Monday, August 4, 2014

This Week's Harvest - It's Officially Tomato Season!

Clockwise from top - Speckled Roman, Amish Paste, Orange Blossom, Black Krim and Cherokee Purple
 The tomato harvest is slowly picking up this week.  Our paste and cherry tomatoes were the first to start ripening, but now we're also getting a few beefsteaks as well.  I always look forward to this time of year when our harvests seem to explode into bright shades of red, purple, orange and yellow.  It's a sure sign that summer is at its peak. 

Clockwise from top - Sungold, Blush, Isis Candy, Black Cherry, Speckled Roman, Amish Paste
I'm growing four cherry-type tomatoes this year.  Sungold and Black Cherry are my long time favorites.  Isis Candy, when allowed to ripen fully, has a very sweet and fruity flavor.  Blush (the small elongated yellow striped tomato at the center) is a new discovery for me this year.  Branded as an "artisan" tomato -meaning it will grow true to seed but is not considered an heirloom), it's also very sweet and fruity tasting. 

Aside from tomatoes, we are getting plenty of other veggies as well.  For the moment, our tri-color bush beans are still producing, though the plants themselves are beginning to fade.  I like growing bush-type beans because growing pole-types on trellises has always seemed like such a chore.  The downside is that you get flooded with beans for several weeks and then suddenly they are gone. 

 This is my first year growing Speckled Roman.  The gold streaks on this tomato seem to jump right at you and is like nothing I've ever seen before. They are like little volcanic stones.

 I only grow one type of determinate tomatoes - Orange Blossom.  This is one of my favorite tomatoes.  The plants themselves produce copious amounts of fruit.

The fruits themselves are the perfect size for single servings.

Unlike the heirlooms in my garden, this tomato is on the firmer side and tends to hold up well in a sandwich.  But the best part about this tomato is the flavor.  It has the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity in my opinion. 

Aside from the beans, the garden is still producing an abundance of summer squash and cucumbers, though I've chosen to spare you all any more pictures of them.  I did end up picking my first delicata squash this weekend (though by accident).  It snapped off in my hand as I was inspecting it.

 I also picked most of our chioggia and golden beets this week to make way for fall veggies.

Last but not least, we picked our first sweet corn of the season today, which we prompted had for dinner.  I'm growing a variety called 'Sugar Pearl' this year.  In my opinion, nothing comes lose to homegrown corn, especially when it's picked at the precise right moment.  The kennels snap and pop in your mouth.  While our corn tasted excellent, I made the mistake of growing my plants too close together.  Since we had a limited amount of growing space this year, I got greedy and planted more than I should have.  Hence, the ears were smaller than in years past.  However, I plan to devote a larger patch for growing corn next year.


  1. Oh wow, you've got some beautiful harvests! Those Speckled Romans are absolutely gorgeous, and the orange tomato is a marvel with all those fruits, and the corn looks luscious even if it isn't up to your usual standards. What a delight to see!

  2. Your tomatoes are so gorgeous! I can't believe how many tomatoes are hanging off of your Orange Blossom plant. We had quite a bit of rain today and I am on edge wondering if any of my tomatoes are going to crack. Those ears of corn look perfect to me - I can just imagine how sweet they were.

  3. Oh my gorgeous harvest and beautiful photos. Isis Candy and Orange Blossom tomatoes sounds interesting, I might have to try them next year.

  4. I love the colors of the Speckled Roman. And I agree with you that Orange Blossom tomatoes are a perfect flavor. Not that I eat them now, but when I did a taste test of about 30 tomatoes years ago, it came out near the top. And the corn looks so good. We had our first ears last night. It is going to be a good corn year.

  5. All your tomatoes look beautiful! That Orange Blossom plant is loaded with tomatoes. It sounds like a good variety. I might have to add that to the 'to try' list. Do you know if it has any blight resistance? I'm having a tough time with early blight and told myself I would grow some resistant hybrids next year. I'm jealous of that delicious looking corn, it was not a good corn year for me.

    1. Hi Julie, I don't quite know about Orange Blossom's blight resistance. I don't really notice a difference between it and the heirlooms I grow. I've gardened in three separate spaces now and have never really had an issue with blight. When I plant my tomatoes, I drop a couple aspirin tablets into the planting hole in order to boost the plant's immune system and so far, it seems to do the trick.

  6. I'm impressed! You have very productive tomato plants - good job!


  7. So exciting to see tomatoes in your harvest photos! The Orange Blossom are very impressive. ~ Rachel @ Grow a Goog Life

  8. Gorgeous photos and I'm impressed with the variety. Almost too pretty to eat.

    I think (know) I planted my corn too close as well. I had such a small area. But I suppose I'll look at the bright side---even dinky ears grown in the garden are better than store bought!