Garden Status Report #5

A pretty big mix of tomatoes. Purple Cherokee, Green Zebra, Purple Plum, Black Krim, Stupice (pronounced stew-peach-ka), Roma, Juliet and a couple peppers we picked since they had a bit of end rot.

Things are getting a little crazy in the garden. First we had too many zucchini, and now it’s on to the cucumbers and tomatoes. I think I’ve thrown out more cucumbers than we’ve saved. It feels like if we leave the farm for three days, they go from little pinky-sized things to monsters that look better suited for hitting baseballs.

This year is a major learning year for getting quantities right and as overboard as we went with zucchini and cucumbers, I think in the coming weeks we’re going to face the biggest glut yet - tomatoes.

A lot of our tomatoes have end rot, which I would normally be over-stressed about, but with the quantity we’re growing, it’s not a big deal. End rot is when, you guessed it, the end of the fruit begins to rot. I’ve been reading that it’s caused by a calcium deficiency in the soil, however, after talking with Linda from Tree & Twig, we’re pretty sure it’s simply irregular watering. With the wet spring, and the long stretch of dry weather we had, it’s no wonder. We’ll be filling any upcoming dry spells with some well-timed waterings.

I was also a little worried about figuring out when the green zebra tomatoes would be ripe. But we found a few, huge, soft to the touch, and yellowing a bit, and there’s no question. They’re being saved for lunch tomorrow.

The green (and purple) beans are delicious and we tend to eat them all out in the field. We love beans, and our  three-year-old gets a kick out of undoing their “zippers”. It’s a pretty good way to get him to eat them in their best form. Fresh.

The cabbage is doing well, especially the savoy cabbage we planted. The more traditional cabbage is coming along but seems to have lots of bugs in them. We’re starting to see brussels sprouts forming and I have a feeling I’m the only one who’s going to be eating them. I have to do some research into how to harvest them.

The Jimmy Nardello peppers we planted are going to be interesting. We planted seed we saved from a friend’s pepper, and after reading that they’re quite a bit easier to cross-pollinate than tomatoes, we’re not sure what we’re going to get. Maybe they’ll be perfect and true-to-type, or maybe they’ll be… something else.

Aren’t the Chiogga Beets beautiful? We’re lightweights when it comes to eating beets, but these ones are sure inspiring.

We’ve already pickled about a dozen jars of cucumbers and it was great to make them with our own garlic and dill. We pulled up most of our beets, and are preparing to pickle some of them this week. If you have any pickled beets recipes, please send them our way. We’re looking around for ideas.

Oh, and if you want any tomatoes, let us know.


  • Do you like the Stupice? I found they have an musky flavour that is unpleasant. My grandmother grew them and I thought it was just the ones she grew but apparently that is a characteristic of that variety.
    Seems like we are growing a lot of the same stuff, which is cool for comparison on harvesting times, etc., but you guys have way more space than I do.
    Best of luck with the tomatoes. Maybe try a few varieties in a clafouti. You will love - I promise.

  • Jesse,

    tomatoes, yes please. i'm doing a bird trip august (28th) in Palgrave area. one day trip. wanna' shoot it? i could bring paper bags to take tomatoes off your hands. or any other overages you might have.

    i'm super inspired by what you've done this year with your garden. mine's not nearly as fast moving as yours. none of my tomatoes are ripening yet. but the plants are 6 ft. high now and full of fruit. i can't wait.

    we ate our own beans on monday for dinner. it's amazing how good they are when they've just been picked and lightly steamed.

    anyway, keep up the great work. i'm already looking forward to and planning next years garden.

  • The tomatoes are beautiful!
    For the brussels sprouts, if you cut them in quarters and sautee them with chopped up bacon or pancetta I bet you could get a few more people to eat them 😉

  • another great and easy recipe for brussels sprouts is to half them and toss with sea salt and olive oil and back at 375C for 25 minutes. just amazing.

  • What a gorgeous looking crop!

    With your excess tomatoes why don't you try making your own sun dried tomtoes?

    You could sell them - I paid 5 bucks at the farmers' market today for 4 heirlooms.

  • I continue to be fascinated and inspired by your growing season, which seems to be about four weeks behind ours here in Georgia. We've put an offer on a house (did I mention that?? because I think about it ALL THE TIME) and are waiting to hear-I can't bear to draw out plans for the yard and garden and purchase schematics for the chicken coop until I know for sure, but that hasn't stopped me from dreaming. And your photos are keeping the dream alive. Thanks for growing so many lovely things!

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