It’s been another very hot, humid week here in central Indiana, with barely a sprinkle of rain. In the potager, the harvest continues unabated due to regular watering. Along with all the crops shown in prior posts, some new ingredients are making their way into the kitchen to provide a much-appreciated variety to the menu. (D’s comment “Beans AGAIN?” sums up his opinion.) The first of the French Fingerling potatoes were dumped from their pots. It was certainly a lot easier than digging them, and the soil from the pots was used to top off a harvested bed of shallots and kohlrabi for replanting in fall crops. So far the “POT-ato Patch” seems to be a winning technique, although yields are low. I won’t blame the pot method as the weather has been horrid, and will definitely do it again next year. After harvesting cherry tomatoes since late June, the first full-sized tomato, an early variety called “Siletz” provided the season’s first BLT’s and they were delicious! Hard to tell from the photo but they are about 3″ in diameter. The other early variety, “Polbig” has larger tomatoes and more of them, but are not ripening yet. The “La Romas” are beginning to turn color, so tomatoes will be plentiful very soon. Also plentiful are these watermelons, which I’m calling “Mystery Melons.” I purchased a pricey “seedless” watermelon called “Twilight.” They came with colored “pollinator” seeds and instructions to plant one colored and one plain seed per pot or hill. These were seeded in pots, but only one plant per pot germinated. They were planted in bed 6a and the vines are spreading nicely with a lot of fruit set. However, all the melons are striped like the one in the photo. “Twilight” is shown in the catalog as dark green, so I suspect all the watermelons are the “pollinator” variety provided. Now to wait and see…are they going to be small or giants when ripe? Will they have a decent flavor? A gazillion seeds? Only time will tell. Happily there are other melons coming along that are what they are supposed to be. My favorite, the “Green Nutmeg” will soon be ready, along with “Tasty Bites,” “Lilliput” and “Minnesota Midget.” I love these mini-melons and can hardly wait until they are ripe. The shallots have all been harvested and some were braided after careful inspection. Normally there are about 30 braids; this year only 11! For some reason, many of the shallots didn’t divide into separate shallots, but made many parts inside one “skin” resulting in a 3″ diameter bulb! These are already showing signs of spoilage, so I peeled and parted, cleaned and canned them marinated in balsamic vinegar and rosemary like the cippollini. I’ve never had such huge shallots before, and that’s not a good thing. On the other hand, the garlic has never been so small! It’s all been dug now and is curing out of the sunlight on a drying rack in the Lady Cottage. There will still be more than enough for our use and plenty to plant this fall, but only “Mary Jane” (top shelf) and “Killarney” (3rd shelf down) had nicely sized heads. “Deerfield Purple,” “Rosewood,” and “Romanian Red” are normally just as large. I suspect the difference is in the watering…”Mary Jane” and “Killarney” were planted with broccoli which was watered often.
So that’s my six observations for this Saturday. To see more harvests and interesting “Six” topics, visit The Propagator, who hosts this meme.