4 August Weekly Update

Summer Harvest Sample

Summer Harvest Sample

We got some “firsts of the season” this week:  purple hull field peas, a cayenne pepper, a habanero pepper, and a blackberry (which went straight from stem to mouth).  We also picked:  lettuce, celery, tomatoes, tomatillos, butter beans, cucumbers, basil, green beans, and a bit of mint that we put into some homemade tabbouleh.

No, this is not the same as the first picking

No, this is not the same as the first picking

Neither is this

Neither is this

Yet another pass

Yet another pass

We’re still picking the tomatoes early (e.g., not fully ripe) in the hopes of getting them before the squirrels do.  It’s apparent this isn’t going to be a very abundant tomato year so we’re trying to get as many as we can!  In times of abundance, I don’t mind sharing a few with the squirrels, but I get stingy when tomato times are tight.  On Saturday morning we were sitting at our computers on the sun porch and saw a squirrel run by outside with a green tomato in its mouth.  I was indignant!  Thieving, right in front of us!

None of the tomatoes had BER (Blossom End Rot) this year – we’re attributing this to our two sprayings of calcium-magnesium as a preventative measure.  We sprayed once when the first tomato fruit were starting to form and a second time two weeks later.  The quality of the tomatoes, especially the Amish Paste, is particularly good this year, although we don’t know why it’s so different.  In past years, many of the paste tomatoes would be a bit hollow inside (the flesh didn’t fill out the interior) but this year, they’re almost all filled out and very few have black spots inside.  We think fewer black spots might be because we have far fewer stink bugs this year than in the past.

Basil

Basil

The yellow summer squash plant was removed on Monday as it succumbed to SVBs.  We have only two patty pan plants left and I was thinking about pulling them up since they’re really not producing anymore and are looking kind of ragged, but I saw both have at least one female flower so I left them since we don’t need the space.

 Celery

Celery

We seeded the last area of cucumbers on Saturday morning.  If all goes well with the staggered planting plan, we’ll have cucumbers right up to the first frost.  We’ll see though since diseases are more prevalent at this time of year…

Lettuces

Lettuces

Lettuces in August!  Wow.

Black Peppermint

Black Peppermint

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13 Responses to “4 August Weekly Update”

  1. The Novice Gardener Says:

    Exactly, wow, lettuces in August! The purple peas look pretty. Do you eat the whole pods or just the peas inside? Tomatoes look awesome, by the way. My tomatoes are not doing well at all this year, except for the Sunsugar and Cherokee Purple. Opalka, my favorite, is stubbornly slow and now the leaves are yellowing. I saw a few green fruits, though. I hope I’ll get a few Opalkas.

    • foodgardenkitchen Says:

      The purple hull peas are field peas (same as black-eyed peas, just a different variety) that you shell before eating.

      Our tomatoes (like everyone else’s around here) are underperforming as well. But we’re glad to be getting what we’re getting!

  2. Norma Chang Says:

    Great and varied harvest. Still waiting for my slicing tomatoes to show some colors, thought it would happen this week, but no.

  3. Patsy Says:

    Beautiful tomatoes and everything else! I was wondering about the purple field peas too. Do you shell them before eating? They look very nice.

  4. Mark Willis Says:

    Living in the UK as I do, the comment about getting lettuce in August is lost one me… Presumably it is normally too hot for Lettuce at this time of year? Not normally a problem for us here! 🙂

    • foodgardenkitchen Says:

      Around here, lettuce peters out by mid-June. This is an experimental batch of a more heat-resistent variety that I seeded in the basement (to keep the soil temp at lettuce germination levels) and then placed out on the front porch, which is mostly shaded. Lettuce in August is quite the accomplishment around here 🙂

  5. Jenny Says:

    Very nice harvest of tomatoes, and I love those peas. Never seen this parcitular variety before.

  6. Mike R Says:

    Nice diverse harvest. It’s really amazing the year to year differences that a particular variety displays. Last year I planted honey bear acorn squash several times and they all died from wilt. This year the same plant is a monster. I’m just hoping that it doesn’t get the borer.

  7. Barbie Says:

    Nice. What makes the black peppermint black?

    • foodgardenkitchen Says:

      I’m not sure – it’s just the variety we chose to grow after researching “true mints” vs. other mint-type plants. Some of the leaves do have a black tinge to them when they get older.

  8. mac Says:

    Nice harvest, do the purple field peas taste same as blackeye peas? I have eaten dried black eye peas but not fresh ones, it may be something new to try next year.

    • foodgardenkitchen Says:

      To me, all field peas have a similar taste but black eyed peas probably have a slightly earthier taste than the ones we’re growing. We’re growing 3 three different types this year – Purple Hull, Monkey Tail, and Running Conch. The purple hulls were seeded first so they’re producing first. Field peas tend to be a sure bet for us each year – they like hot weather.

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