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Monday, August 26, 2013

August 27th and 30th: The Color Red


So far this has been a pretty sweet year for tomatoes (I hope I didn't just jinx myself).  The field tomatoes are looking awesome, yet ripening a couple weeks later than "usual".  However considering the past four years, where late blight had nearly wiped out the entire field by now, we are doing really well!  And with the new hoop house this year--you all started receiving tomatoes a month earlier than ever before!  The headache and time spent putting up the hoop house this spring all seems worth it now.  We are harvesting 3x the amount of tomatoes out of the house verses the field even though there are 2x the amount of tomatoes in the field!  We have spent a bit of time fixing trellis in both the hoop house and the field because the plants are so weighted down, they are pulling the trellis over--a bit of a pain, but a good sign : )

Since we have had so much trouble with late blight these past four years, sadly I have had to move away from planting some of my favorites because they just get wiped out too easily.  This year I have planted several "blight resistant" varieties outside, along with a couple of varieties I have found stand up to blight better.  The hoop house is all non resistant varieties, but hopefully the plastic cover will keep the leaves a little drier and therefore a bit more protected from evil spores.  Zach and I will be taste testing the new varieties to make sure they are up to our standards.  Mostly, I planted a myriad of red slicing tomatoes, but here are a few that stand out visually:

Left: Mountain Magic--new to me this year and I love them!  Sweet AND blight resistant
Right: Juliet--sweet, but not too juicy, great for sauce, salads or just popping them in your mouth

Heirloom Varieties
You may not want to hear it, but the ugliest tomatoes in the crate will be the tastiest.  Heirlooms are hard to grow because they tend to crack, "catface" or have green shoulders.  Don't be shy, give them a try--you won't be disappointed.
Left: Pruden's Purple--Brandywine type, sweet and meaty
Right: Black Krim/Black from Tula--Russian heirlooms, yummy yum yum!
I have a yellow heirloom out there too, but they have not ripened yet--
Manyel--"Many Moons", thought to be of Native American origin

PYO Flower Garden

Pink: Lisianthus--harvest when flowers are open
Purple: Heliotrope--fragrant and beautiful
This Week's Bounty: lettuce, kale, beets with greens, cabbage, edemame soybeans, tomatoes, melons (half shares--hopefully I will be able to pick enough for all this week, if not, next...), peppers/eggplants/broccoli? zukes, cukes, ss, herbs...enjoy!
1. pluck all the pods from the stem and rinse--do NOT shell b4 cooking!
2. place entire pod in boiling salty water
3. lightly boil until the bean softens to your liking
4. pull pod through your teeth
**you may toss cooked pods with olive oil and garlic so when you pull it through your teeth, you get he flavor.
** you may pop the beans from the cooked pods into salads, pasta...
Zuchinni Pie--Just like Apple pie!!!!

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