Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Between Seasons

The summer crops are definitely slowing down, but it doesn't help that I've pulled up a lot of plants to make room for fall veggies. What's interesting is that there are so many green tomatoes out on the plants that are left, and yet my tomato harvest for today isn't especially spectacular.

One plant that HAS been spectacular is the Yellow Marble cherry tomato. One evening last week, the major ingredient for our pasta sauce was little yellow tomatoes, and we have been running a tray of these through the dehydrator every week or two.

We expect to sprinkle the little dried tomato chips onto salads and sandwiches throughout the winter.

On the tray, before they go into the dehydrator, the tomatoes look like egg yolks.

The one plant that is producing all of these yellow cherry tomatoes is still going strong, but I am going to pull the plant up soon regardless, to make way for some more kale.

Another tomato variety that has gone "above and beyond" in terms of production is the Wuhib paste tomato. I have two of these in the ground, and both are still covered with green tomatoes even though these plants have been producing steadily all summer long.

Cherokee purple, the variety that did so well for me last year, was kind of a bust this year. We got some tomatoes from these, but not the abundance that we had last year. However, Rutgers has been producing steadily all summer long, so the relative lack of Cherokee purple tomatoes hasn't been a disaster.

I did start additional tomato plants to set out at the end of June, when the onions and garlic came out. These plants (two Rutgers, two costolluto genovese, two yellow-out-red-in) are now just about bursting with green tomatoes. The yellow-out-red-in tomatoes are small, but a couple have ripened already so I can say with assurance that they are good to eat.

As expected, all the peppers have been very happy with the extraordinarily hot summer; they are all doing just fine. We eat a lot of peppers, though. These (Ancho peppers) will probably be filled with that Mexican crumbling cheese, that doesn't liquify and run out of the pepper when it gets hot, and cooked out on the grill.

The "real" spinach (Malabar spinach to me, "real" spinach to the mail carrier from Barbados)is taking over its bed and the one next to it. The vines have stretched across the aisle in between the beds and are now climbing through the okra. I obviously have a lot of eating to do.

My fall crops are all still pretty small. The beets are just strappy cotyledons poking out of the ground, but the Bok Choy, spinach, lettuce, carrots, radishes, etc. have all past that stage; most of those plants have at least a couple of true leaves now. Seeing them out in the garden makes me happy.


  1. I never thought about dehydrating an abundance of cherry tomatoes! Thanks for the tip from now on all my extras go in the dehydrator!

  2. We didn't know what else to do with them! I've been taking them to work in my lunchbox, using them in salads and in cooking, and we still are just about over-run with little yellow tomatoes. This, of course, is not really a complaint. The little tomatoes are delicious! It is pretty amazing, though, that one plant has produced so much.

  3. Your harvest still looks wonderful. I finally ripped out my malabar last week, I needed the room for peas! It stayed 8 inches tall the entire season from May to August then decided to shoot up the trellis only in the last 3 weeks, wierd - I'm assuming it was just too darn hot for it!

  4. Erin, I am pretty sure that Malabar spinach is a perennial in the tropics where it usually grows, so its taking a long time to get established wasn't a huge surprise, but mine didn't really take off until August, either, even though I started the seeds in those little Jiffy pellet-pots in early April. Maybe the plants are just temperamental?


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