Harvest Monday September 18, 2017

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. I finally got around to cleaning up and weighing the shallots I had harvested some time ago. The Conservor shallots bolted and did not make much at all. We’ve used a few for cooking but I won’t plant them again. The Dutch Yellow shallots bolted too, but went ahead and made a lot of nice sized bulbs. I wound up with right at two pounds of them, which for us is a lot of shallots. I’ll hold a few back for planting later this fall. They are supposed to be good keepers so we should have plenty of shallots for some time to come.

Dutch Yellow shallots

Dutch Yellow shallots

Last week I harvested quite a few of a heirloom pole bean called Non Tough Half Runner. This is another variety from the Sustainable Mountain Agriculture Center where I also got the seed for Bertie Best Greasy Bean I mentioned last week. In his book Saving Seeds, Preserving Taste bean grower Bill Best explains that somewhere along the line the ‘tough’ gene got into the commercial half runner bean supply. He has spent years growing this variety and selecting for tender pods so that once again gardeners can enjoy them the way they are supposed to be. The ones I harvested were indeed tender even when the beans were developed and the pods full. The pods are bigger that BBGB, but just as tender and flavorful.

Non-Tough Half Runner beans

Non-Tough Half Runner beans

A half runner bean is one that tends to have shorter runners than usual for a pole bean, though that is all relative. My plants have climbed to the top of the trellis and have gone over to the fencing to climb some more. That means they are close to eight feet long, not exactly short to me!

Non-Tough Half Runner beans

Non-Tough Half Runner beans

In other news, we have been enjoying a couple of the unreleased Artisan Seeds tomato varieties I am growing. In the below photo, the green/yellow one is visually quite striking but the flavor could be better. The red one is the other way around, with an outstanding flavor but with variable and sometimes faint striping. Of course, I care more about flavor than appearance so my wife and I have really been enjoying the red ones. Other test growers are reporting similar results with the red one, and I hope to be growing it or an improved version of it next year. I also want to grow a new green one they released called Fuego Verde that looks like a paste tomato but tastes like a cherry tomato.

Artisan Seeds test varieties

Artisan Seeds test varieties

I continue to get more of the Patio Baby and Fairy Tale eggplants from my two container plants. We went to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday to pick up some apples from a local orchard, and another vendor was selling the Fairy Tale eggplants for $2.50 a pint. I don’t need economic justification to grow a garden, but it never hurts to see how much one’s produce would cost if you had to buy it. There’s about a quart in this batch, so there’s $5 worth at least. These babies wound up on the grill.

Patio Baby and Fairy Tale eggplants

Patio Baby and Fairy Tale eggplants

A while back I speculated that I might find a rogue pepper or two this year, and it looks like I was right. I’m growing one called Dustbowl Paprika Pepper for the first time, and I set out two plants of it, or so I thought. One has fruit ripening that looks like the catalog description, but the other is definitely different. It has corking on it like many jalapenos, which was my first clue it might not be a sweet paprika pepper. I brought it in and tasted it, and while it is hot it isn’t that hot, at least not as jalapenos go. I’m growing several mild jalapenos this year so it could have been my bad instead of a rogue. I will use these for smoked chipotle powder instead of paprika, so all will be good in the end.

mystery pepper

mystery pepper

The other pepper harvests last week were more predictable, and I got some of the red Carmen, Cornito Rosso and Pritavit, plus the yellow Cornito Giallo and the orange Glow. A vendor at the farmer’s market was selling Carmen and other ripe sweet peppers for $1 each, so I posed those valuable peppers of ours in my wife’s handmade blackberry dyed bowl. Nothing but the best for our veggies!

sweet peppers

sweet peppers

In other news, I got the first ripe fruits from the late planted Red Racer cocktail tomatoes. These are a 2018 AAS Winner that compared favorably to Mountain Magic in the trials. They have mid-sized fruits, larger than a cherry but smaller than most slicing types. Harris Seeds and Garden Trends Wholesale are promoting this variety, and made transplants available back in July for garden communicators and the media to try out. The determinate plants are compact in size and mine are loaded with tomatoes. In the below photo the top two weighed a bit over two ounces each while the third one weighed three ounces. I think they are a nice size for salads. We got our first taste of them last night and I think they are winner in the flavor department. I’m hoping for lots more before the first frost comes.

