You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘tomatoes’ tag.

We’ve reached the point where, when people ask me how the garden’s going, I say something like, “Well, the plants are winning now.” This is very meaningful to you, if you have ever weeded by hand a 70×120 foot garden. When the plants start truly winning, they also start shading out the weeds that are still there, so the weeds don’t grow as much. It’s also a deep breath of relief because, hallelujah, it’s evident that you WILL get a crop out of this!

The peppers still seem slow however. They are taking part in the drip tape experiment, and I’m just not sure what’s going on. The only thing that makes me think we might still be ok is that it always seems like peppers surprise me. Suddenly they just go nuts and you’ve got jalepenos out your ears. I’m hoping for a big surprise. Until Saturday, we were also still worried about our yukon gold potatoes. I’m not sure what their deal is… we planted them at the same time as the pontiac reds, watered them the same, but look at the difference here (pontiacs on the right, yukon on the left).

IMG_3523

It is obvious the golds are fairing much worse. They didn’t even flower. So Lynda and I decided to dig one of the biggest ones to see if there was anything happening under the surface. Surprise!

IMG_3521

So, ok, don’t judge a plant by its “over” (ground… I’m trying to be clever here…). What’s weird though is that, as you can see, all the potatoes are clustered together very close to the surface. Usually they would be more spread out and go down deeper. We’ll see how they continue to develop. Let’s continue our tour of winning plants…

Spectacular lettuces, kohlrabi, squash are out of control, tomatoes (kids in tomato jungle), baby carrots – yum!, and these are the mere beginnings of our chinese noodle green beans. I’m pretty sure they need about a 10′ trellis rather than our measly 4′ chicken wire, but I guess we’ll see what happens and make adjustments next year. I planted these thinking they would be fun. They should grow beans about 20 inches long each. So is that like 1 serving of vegetables per bean??

Friday I harvested all our garlic. I thought they would be bigger, but I’m pleased regardless because they look so beautiful! From what I’ve read, they will need to cure like this for about 2 weeks before they are ready for long term storage.

IMG_3496

The last few days have been full of canning. Salsa, salsa verde, tomato juice, tomatoes, tomato sauce with meat, pizza sauce, tomato relish. I’m sure you’re noticing a pattern. We picked about 20 gallons of tomatoes last monday (sept 3), so they HAD to be used.

I’ve been going over to Jordan’s great-aunt Esther’s house to can in her basement kitchen. Wow, wouldn’t that be handy to have? Well, it’s actually pretty nice to have one at someone else’s house, because then they can babysit your kids while you work!

 

So here’s the “laboratory”

Hmm, too conspicuous? How about this:

See? Great right?! So, I did A LOT of tomatoes, but I thought maybe a show-and-tell on tomatillos was in order. They are actually related to the gooseberry. I’ve read a lot of sites that say to wait to harvest until the fruit fills the paper lantern (as I like to call it). But I think you probably shouldn’t wait that long. Basically, if you feel something solid with a gentle squeeze of the paper lantern, you can pick. Here they are before husking:

 

And after:

As you can see, they are all different sizes and shades, but all ready to be picked. When you husk them, you’ll feel a sticky substance on the fruit. Rinse that before cooking. Then I cut mine in half and put them in a big roasting pan along with quartered onions, stemmed jalapenos and whole garlic cloves.

Roast for about 20 mins then put it all in a blender. Add salt, a little vinegar, and cilantro to taste, water bath for 30 mins and you’re done. That’s like the easiest salsa ever.

Here’s an image-of-caution on keeping your jars hot before putting in the boiling water bath:

Yeah, that was fun to clean up.

I also created a recipe that might change your mind about eggplant. See that in the wcydwtv page.

Just a heads up. There’s a new recipe on the “WCYDWTV” page inspired by all the green tomatoes i had after pruning this week. Delish!

New gardening post coming after the weekend. Cheers!