Weekly Garden Update August 7

Harvest:

Ye Olde Tomatoes

We harvested tomatoes several times, several eggplants (both long purple and black beauty), a sole cucumber, and some tomatillos.  We also harvested a large variety and number of peppers, and the first of the butter beans and field peas.  The haricots vert continue to produce, we’re now in the 10th week of production from the little bushes in just one box.  We actually pulled up half of the box this week, but the other half have blossoms on them.  I simply don’t remember anytime in my 50 years of having any kind of green bean with this level of production.  We’ve eaten fresh haricots vert and canned 22 pints so far, and I have another 5-7 pints to can this week.  A pint of green beans is a dish at one meal for the 2 of us.

A Summer Day's Harvest

Another Day

Another day

We’ve canned 30 pints of tomato sauce, 5 pints of spicy pepper/cabbage relish, 6 pints of salsa, and 4 pints of sweet pepper relish.  We opened a pint of each right away to try them all.  I’m learning a lot about relish this year, and how to play with tomatillos as well.  We also have 3 pints of the snow/sugarsnap peas and 4 pints of carrots that I canned earlier in the season.  Last week we got 4 dozen ears of corn from the farmer across the street, and I blanched and froze 17  pints of creamed corn.  We got another dozen ears which we’ve been eating off of, gosh they’re good.

Butter Beans

Field Peas in a Row

As you can see, the field peas and the butter beans are gathering themselves for a big run:  we expect to start harvesting in quantity later this week.  We can only hope that they’re half as productive as the green beans.

The Naked Tomato

Our better half spent over 2 hours trimming up the dead & dying bottom leaves/stems of the tomatoes.  They look naked down below now.  The tomatoes are definitely slowing down now, which is a bit early for us.  We don’t have too many unripe fruit left, and fewer blooms than a month ago.

We removed all the remaining cucumber vines, but will plant three that are growing under lights in the next few days, if not later today. A charentais melon plant was also removed — we’re down to three of these, but still have no melons.

We save the water from blanching the corn and the celery (oh yeah, we have multiple large bags of blanched and chopped celery put away for cooking all year).  This week I used one of the quarts of “celery water” in a cream of potato soup I made with our own harvested potatoes and onions.  We liked the outcome — if you’re blanching lots of veggies for freezing, this is a good way to obtain your own “veggie broth” for cooking.

Speaking of the celery from last week, we were told that if you just cut off the stalk and don’t pull up the roots, your celery will restart itself.  Based on this picture, they may be right:

Celery

In the garden:

A pepper box

Pepper on the Vine

Running vine Field Peas

We got rain twice this week.  It was badly needed, and we are properly thankful.

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14 Responses to “Weekly Garden Update August 7”

  1. Robin Says:

    I’ve heard that about celery too and always forget to try it. It sounds like you have been quite busy canning. It’s that time of year!

  2. Veggie PAK Says:

    Everything looks great! What type of butter beans are you growing? I try to grow bush Henderson baby butter beans, but they always seem to grow in a tangled mess on the ground, yet the vines are 2 feet long. Yours seem to do very nicely.

    • foodgardenkitchen Says:

      VeggiePak, The butter beans are the Henderson Bush Lima Beans. I think that they like to have some support. Last year we grew them on a 3-foot trellis but decided this year to just let them be bush beans. I think the little fences we have around the boxes to discourage critters helps keep them upright.

  3. Daphne Says:

    Your harvest looks so much more balanced than mine. Next year I need to grow fewer slicing tomatoes. I need all the pastes, but not as many slicing as I’ve got. But then if we get a bad year I’d be happy about it I suppose. It is always hard to figure out how many of what to plant.

    • foodgardenkitchen Says:

      Daphne, When we make tomato sauce, we throw all the available tomatoes into the pot (except, of course, the ones we want to keep out for eatin’), so our tomato sauce is a mix of paste and slicing tomatoes. This year we grew Better Boy and Early Girl slicing tomatoes and they’re likely the varieties we’ll stick with in the future. We’ve grown heirlooms in the past years but they don’t produce as well in our climate and succumb to the regular tomato diseases we get around here earlier than the hybrids.

      By and large, we try to stick with growing heirloom varieites of veggies, but diverge for the tomatoes 🙂

  4. kitsapFG Says:

    Your hericot vert beans are a real work horse! That is some impressive and prolonged production. We are just getting a couple of tomatoes a picking at this point – so your tomatoes look very appealing to me too. The field peas are loaded – how large of a growing area do you have for them and generally what kind of a harvest yield do you get per square foot of growing area with field peas?

    • foodgardenkitchen Says:

      Kitsap, Last year we grew one 12’x2′ box of field peas and got around 10 meals for the both of us (20 meals total) from them. This year we are growing 2 boxes of the same size (although one box also has about 8 pepper plants squeezed into the front of the box and I train the field peas away from the peppers). I plant the vines fairly densely – 1 seed every 4 inches or so – so there are around 36 seeds planted per box. The germination rate on these have always been great, so there really are around 36 vines per box.

      Since we don’t weigh our produce, it’s hard to calculate an exact weight per sqaure foot, but if I figure we each eat around 3 ounces per meal, the result would be around 3.5 pounds per box over the course of the growing season. We harvest as the pods begin to turn tan; we don’t let them dry on the vine.

  5. Allison @ Novice Life Says:

    I do that with my celery and it works like a charm 🙂

    I am so jealous of all your tomatos and all the canning you got to do with them!! I was hoping for that this season but our mater plants just didn’t produce well.

  6. Diana Says:

    I was drooling looking at your eggplants since we are in winter here. I wish my peas are like yours. I was very happy to hear that you enjoyed that potato recipe, you made my day. Nice harvest.

  7. Barbie Says:

    Rich wants me to grow celery this year. I guess I:ll give it a try. Besides if I can do that, it will make sucessions pretty easy! 😀

  8. Liz Says:

    I treat all my celery plants as pick and come again – just taking the stalks as I need them. It works really well – the plants keep producing stalks until they eventually go to seed which in Melbourne is in Spring. Which has reminded me to sow some seed……

    Great Harvest.

  9. Thomas Says:

    Beautiful harvest! You’re garden is looking fantastic these days. I’ve never grown field peas before. I’ll have to look them up.

  10. Emily Says:

    i love your summer day’s harvest photo! what a load of deliciousness.

  11. Barb @ A Life in Balance Says:

    I would love to grow field peas, though I would be the only one in my family to eat them.

    The tomato harvest has been huge in my areas which is southeastern Pennsylvania. We’ve already canned 40 quarts of tomatoes, and we’re still going pretty strong with the harvest.

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