Red Racer tomatoes

Red Racer tomatoes

I made another harvest of paste and processing tomatoes last week, about 11 pounds of them in all. It’s a gallon of Juliet in the below photo along with a strainer full of Stripey Marzano and Rutgers 250. I hit the 200 pound mark in tomatoes this year, with the vines still producing. That’s not a record for me, but better than usual for sure. I turned these into marinara sauce, and we ate some of it and froze the rest. I got another batch of Stripey Marzano on Saturday and cooked it down into unseasoned sauce for the freezer. The Juliet plants have just been crazy productive this year, which is not unusual for it in my garden.

Juliet, Stripey Marzano and Rutgers 250 tomatoes

Juliet, Stripey Marzano and Rutgers 250 tomatoes

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to share, add your name and blog link to Mr Linky below. And be sure and check out what everyone is harvesting!

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15 Responses to Harvest Monday September 18, 2017

  1. Will - Eight Gate Farm - NH says:

    Wow, that is a large amount of shallots. I hope they do turn out to be good keepers. I’m interested in that Red Racer tomato–always looking for good determinates. Is the Rutgers 250 a special type of Rutgers, with advantages? Please tell Mrs. Happy Acres that the bowl is really beautiful.

    • Dave says:

      The Rutgers 250 is a recent intro that attempts to regain the so-called original Rutgers flavor. I haven’t grown Rutgers in a long time so I can’t really say how it compares. Maybe next year I’ll grow both of them.

  2. A nice variety of crops your harvesting, still summer over there?
    Nice bowl, by the way!

  3. Michelle says:

    I can’t justify my homegrown vegetables on an economic basis at all, I’m losing money for sure, but I am amazed at times by what the growers can get at the farmer’s market and it does ease my fiscal conscience a bit. I am growing things that I’ll likely never find at any market so that’s my main justification for indulging my passion – some of my veggies are priceless.

    Mystery pepper does look a lot like a Jalapeño except for the pointy tip.

    Fuego Verde, cool looking tomato. I think it will have to go on my wish list.
    Michelle recently posted…The Garden on September 14, 2017My Profile

  4. Harvests at this time of year are very vibrant aren’t they?
    Susan Garrett recently posted…Harvesting when we canMy Profile

  5. Kaman says:

    Hi Dave, how do you prepare the Non-Tough Runner Beans? Roasting or steaming?

  6. Wow you’re still getting lots of summery harvests Dave. We’re feeling very autumny at the moment.
    Lou@rainbowchard recently posted…Harvest Monday – blimey big butternutMy Profile

  7. We committed a full container (6 plants) to the Carmens this year and were rewarded with dozens of fruit. It was hot and dry this summer, so I’m sure that helped.

    Do you have a recommendation for a french filet style pole bean? We like the small diameter green beans.
    A.J. – Cheap Seat Eats recently posted…Container Garden Update — September 17, 2017My Profile

  8. Lexa says:

    How cool to get to grow and taste a tomato before it is released to the masses! 200 lbs. is just great too. You will have some fine dining this Winter from your freezer. Interesting to see how your two shallots compared. I am still looking for a good one for my climate.
    Lexa recently posted…Harvesting Before the Rains ReturnMy Profile

  9. Margaret says:

    Those eggplant look so cute! To bad for me that the rabbits did a number on my plants – I did still harvest a few so at least that’s something to be grateful for.

    And that is a whole lot of tomatoes! I have no idea where I am at with my totals as I’ve only been marking them down in my kitchen notebook but still haven’t had an opportunity to tally anything up. Surprisingly, even with blight, it hasn’t been a bad tomato year – more like a so-so year, neither great nor bad but somewhere in the middle.
    Margaret recently posted…Harvest Monday – September 11, 2017My Profile

  10. Phuong says:

    That’s very interesting about the toughness of the bean pods being manipulated. And your tomatoes are looking exceptional. We’ve started fall planting which is always exciting.

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