Even though we’ve been harvesting squash for awhile now (see “Zucchini Anyone?”), it doesn’t really feel like a summer harvest until the tomatoes start showing up. This week, it’s official! They’re red and ready to start pickin’ at the Gardenerd test garden.
Although, to say that they’re red would be discriminatory. These heirloom tomatoes are ripening in nearly every color of the rainbow. Red is almost passe with all the delectable heirloom options out there.
We’ve got Yellow Pear (the little teardrop shaped one in the front), orange Jaune Flamme (behind the yellow pear and around the perimeter), Great White (the big yellow-tinged beefsteak in the back), Tigerella (the little stripy ones next to Great White and Jaune Flamme), a Nepal that I don’t think is really a Nepal, and a mystery cherry tomato that I didn’t plant. Decorating the platter is an assortment of Big Leaf and Opal Basil leaves that came from the community garden plot.
The mystery tomato is growing, along with another mystery tomato that looks like a Costoluto Genovese perhaps, out of a cinder block pile in the corner of my community plot. It must have been a volunteer from one of my neighbor’s plots last year. I’ve never grown a cherry tomato (admittedly, I like more bang for my buck). So without any help from me, these cherry tomatoes burst forth from their cinder block home and have been producing like the most well-fed tomatoes I’ve ever seen. I don’t even water these babies! BTW – they’re sweet as candy and rarely make it home from the garden uneaten.
The other delightful harvest to share occurred earlier this week with my husband Andrew. Here he models the spoils:
He called to me outside and said “there are 3 or 4 strawberries to harvest”. I suggested that we might actually need a bucket. Indeed, we filled an entire 6-inch pail in a matter of minutes with ripe red strawberries.
I pulled out my binder of recipes from magazine tear-outs over the years and flipped to the section on desserts. There are so many great strawberry recipes to make. Some as simple as mixing softened vanilla ice cream with chopped strawberries and whipped cream and then re-freezing it. Others are a little more complicated, like this one: