Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Tomato Tuesday

This weeks tomato spotlight is on "Moonglow". Moonglow is considered by many tomato lovers to have the best texture and flavor of any yellow-gold tomato. This tomato variety produces indeterminate, regular-leaf tomato plants that bears heavy yields of beautiful 6-8 oz, blunt-pointed globes. Moonglow has bright orange flesh, few seeds and mild sweetness. This tomato matures in 85 days from transplant. Moonglow is a very nice orange tomato variety, reminds me of Tangerine.

Thanks for checking out my Tomato Tuesday post! Stop by next week
to see which tomato variety I will be spotlighting from my garden. Happy gardening!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tomato Tuesday

This weeks tomato spotlight is on "Russian Rose". This Russian heirloom tomato variety is aptly named as it bears tomatoes as pretty as a rose. A good producer of 12 oz., deliciously sweet pink tomatoes. Russian Rose is an indeterminate plant that matures in 78 days. They are meaty and flavorful. The plant I grew was very prolific and produced pretty large tomatoes. The one tomato weighed in at 1lb. This tomato made an excellent tomato sandwich!  I will definitely be growing this variety again.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my Tomato Tuesday post. Come back next week to see which tomato variety I will be spotlighting from my garden. Happy gardening!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Tomato Seed Trading Time

It's time to start seed trading! This is my first year saving my own seeds and I started by saving tomato seeds. I grew many varieties this year,  but not all were a success. I have 19 varieties that I will be able to trade with other gardeners. I do not bag my flowers therefore they are naturally pollinated by nature. There are no guarantees as far as purity. I look forward to seed trading with other gardeners and hope I have varieties that interest you!

Russian Rose
Wapsipinicon Peach
Black Zebra
Jaune Flamme
Coure di Bue
Virginia Sweets
Pink Berkeley Tie-Dye
White Beauty
Orange Russian
German Pepper
Monomakh's Hat
Maglia Rosa
Bloody Butcher
Green Zebra

If you are interested in trading seeds with me, you can message me on my blog or email me at I don't have large quantities of seeds, so first come first serve. Thanks for checking out my post and hopefully I will be trading soon!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tomato Tuesday

This weeks Tomato Tuesday spotlight is on "Virginia Sweets". What a beauty this tomato is! I purchased this tomato plant from a local nursery in the hopes that I would like it and then save seeds from it. Well I love it and I also saved seeds from it.  Virginia Sweets is a bicolored beefsteak heirloom from Virginia. The plant produces good yields of 1 lb golden yellow beefsteak tomatoes with red stripes that turn into a ruby blush on top. The tomato has a sweet rich tomato flavor. One of the best tasting and best producing gold-red bicolor tomatoes. Excellent for salads and sandwiches. This tomato variety is indeterminate and matures in 80 days from transplant.  My plant was slow going at first, but the last two weeks it has really been producing nice tomatoes. It reminds me of Mr. Stripey tomato, which I grew last year. They are fairly blemish free, except for some cracking at the stem end.  I have noticed that the longer I let them ripen they get more red coloring.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Harvest Monday 9/9/13

I have been doing a lot of clean up down at my community garden plots. This past weekend I harvested all my pumpkins and winter squash. I also cleared out the garden bed where I was growing my zucchini/summer squash and I harvested some giants. I plan on stuffing them for dinner one night this week.  My tomato plants at home are really producing and I am swamped with tomatoes again.  I made some tomato sauce with some of the tomatoes. I checked on my popcorn I am growing to see if it is ready to harvest, but it needs some more time to dry. Here are some harvest pictures from the past week.

Tomato Sauce
The three in the back are Kakai Hulless and the two in the front
are Galeux D’Eysines Pumpkin and Speckled Pup.
Sweet Dumpling and Speckled Pup
Winter squash and over grown summer squash.
Thanks for checking out my Harvest Monday post.  If you would like to see other Harvest Monday posts go to Daphne's Dandelions. Happy Gardening!!!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tomato Tuesday

This weeks Tomato Tuesday spotlight is on "Black Zebra". A natural and stabilized cross between Green Zebra and a black tomato by Jeff Dawson. This tomato produces vigorous, indeterminate, regular-leaf tomato plants that produce 4 oz., 1 1/2", juicy, round tomatoes with purple/mahogany-colored skin with green stripes (like brush strokes). Its flavor also carries the rich complexity associated with the best of black tomatoes. This tomato variety matures within 75 days after transplanting. This is my first year growing this variety and I will definitely be growing it again next year. I love black tomatoes and this is a new favorite for me.  It is not only deliscious, but beautiful to look at.

