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Daniel

2014 Growing Season

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the tomatoes just keep coming.

 

these were harvested on sunday:

10577129_10152405417828303_5057707837936

 

 

and these just now:

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three of my favourite large varieties are in this picture: a large italian heirloom on the left; three aunt ruby's german greens next to it; and a very bodacious brandywine over on the right.

the nyagous (the oblong dark ones) is a new variety for me this year and i quite like it: it's early, prolific, has a nice flavour, and unlike black krim (which i'm growing again) not prone to splitting. the valencia (dark yellow/orange ones) i'm not so crazy about--i'm hoping the dad's sunset (growing for the first time) which has just begun to ripen will be a better orange/yellow tomato for me (the nursery didn't have jaune flammes this year).

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that's a wonderful harvest, mongo.

 

Our garden was largely a failure this year. Good early basil and cilantro, but too cool in northern NJ for my tomatoes. Some rot, and lots of deer, chipmunks etc. Even lost one of my three rosemary plants

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it's been a good season for tomatoes here, so far (as you can see). the late summer has been cooler than usual, however, and we've gotten a little too much rain in the last couple of days so it remains to be seen how the tomatoes will fare in september and october (frost permitting). there don't seem to be too many flowers on the plants for the larger varieties, so they might effectively be done once current fruit has all ripened. luckily, most of them have put out a lot of fruit.

 

cucumber and peppers have done well too this year. but my garlic was a bit of a fiasco--all the heads are pretty small. our csa says their harvest was bad too and they blame it on a long cold winter which saw shoots emerge very late and so less time for heads to grow. alas, my carrots were a disaster again this year despite my loosening the soil well before planting. next year i'll also try to remember to weed the beds at least once and water a little more than i did.

 

on the herb front, most things did well but i planted lemon balm too close to my sage, and it seems to have throttled it--i would not have believed anything could have outcompeted the sage. the cilantro, alas, all went to seed while we were in l.a. and the rosemary and tarragon are invisible in a thicket of weeds.

 

cauliflower is in wait and see mode. chard is doing well. the broccoli came up well too; i'm not sure however: is each plant a one head deal? or will more grow as i cut a head off?

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i would never have expected to say this but i'd be fine with the tomatoes slowing down for a bit.

today's harvest:

more san marzanos, two dad's sunsets, one large italian heirloom, two midsized brandywines, two green zebras, four large black krims, one valencia, five nyagouses and four large boxcar willies.

plus chard, a lot of habaneros, a portugal hot pepper and a cucumber.

 

10606612_10152413143028303_4943989616326

 

(please let me know if you are sick of seeing photos of my tomatoes. it won't stop me from posting them but i'll enjoy it more.)

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Jesus, how many tomato plants do you have?

 

I have likely posted this recipe already because it's a summer favorite of mine and a good way to keep up with the garden or CSA:

 

http://splashofsomething.com/2011/02/15/project-nyt-garden-minestrone/

 

It's very elastic and forgiving - for example I'll use kale or chard instead of romaine. And corn instead of green/broad beans. The soup itself is surprisingly flavorful and delicious.

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23.

 

8 san marzanos

2 aunt ruby's germans

2 green zebras

1 black krim

1 nyagous

1 brandywine

1 italian heirloom

1 valencia

1 hillbilly (only one not to give me any ripe fruit yet)

1 dad's sunset

1 isis candy

1 boxcar willie

1 sungold

1 brown berry

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the san marzano output goes into sauces for eating/freezing; some are oven-dried . the boxcar willies also make surprisingly good sauce.

 

the larger tomatoes are mostly eaten (in raw tomato-basil-garlic "sauce", as caprese, as tomato salad); some are given away to undeserving friends.

 

the others become gazpacho or salsa.

 

in august and september i am 75% tomato (conservative estimate).

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char along with tomatoes, tomatillos, sweet peppers and make a lethal puree; then frozen as cubes and added to chilis, braises, pasta sauces as needed over the next year.

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sure. it's a weedy disaster--it'll warm the cockles of your heart.

 

a couple of weeks after everything went in (the garden looks its best)

10363381_10152268984753303_1280275300522

 

peppers (wait till you see what this looks like now)
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the san marzano section

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most of the rest of the tomatoes (please admire the weeds beyond)

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a little over a month later, all grown up and all trellised up
10509607_10152344845678303_6238234266457

 

the brandywine and neighbours

10492412_10152344846463303_3239009034746

 

 

one of the aunt ruby's plus the brown berry

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i'll post some pictures of the current state--utterly overgrown with weeds--tomorrow.

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the first half of the summer was good. it's been weird since--by turns cool, too hot, too rainy. for the last week it's been perfect tomato-ripening weather (nights above 58 degrees), hence my explosion. but from what i could tell when i got back from l.a very few new flowers and fruits were put out on the bigger plants while i was away--so i'm probably going to have a much less prolific september than usual.

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