To say we’ve had a good vegetable season is an understatement.
After how poorly last year went, I can honestly say we’re growing an abundance of tomatoes, peppers and zucchini, and I am loving it! We’ve had several kinds of homemade salsas and dips, plus I’ve been freezing a ton to use later. I recently spent a Sunday afternoon dicing zucchini and filling freezer bags, so we currently have 3 1/2 gallons of diced zucchini to use. Two bags are gallon-sized that will be perfect for soups, and the rest is in quart-sized bags so we have smaller portions for stir fry. As for the tomatoes, I processed 4 quarts of the sun sugar cherry tomatoes to use for salsas and sauces. All I’ll have to do is thaw and process whatever other veggies and herbs we want to add to them. I’m so excited that our garden is paying off so well this year. It’s safe to say we’ve easily had more than 100 lbs of zucchini. I took a good 30 lbs to work and we’ve been eating our fair share, plus freezing it… I’m very excited!
We have had some pretty massive Cherokee purple tomatoes, but sadly some kind of pest is getting to them before we get a chance to eat them. I’ve started picking them while they are still green to save them for us, and we’ve enjoyed a few of them in salsa and bruschetta, especially with the purple basil. Our lemon boy tomatoes are doing well, too, but I’ve been very surprised to find that one of the plants is actually producing Mister Stripey’s, which are my FAVORITE tomatoes next to regular lemon boys. They are striped yellow and red – gorgeous for salsas and perfect for sandwiches because they’re not too juicy. I love them and it has been a pleasant surprise to see some coming in because I was honestly bummed to see the Amish farm didn’t have any this year… at least labeled. 😉 Looks like I might have snagged one accidentally!
So, I guess my biggest disappointment this year is the Hungarian hot wax peppers. They’re not bad… but they’re not spicy either. They’re supposed to be on the same level on the scoville scale as jalapenos, but only our jalapenos have been hot… and they’re coming in reeeally hot, which is nice. The hot wax peppers are turning red, yellow and orange like they’re supposed to… I wait until they get a little wrinkly just like I do with the jalapenos (did you know that? Jalapenos are supposed to be wrinkly and even have some red in them to be really ready to eat). I guess they’re not bad, but I don’t think I’ll do them gain, mainly because I was expecting one thing and got something totally different. Maybe they just need more time or it could be an issue with the soil they’re in. Peppers apparently prefer more abusive soil, in terms of rocks and such.
The veggie that took the absolute longest to come in was the bell peppers. I have red and orange ones, and they’re really small… I’m not really sure if they are supposed to be like those baby sweet ones you get at the grocery store in a big colorful bag, but they look like they might be. I may just have to dive in and try one to see how it tastes. They just don’t seem to get much bigger… they get to a certain point and just stop. My poblano peppers are tiny, too. I might be missing something here… or perhaps organic ones are supposed to be smaller? Anyone know?
That’s it for now. So far I am very pleased with my vegetable garden this year. I do wish I had started some fall squash, like butternut or acorn, but I have a feeling that by the time fall rolls around, I’ll be sick of gardening. 😉 As it is, I have a feeling we’ll end up with fresh produce until October.
If you did a vegetable garden this year, what did you plant? How is it doing?