Monday, August 28, 2023

Harvest Monday - 28 August 2023

Hello again from Eight Gate Farm. This week there were a number of first harvests of the season, and I'll start with three of the tardiest tomatoes.

Brandy Boy is a hybrid with parentage from the classic beefsteak Brandywine that we love so much.

Brandy Boy (hyb)

I love San Marzano tomatoes for making sauces, and usually they're productive, but this year the one plant is struggling, and I doubt I'll get too many.

San Marzano (OP)

Over the years I've been reducing the number of the determinate tomatoes that I used to grow almost exclusively. The disease pressure has just become too great, and determinates are most prone to get it. I tried to grow only four plants this year, two of Bellatrix and two of Plum Regal. The Bellatrix died before giving any fruit. The Plum Regal is still struggling, but will give us some.

Plum Regal hybrid paste tomatoes

I'm resigned to the reality that there won't be enough tomatoes this year to make large batches of sauce for canning. This week I made two small batches, about a liter each (see, I'm trying to be more metric). We'll keep them in the fridge, and maybe freeze later.

I like a good story about crops, and this eggplant, the gift of a friend, is called Florida High Bush. It was developed as a commercial variety in the 1940s, but has faded from use. The plant really is tall, but it isn't as productive as the hybrid Italian-style eggplants I grow. Plus, it has murderous thorns on the calyx. Still fun to try, though.

Florida High Bush (OP) plus one Ping Tung Long

I picked the first poblano peppers this week. This hybrid variety is "Ancho Gigantia" (more marketing hype). They typically have just a little heat. I'll show how we used them later.

Ancho Gigantia hybrid poblanos

Ah, sweet corn, mon amour. I picked the first "Honey Select" this week, and have been enjoying several every night. Its combination of true sweetness and crunch is hard to beat. Many of the ears are very large, with 18 rows of kernels.

Honey Select synergistic sweet corn

I love growing melons, though the amount harvested never lives up to expectations. This "Halona" muskmelon is no exception, as I think it's the only one we'll get this year. But at over 3 pounds, and with luscious aroma and flavor, I'm not complaining!

Halona hybrid muskmelon

The last first harvest was the entire crop of shallots. I've grown this hybrid variety, Ambition, for several years, and while they don't get too large, they are useful in all sizes, and store forever.

Ambition (hyb) shallots

That's a lot of firsts, if I do say so myself. Now for the general harvests this week, starting with Tuesday.

Tuesday general harvest

This was Saturday's. I still have several bunches of spring(!) onions, and as each bunch's roots are all intertwined, you can't pull one or two without snapping them. So out comes the bunch.

Saturday general harvest; spring onions on the right

The Kitchen Goddess and her mum met at the community garden plot they share to get mum's weekly fresh vegetable fix. Very impressive.

For the poblano peppers, we typically stuff them with a sausage/cheese mixture and smoke them. This time, TKG mixed ground beef and pork with onions, egg, breadcrumbs, and tomato sauce...i.e. meatloaf!

Meatloaf-stuffed poblanos ready for the smoker

I like to use aromatic wood from our own property when smoking. Last March a wild cherry tree growing at the edge of our woods had its top snapped off in a big snowstorm. I cut up some still-green branches to use for the smoker.

Cherry wood for aromatic smoking

An hour and a half at 300 degrees F. produced this delicious result.

Smoked stuffed poblano peppers

That's all for this week. Thanks for reading, and thanks once again to Dave at for hosting Harvest Monday, that gives me so much enjoyment.


  1. That is too bad about the tomatoes. This year we have been lucky and yields are high. I've never had much luck with the o/p San Marzano or its hybrid relative. I'm thinking it's our climate, but I don't know for sure.

  2. So many nice harvests even though tomatoes disappoint. We just had our first corn tonight. I may not be able to grow tomatoes here in the fog belt, but the corn doesn't seem to mind.