It seems like the garden has hit full-blown production mode here of late. The kitchen counter is the center of much of the action. Goodies come in, they get processed, and more stuff comes in to take their place. Last week peaches came in after we made a trip to Reid’s Orchard. We brought back a peck of yellow peaches and a half peck of white ones. We’ve been eating them every day, and my wife made peach leather with some of them. I love homemade fruit leathers, and my wife is going to make some blackberry leather as soon as she has the time, and the dehydrator is free. The peach and blackberry leathers are made with pureed fruit and a little honey added to taste.
The blueberries are getting smaller, but they haven’t quit just yet. We are up over 51 pounds this year, about the same as last year’s haul. My wife has been harvesting them for seven weeks now, and I’ve pretty much eaten some every day. I will miss the fresh ones when they are done, but we have loads of them in the freezer to enjoy until next year! Every day my wife harvests them and spreads them out on the counter. We eat what we want, then the next morning she freezes whatever is left.
Tomatoes of all size and shapes are coming in now from the garden. We’ve dehydrated them and slow-roasted them, plus I froze some whole and halved ones for soups and other uses. Next we will be making sauces and ketchup once we have enough of them. In the below photo we have Juliet, Golden Sweet, Golden Rave, Green Tiger and Black Cherry.
We’ve been enjoying eating the slicing tomatoes. That’s the 2014 All-America Selection Chef’s Choice Orange hanging out with the heirloom Eva Purple Ball in the below photo. The Chef’s Choice Orange is a hybrid version of the heirloom Amana Orange tomato, and it is making lots of mild-tasting, nicely sized tomatoes so far. Eva Purple Ball is a dependable performer for us every year. I’m also harvesting Early Girl and Jetsetter now. I’m keeping my eye on the Vinson Watts and Cherokee Purple tomatoes and they should be ready soon.
The spring planted broccoli is just about done for, but I got a nice amount of side shoots last week. They made for some tasty Broccoli Walnut Salad. Many of the side shoots came from the Packman variety, which usually seems to make a lot of them.
The pole beans and summer squashes continue to produce for us. Some of the squash wound up in a grilled vegetable salad my wife made last week. It also featured grilled onions, carrots, peppers and kohlrabi from the garden, along with some Florence fennel that came from the grocery. Grilling really brings out the flavor of all these veggies. Toss with a vinegar and oil dressing, add some cherry tomatoes and feta cheese, and you have a meal!
The summer lettuces aren’t nearly as tender and sweet as those that grow in cooler weather, but we enjoy them anyway. That’s Red Sails in the below photo, which my wife used to make a Wilted Lettuce salad last week.
I haven’t talked much about bread lately, but we continue to bake all of our own bread products, including rolls, flatbreads and buns. Moomies Famous Burger Buns are a staple here, and I made a batch of them last week. These freeze well and we usually have some in the freezer whenever we need them.
And one unintentional guest came in on a harvest last week, possibly with the lettuce. I found this little green frog on the kitchen floor, and managed to get it in the Tubtrug before it hopped away in the house somewhere. I returned it to the outside world, where it promptly jumped off into the grass. It’s hard to tell from the below photo, but it was less than an inch long and quite a jumper!
I hope you have enjoyed seeing a bit of what’s going on here in late July. To see what other gardeners are digging, drying, harvesting and cooking up, visit Daphne’s Dandelions where Daphne hosts Harvest Mondays.