Friday, August 24, 2007

Harvest Snapshot: Aug 24

Garden volunteers make up a nice part of this harvest. The colander of yellow cherry tomatoes comes from self-seeded plants along our side yard. We moved some dirt around last fall, and apparently it had some tomato seeds in it. The pak choi was a straggler from a planter that had been harvested previously and was dumped in the side yard to help build up the soil layer there. I was very surprised to see it during the hot-weather season, but suspect its location in the fence shade is why it survived so well.

Zucchini and beans continue in mass quantities, often going straight into the freezer or the saute pan from the garden.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Harvest Snapshot: Aug 17

The usual beans and zucchini, and the beginnings of pepper season. Our particular picoclimate gets pretty chilly at night, so our peppers take longer to mature. Near the top left you'll see some tiny purple bell peppers, and in there's a long very dark green pasillo baijia chili at the very front of the tray. That's a mild to medium chili used in making mole; it dries to a rich chocolate brown, and is supposed to have a complex flavor of which 'hot' is only a part. This is the first year I've grown them.

Another pepper experiment is in the lower left, the small round 'Alma' variety paprika pepper. Supposedly both spicy and fruity, Alma is a very pretty plant, with creamy white peppers that ripen to yellow and then to a deep orange-red. I have this one drying on the bookcase right now, along with the pasillo. It's turned a deep wrinkly red.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Garden Desktop: Delicate Harvest

Today's garden desktop celebrates some of the finer things in garden life-- delicate strawberries, a baby fancy bi-color squash, and the aptly-named "Fairy Tale" eggplant. Enjoy!

Higher-resolution versions available by request, leave a comment here if the one at FlickR isn't large enough for your desktop. I've stopped posting the 1080 versions by default.

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August 12 Harvest Snapshot

Dry bean season is here, partly from the time of year and partly because I stopped picking young beans a week or so ago, to let pods mature for dry ones. These are the heirloom I call "Monte's Italian", given to me in 2003 by a friend from the photo club. He got them from his family in Italy. This year they returned true to type, as my back-fence neighbor Jack didn't plant beans, so no cross-pollination occurred.

The larger harvest is, of course, dominated by zucchini. Good thing we pick them small... when they don't get away from us. Just a single day can make a (literally) huge difference in the life of a zucchini. I grow the "Mediterranean" zucchini from Renee's seeds. I believe it's a French or Italian courgette variety, as it is ridged rather than smooth. The best thing about this variety is that it has a wonderful flavor when small AND still has a very good flavor and texture when large. Even very, very, VERY large. The generic dark green or black zukes one finds in the seedling section of the hardware store have very little flavor, even when tiny, and become appallingly bland and watery when they get huge.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

August 7 Harvest Snapshot