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!!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Harvest Monday 8/12/13

I have been harvesting a lot of tomatoes, however I am sad to say that I had to pull out some of my plants on Sunday because of disease.  It is so frustrating to see your plants look beautiful one week and a week later they are falling apart literally.  I am realizing that this is one of the down falls to having a community garden.  Everything spreads like wild fire, bugs and diseases.  My tomato plants at home have minimal damage luckily. 

Chocolate Cherry and Green Grape tomatoes

Some of my varieties I am growing (from top to bottom)
Spudakee, Pink Berkeley Tie Dye, Mystery Striped tomato, Lemon Boy, Black Prince,
Coure di Bue, Red Lightning, Black Emperor, Indigo Rose, Bloody Butcher
 and Wapsipinicon Peach. If you are interested, I started spotlighting a different tomato variety
I am growing this year every Tuesday on my blog. Last week I spotlighted "Orange Russian 117".

Listada and Lavender Touch eggplant

Zephyr Squash

A very large Red Roaster pepper!
Thanks for looking at my Harvest Monday post!  Stop by Daphne's Dandelions to check out other Harvest Monday posts. Happy Gardening!!!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tomato Tuesday

This weeks tomato spotlight is on "Orange Russian 117" tomato.  Orange Russian tomato is a bicolored oxheart type tomato.  It does not have wispy leaves like most oxheart tomato plants. This tomato is an orange,  yellow and red bi-colored tomato that is meaty with few seeds.  They can grow up to 2 pounds, but most are around 8oz.  This tomato variety produces high yields and matures in 85 days. They can be used as a paste tomato or a slicing tomato.  The flavor was amazing, I will definitely be growing this tomato again next year.  It has a well balanced flavor.  Orange Russian 117 is a cross between Russian 117 and Georgia Streak.  When you cut them open they are like a piece of art work with splashes of red throughout. I highly recommend this tomato if you have not tried it yet.

Stop by every Tuesday to see which tomato variety I will be spotlighting
from my garden. Thanks for taking a look at my post and Happy gardening!!!


Monday, August 5, 2013

Harvest Monday 8/5/13

This past week I have been harvesting a lot of tomatoes, summer squash and peppers. I was able to harvest a couple pole beans.  I also harvested the last of my cucumbers, because I had to pull out all my plants due to cucumber beetle damage.  I did replant some pickling cucumbers last week, but they don't look so good.  With the cucumbers I did harvest I made Creamy Cucumber Salad. Yummy!

Creamy Cucumber Salad
5-6 med cucumbers
1 container of sour cream
3 Tbs. vinegar
3Tbs. sugar
1 small onion
salt & pepper to taste
Add herbs like parsley or dill
(I peeled, cut and salted the cucumbers the night before to draw out the water from the cucumbers.)
These are the tomatoes I have been harvesting, along with some peppers and a few pole beans.  The tomatoes I have been harvesting are Black Trifele, Black Prince, Wapsipinicon Peach, Black Emperor, Pink Berkeley Tie Dye, Coure di Bue, Spudakee, Amish Paste, Bloody Butcher, Lemon Boy, Moonglow, Basinga, Jaune Flamme, Black Zebra and White Beauty.  I have been pretty lucky with the amount of tomatoes I am harvesting this year, but I think it will be coming to an end soon because my plants are starting to show signs of disease. I am pruning away the damaged leaves and branches. I plan on spraying them tonight with Soap Shield to see if it helps.
Thanks for stopping by and taking a look at what I am harvesting.  Head over to Daphne's Dandelions to check out other Harvest Monday posts.  Happy Gardening!!!