are Prudens Purple. We will be sampling one soon...high hopes!

On a sultry evening we were reminded of the Florida Keys, so TKG made Key West Conch Chowder! OK, with clams, not conch. Nearly everything else came from us, including the fish stock made from our big catch last month and frozen. To make it perfect, as we dined on the screened porch we were treated to a tropical downpour. Lovely!

Key West "Conch" Chowder with tomato/cucumber/fresh mozzarella salad
Thanks for reading! I'm looking forward to reading others' posts at Harvest Monday. Thanks to Dave for hosting it.


  1. Dining in a covered porch during a downpour does indeed sound amazing! I grew Amish paste a couple of times, but they never did that well for me so I've stopped growing them. One past tomato that always ends up in my garden, however, is Amos Coli - it's awesome! It does tend to crack, but we always get lots of HUGE paste tomatoes - our climates are similar so you may want to give that one a try.

    1. I will definitely research A. Coli (but not E. coli!). Thanks for the tip.

  2. It's always good to find a tasty, early tomato! I've heard of Oregon Spring but never grown it. Anaheim pepper does well here in our hot climate too, so it must be a pepper for all seasons. I'm with Margaret, the dinner on the porch in the rain sounds lovely. Chowder, vino and homegrown veggies - it doesn't get a whole lot better than that!

    1. You're right, Dave, it's like vacation at home! Interesting to hear that Anaheim does well in your area too.

  3. What can you do with one or two paste tomatoes? I stir-fry zucchini, eggplant, okra until tender, then add a chopped up paste tomato, stirring until most water is driven off, then add parmesan. It's quick and good. Nice Divas.

    1. Thanks, Mike. That sounds like a great recipe, though I don't grow okra. Maybe substitute a zucchini?