Monday, August 7, 2023

Harvest Monday - 7 August 2023

In this area, August is considered the start of the major harvesting season. That's true in my case, not so much in quantity as in variety, which makes it fun!. There were quite a few "first harvests" this week. 

I took the first "Juliet" tomatoes. This "saladette" type is a workhorse for us. It's productive and relatively disease resistant. I've got two plants going. This picture shows their size compared to some Sungold cherry tomatoes.

Juliet and Sungold, both hybrids

As much as we like the usefulness of Juliet, we always felt it was somewhat lacking in rich taste. Consequently, I've been experimenting with replacement, or rather, complimentary varieties. Last year it was "Valentine." and while that's a nice tomato, it was much smaller than Juliet. This year I'm trying "Verona." As you can see in this picture, it's about the same length as Juliet (bottom), but "chonkier." It came in a few days after the first Juliets.

Verona (top) and Juliet

Ironically, the Juliets we've sampled this year taste much better than we remembered. We will try the Veronas in a few days.

Next are two eggplants from The Dark Side: Black King and Midnight Queen. Very spooky! These are very similar-looking Italian-style hybrids. I'm growing two plants of each, and they seem to have similar maturity, but so far Black King wins in productivity.

Black King (2) and Midnight Queen (1)

Next is the Asian-style eggplant "Ping Tung Long." Some sources say it's open-pollinated, others say it's a hybrid. That doesn't matter to me, as I don't try to save seeds. I've grown it for years and really like its taste and appearance.

Ping Tung Long

I finally picked the first cucumbers, which are very tardy this year. This is a new one I'm trying called "Marketmore," a bush-type. They are quite tasty, but very juicy, so they wouldn't make good pickles I think.

Marketmore cucumbers

I picked the first pole beans. This is Fortex, and for my money, they are the best tasting green beans I've grown. I don't even plant bush beans anymore, and these are much easier to harvest!

Fortex pole beans

It's always difficult to know for certain when sweet corn first reaches its peak flavor. I've learned not to get too excited and pick a large amount too soon. The clues suggested it was ready, so on Friday I took one, and while it was good, it was not there yet. I took another on Sunday, and presto!, just right. Let the gluttony begin! This is "Latte," a bi-color synergistic hybrid, that does well here.

'Latte' sweet corn

For continuing harvests, we got more artichokes, which always makes us happy.

Imperial Star artichokes

Loose-leaf lettuce is still producing. It's unusual for us to have salads with our own tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce, as the latter is usually finished before the former come in.

Loose-leaf lettuce
I'm at the point in the season where I can show group-photo "general harvests." This was Friday's.

Friday general harvest

The Kitchen Goddess contributes this photo from the community garden plot she works with her mother, who gets all the goods! Quite a nice assemblage.

Community garden plot harvest

Finally, in Foraging Notes, I got these strange things.

Sumac "bobs"

They're the fruit clusters of the Staghorn Sumac, a native large shrub that grows in quantity at the edge of my back field. It's lovely to look at, but will spread aggressively, to the point where I won't have a field anymore. So I cut them back as often as I can. We use these as an addition to iced tea, as they have a faint lemon flavor and are nutritious. They are also used in the spice called za'atar. TKG dries and ginds them. Note: they look prickly but actually are soft like fur.

That's enough for this week! Thanks for reading, and thanks as always to Dave at for hosting Harvest Monday.


  1. I am trying Verona for the second time, and I got the first of it and Juliet today. I'll be doing tasting too, but to be honest I use many of them for sauce and I'm looking for productivity as much as anything. It will be interesting to compare notes!

  2. Interesting you've found a use for the sumac. I wonder if it's high in vitamin C. I've found some tomatoes test better one year to the next. Weather, water? Wishing you a late frost.