But before I show you my tomatoes, I want to share with you a harvest picture emailed to me by a reader yesterday:
Sakura is learning to grow her own food and finding the joy in that- even amid the occasional frustrations. She shared with me that she recently realized some tags on her tomato plants were wrong and how that was making her complain until she realized:
“It could be way worse, my basket I use to pick from my garden could be empty! I was grateful to be able to grow a garden.”
And then she wrote, “Thank you for teaching me to enjoy and appreciate everyday…”
The big tomato on the right and the smaller one next to it are an ultra-early variety called “Glacier.” The big one was actually ripe last week, and this week I have a handful of other, smaller tomatoes. The flavor is OK- but of course tastes wonderful because there aren’t any others competing with it. *smile*
The small cherry tomato in the front is “Black Cherry” and I’m growing it because of my friend Shannen’s recommendation from last year. The plant is so out-of-control, I almost didn’t notice there was a ripe tomato in there! The color is closer to my favorite heirloom, Cherokee Purple, so I’m excited to try these.
And the three mini-peppers on the left were grown from the last of my “Tri-Color Pepper” seed packet (which I’ve only been able to find at Nichols Garden Nursery- at least the type that have very few seeds). This is the third year I’ve grown them (from the same packet!) and I love how they quickly ripen to full color because they are small – just like the ones they sell in those bags at the store. There are orange and yellow peppers, too, but I don’t know what I’ve got growing yet, besides this red one.
Last week was time to harvest the early potatoes. I got mine in later than usual and used a modified straw-planting method to try and keep the slug population down (which worked, by the way). When most of the potato tops have yellowed and died down, it’s time to harvest.The tops are usually mostly dead at this point in a normal summer- buy we’ve been on the cool side (uh-um…).
As you can see, starting the seed potato deeper in the ground and waiting to hill up with straw produced more tubers underground than when I plant shallowly and start the tubers with straw from the beginning. But having slightly dirtier potatoes is a small price to pay for plants that don’t get eaten by slugs as they’re trying to grow!
I harvested the early varieties- Yukon Gold and a red variety that I’ve forgotten the name of (oops…) – and got a wheelbarrow full. There are still some later russets in the garden and they are still flowering.
I did have a LOT of potatoes that I couldn’t use because they were rotten or so deeply scab covered that the bugs had gotten inside. It was definitely more than my normal losses. I’m wondering if this had to do with our above-average cool and wet spring (I don’t irrigate my potatoes)?
I also had a number of large potatoes that disintigrated into a white, gooey, really gross mess when I grabbed them from the soil, and I’ve NEVER had potatoes do that before.
Have any of you had this happen to your potatoes? What are you harvesting and/or making with the harvest?