Black Zebra

Thank you for checking out this weeks Tomato Tuesday and I hope you return next Tuesday to see which tomato variety I will be spotlighting from my garden.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Annual Snyder Farm Open House & Great Tomato Tasting

Last Wednesday I attended Snyder Farm's Open House and Great Tomato Tasting in Pittstown, NJ. This is a  390 acre research farm run by Rutgers, in which they perform various agricultural and environmental studies. The event includes the poplar tomato tasting of 60+ heirloom and hybrid tomatoes. Other highlights include tasting of apples and peaches along with varieties of basil and honey. They also have various teaching gardens on display which demonstrate gardens of deer tolerant ornamentals; blueberries, hazelnuts, and hollies from Rutgers breeding programs; examples of proper tomato plant culture; and a wall of fruit trees for the home landscape. They also had wagon tours of the farm's research plots, chef demonstrations, Jersey Fresh Salsa tastings and educational displays from various organizations.

The Great Tomato Tasting
They had over 60 heirloom and hybrid tomatoes to taste. I was in tomato heaven!

Jersey Tomato Peach Salsa
Wagon Tours of Research Plots

This research plot is a research project where they are tracking Cucurbit Downy Mildew movement. In the distance is another research plot that they are researching the "Rutgers" tomato. Over the years Rutgers tomato has lost it's great flavor and the research farm was able to get original seeds from a seed bank and are now trying to bring back the old great tasting Rutgers tomato. 

These are tented basil plants that they are protecting from cross pollination.
Educational Demonstrations

Examples of tomato plant growth habits and types of staking.

Apple tower demo for the home garden.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tomato Tuesday

I thought today I would spotlight the different cherry tomatoes I am growing this year in my garden.  I like to have a variety of cherry tomatoes growing in my garden every year, they are a nice little snack while I am working in my garden.  The varieties I am growing this year are Chocolate Cherry, Green Grape, Blondkopfchen, Maglia Rosa, Red Pear and Blush.  I was disappointed with Red Pear and Blush, because almost all the tomatoes split.  The Red Pear also was the first tomato plant to show signs of disease this year and I had to pull it out early.  My favorites out of the six are Maglia Rosa, Chocolate Cherry and Blondkopfchen.  I am planning on trying the heirloom version of Chocolate Cherry next year, which is Black Cherry.

Chocolate Cherry
These cherry tomatoes have both skin and flesh which are brick red.  They are productive, indeterminate plants that produce trusses of 1 inch round tomatoes.  The tomatoes mature within 70 days from transplant. You can harvest them fully ripe or pick earlier and allow them to finish indoors.  I found harvesting them earlier was better, because they tended to split easily.  Everyone that tried them fell in love with the flavor.  I am going to try growing the heirloom version next year called Black Cherry and see how they compare.


Green Grape

This cherry tomato is the result from the crossing of Yellow Pear with Evergreen. They are yellowish green fruit that are formed in clusters of 6-12 large cherry tomatoes. This is an early producing variety which matures within 60 days on indeterminate plants. They have a sweet, mild flavor.

Blondkopfchen in German means "little blonde girl". These cherry tomatoes are yellow 1/2 inch grape-sized tomatoes formed in clusters of 20-30. The vines are large and sprawling. They are sweet with a slight tart flavor. They mature within 80 days.

Maglia Rosa

This cherry tomato produces truly unique, mottled pink, long, egg-shaped fruits with bright, lightly sweet acidic flavor. Harvest just as the fruit turns light pink for optimum flavor. The small plants are perfect for growing in containers. This variety matures in 70 days. Maglia Rosa is my new favorite cherry tomato. I will definitely be growing this variety next year. 

I hope you enjoyed reading about the different cherry tomatoes I am growing this year. Check back next Tuesday for an all new Tomato Tuesday post.  I am very excited because I will be attending Snyder Farms Annual Tomato Tasting tomorrow.  They will have over 60 tomato varieties to taste! I will be writing a post all about my experience along with pictures.


Refrigerator Spicy Garlic Dilly Beans & Pickles

I recently learned about Dilly Beans. Dilly beans are pickled green beans. I found this recipe for Spicy Garlic Dilly Refrigerator Beans and I had to try it out with some of my recent bush beans I harvested. They were fairly easy to make and they were ready in 4 days.  They had a wonderful flavor and were very crispy. I have to say they were not real spicy, which I was glad for since I am a wimp when it comes to spicy foods. I am wondering with time if they will get spicy, we shall see.  The only thing I would change with the recipe would be to use less vinegar, it was a little over powering. I also made some pickles using the same recipe.

