Tomatoes just starting to come in!

I live for my tomatoes out of my garden each year!

Most of my tomatoes are just starting to ripen. There are many more on the vine in various stages of green! So every few days I get a few ripe tomatoes. Just enough for a Caprese salad every few nites. I’m in heaven!

I have many standard tomatoes but a couple of new ones that are suppose to take 70-80 days are already ripening at 60 days. I love them all so far. They may make my all-star tomato list at the end of the season which is really hard to do as I am really, really picky-they must be VERY flavorful. Here are some new varieties that have ripened so far..

New to me is Large Barred Boar (from Wild Boar Farms) which is much larger than their regular Barred Boar with the same great flavor. It is burgundy color with green stripes. It has a really rich complex flavor.

 

Another new tomato is Grosse Verte Rose (from Secret Seed Cartel seed company) which is a dusky pink color and sweet, sweet, sweet and about 12-14 oz big. A winner for sure.

 

 

Tonite I got the first two Cherokee Carbon tomatoes and they look beautiful. No cracks, smooth skin and a cross between a Purple Cherokee and the Carbon tomato. I normally grow heirlooms or open-pollinated varieties but I’m not against hybrids if they taste great. This one is a hybrid and I’ll let you know later how the taste is. They are about 14-16 oz and look beautiful.

Also new to me is a tomato named Santorini from the Greek Island of Santorini. (duh). They were one of the first to ripen and are a smaller bright red tomato with the flavor of an old-fashion tomato. I like them and the fact that they were so early is good too. Sorry I don’t have a pic-I ate them all.

So that’s the report so far on the NEW varieties of tomatoes that have started to ripen. There are many different varieties that are still green and for those of you waiting, don’t despair. With this heat I’m sure they will be ripening soon.

If you don’t recognize these varieties it’s because I try tomatoes from many different places and like to turn people on to new varieties that are awesome! If your local nurseries doesn’t carry them next year, you’ll have to start them from seed.

I’ll post later as I have more to report on. Let’s hope for a long warm fall where all of them will ripen!

 

 

Jimmy Nardello peppers

A lot of people have been asking if they can pick the Jimmy Nardello pepper while it is green or wait for it to turn red. Answer: WAIT TILL IT’S RED.

This is one of my favorite peppers to grow and it isn’t hot at all but is a very sweet, red pepper. The Jimmy Nardello pepper is a fairly long, skinny, thin-walled pepper that is sweeter than a lot of other ‘sweet’ peppers. It’s an heirloom that “came to Seed Savers Exchange by Jimmy Nardello, whose mother brought the seeds to the United States when she emigrated with her husband, Guiseppe, from the Basilicata region of Italy in 1887.” It is a frying pepper but I like it on the BBQ as well. It is easy to grow here in Santa Fe and is prolific. But you let them turn bright red before picking them and eating them.

Monsoons are here for real-take off row covers!

Monsoons are here! Last nite we got just under 2 inches of rain at the farm here in Santa Fe! And more to come today and the weekend. I was waiting for the rain to hit us and boy did it! I’m taking off the tomato row covers this weekend!

Yay! Finally we can enjoy looking at them!

Cylindra and Chiogga beet harvest

Chiogga beets on the left and Cylindra beets on the right

I just harvested my beets I planted in the spring and got 13 lbs! I grew two heirloom varieties- Cylindra and Chiogga.

The Cylindra beet is originally from Denmark although the seeds are available in the states as well. They are a rather long, sweet buttery beet which is great when sliced. It is a dark red and actually grows a little out of the soil so they are easy to see when they are ready for harvest. One of my favorite varieties of beets.

CHiogga beets are striped insideThe Chiogga (pronounced kee-OH-gee-uh) is an Italian heirloom that was establish in the 1840s. It is a round beet that has beautiful pink and white concentric stripes inside and the flavor is sweet as well-another favorite of mine.

I’m going to start more from seed for a fall harvest. Anybody got some great recipes for beets?

When can we take off the row covers!?

Wait a few more days before removing row covers

I don’t know about you but I’m anxious about taking off the row covers from our tomatoes. I’m tired of waiting! I’ve been waiting, waiting, waiting for this HOT HOT weather to leave and even though we’ve had some rain, it is not coming from Mexico and hence it is NOT the monsoons so we get some rain and then the heat comes on again. Today is still hot and then the temperatures are suppose to drop off dramatically over the next week. Could this be the beginning of a late monsoon season? I hope so. Meanwhile I had decided to take them off on this coming Monday and was sitting on the picnic table in the garden and saw the dreaded leafhopper jump on my computer (thank god it can’t give my computer a virus)! So now I am still waiting a few more days till the rain is consistent and the intense heat leaves us (which is what the leafhopper loves). So if you haven’t taken them off (and I hope not yet) then leave them on a few more days till these monsoons really come in. BLAH! I will post when I take off the covers-just not yet… WAAA!

Salmonberries

If you live in the Northwest, you probably heard of Salmonberries but I have not heard of them here in Santa Fe. My neighbor has a Salmonberry bush that produced heavily this year and I got some.

At first I thought it was a gold raspberry but it is not.  It’s a beautiful berry similar to a raspberry but more delicate in flavor and is gold-salmon-pinkish color.

The salmonberry, Rubus spectabilis is native to the US Northwest moist coastal regions and some parts of Europe. I wouldn’t think they would thrive in our drier conditions and yet here is one and it is not in a wet area. Traditionally, the berries were eaten by Native Americans with salmon or salmon roe, hence the name. It is sometimes called the Joffelberry as well. What a wonderful treat! They don’t freeze well so we just gobbled them all up!

leeks gone wild!

I grew leeks for the first time last fall and didn’t harvest them before the seed heads formed about a month ago. I read they are too woody at that stage and I can leave them to flower.  If I do this, I’ll have many volunteers next year. Well that sounded good so I let them go.

The flower is gorgeous and attracts many beneficial bugs. Glad I left them in…