Spicy Garlic Dilly Refrigerator Beans
2 garlic cloves, peeled and quartered lengthwise (I used 3)
5 sprigs dill, or  four large pinches of dried dill weed
4 tsp mustard seed (I used 3)
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
1 lb green or wax beans, trimmed to fit jars when standing on end
2 cups water
2 cups white vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt
Run 2 pint or 4 half-pint canning jars and lids through the dishwasher. (I used 1 1/2 pint jars so I had to make extra brine, what I did was triple the brine ingredients)
Heat the water, vinegar and salt together in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring until the salt is dissolved. Meanwhile, add add garlic cloves, dill, mustard seed, pepper flakes and peppercorns to the clean jars. Add beans to jars, filling snugly and keeping them standing upright. Carefully ladle the hot brine into each jar, filling to about 1/4 inch below the rim. Here’s where a canning funnel comes in handy if you have one. Saves some messy, hot dribbles. Don’t worry if you don’t have a funnel, just be careful. Close the jars tightly, using oven mitts or folded paper towels to protect your hands. Allow them to cool on the counter for about 30 minutes, then refrigerate.  For best flavor wait about 4 days.  They will last in the refrigerator for 1 month.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your Dilly Beans if you try making them!
Happy Gardening!!!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Harvest Monday 8/26/13

This past weeks harvests consisted mainly of pole beans and peppers.  I also picked my first Mexican Sour Gerkin cucumbers. They look like little watermelons. They are about the size of a nickel.  I am still undecided whether I like them or not. They do have an already pickled flavor like the description stated, but the skin is kind of thick and crunchy. I washed, blanched and froze my pole beans. This year I am growing three kinds, Cherokee Trail of Tears, Romano and Wonder Wax. I noticed yesterday that I have more to pick again and I plan on making Dilly Beans with them. Dilly Beans are pickled green beans. I have been cleaning up a lot of my tomato plants, because most of them have succumbed to leaf spot and early blight. It is very sad, but luckily I have some growing at my house in addition to what I had growing at my community garden plots and they are still doing good. Along with my tomatoes I also cleaned up my eggplants, they had all the leaves fall off and were just stems coming out of the ground. On a good note I have most of my fall crops planted and they are doing well. I plan on doing a future post about making the Dilly Beans and tomorrow stop by to check out my "Tomato Tuesday" post which I will be spotlighting one of the tomato varieties I am growing this year.

Thanks for stopping by to check out my Harvest Monday post. To see other Harvest Monday posts go to Daphne's Dandelions. Happy Gardening!!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tomato Tuesday

This weeks tomato spotlight is on "Jaune Flamme".  This is one of my favorite small tomatoes. It is very tasty and also pretty to look at. The flavor is fruity with a good balance of sweet and tart. It is an extremely prolific tomato variety that produces 1 1/2 inch, round, golf-ball sized tomatoes.  Jaune Flamme is a French heirloom tomato that is persimmon-orange colored inside and out. This tomato is known for being great for sauces, drying or roasting, it retains it's deep orange color. It is an indeterminate that matures within 70-80 days from transplant. This is my third year growing Jaune Flamme and I have never been disappointed. This year my plant is suffering from disease and it is still producing tomatoes like crazy.  I highly recommend this variety if you have never tried it!  I am saving seeds from all my varieties that I am growing this year and plan on doing some seed trading at the end of the season if anyone is interested.

Thanks for checking out my Tomato Tuesday post!  Stop by next week to see which variety I will be spotlighting from this years garden.  Happy Gardening!!!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tomato Tuesday

This weeks Tomato Tuesday spotlight is on "Spudakee" tomato. Spudakee is a potato leaf version of the popular Cherokee Purple. This variety was found growing in a field of 100 Cherokee Purple plants in Ohio in the early 90's.   I got these seeds from Winter Sown .  It is an indeterminate plant which produces 8-16 oz maroon colored tomatoes.  When you cut them open it is the color of a raw steak.  My plant is producing a nice amount of larger size tomatoes. I have to say this is probably one of my favorite tomato varieties this year!  The flavor is amazing.  I am a fan of the darker colored tomatoes.  I want to make sauce with some of them to see how it will taste, but I keep eating them on sandwiches or fresh. I have never grown Cherokee Purple tomatoes, so I wonder how they compare in flavor.  I may have to do a trial next year with the two varieties. 

Thanks for checking out my Tomato Tuesday post and don't forget to stop by next Tuesday to see which tomato variety I will be spotlighting. Happy Gardening!!!