Kalyn's Kitchen

Heirloom Tomatoes Are Ripening at Last: 2008 Garden Update #9

Mr. Stripey TomatoI was shocked to realize it’s been five weeks since I’ve given an update on my garden, and finally I have some heirloom tomatoes. This is a variety called Mr. Stripey, and it’s one I ended up with after some of my early tomato plants froze. It’s not my favorite tomato for flavor, but I do like the looks of the striped flesh mixed with red tomatoes. I was excited to finally get these, because all my tomatoes have been slow to ripen this year. However, if the tomatoes have been a bit slow, the rest of the garden with the raised beds is producing like crazy.

I loved having tomatillos in the garden, but you have to plant two plants and there are so many tomatillos. I’m giving them away and even put a few in the freezer.

Note to self: One row of Red Russian Kale would be more than enough for next year. I just can’t use it up quickly enough.

I’m loving the white eggplants, which seem a bit sweeter than regular purple eggplants to me. I’ve been making Spicy Grilled Eggplant, a dish I loved last summer when I learned to like eggplant.

I usually cook spaghetti squash as a summer squash, picking them when they’re small and the skin is still thin. This one got away from me though, so I’ll probably bake it and eat it with parmesan and herbs. That stringy herb on the right side of the photo is summer savory, which I haven’t used at all. Anyone have ideas for using it?

I’ve got a huge number of Very Big Squash on the vine, and have already given away a few. This variety of Butternut Squash is officially my favorite winter squash.

All the herbs are doing well, but especially the basil. It’s a good thing I know how to freeze fresh basil, because I’ve already trimmed these plants three times and need to do it again. The frozen basil is wonderful for Basil Vinaigrette or to use in soup or pasta sauce in the winter.

This didn’t turn out to be the greatest photo with the sun shining in the window a bit too much, but I wanted to show one recent picking from the garden. In the photo is Red Russian Kale, Swiss Chard, French Tarragon that’s going in the freezer, lots of cucumbers, tomatoes, yellow summer squash, a Very Big Squash, a Black Beauty eggplant and a huge pile of tomatillos.

I had good intentions of planting a few fall crops, but didn’t get it done. If you have a garden, how have your crops been doing this year?

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    27 Comments on “Heirloom Tomatoes Are Ripening at Last: 2008 Garden Update #9”

  1. Hi Kalyn,

    Your garden looks amazing! You’ve done such a great job, I’m totally impressed! I have Mr. Stripeys in my garden also and I recently managed to beat the rabbits and squirrels to a few ripe ones…

  2. Marcella, I don’t know anything about gardening in that type of climate. I would recommend seeking help from a local garden center.

    In my own garden, I have raised beds and bought (fairly expensive) compost enriched topsoil to get them started this year. Utah has a dry, hot climate which is great for vegetables.

  3. When my husband and I moved into a house with a small yard (in San Diego), we were so excited to start gardening, but everything we planted (basil, tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini) died. The dirt is very hard and rocky, but we tried to remove as many rocks as possible, aerated it as best we could, bought some earth worms, and let them do their work for a week before we started planting. What did we do wrong?

  4. Oh Kalyn, what an impressive harvest!! I finally have ONE butternut squash on the vine and I’m praying the little guy gets a chance to grow and ripen before we lose all hope of sun…

  5. Kalyn, you have an enviable garden. Such a large harvest, all in one picking! How are you going to eat it all? That there is several entries’ worth of WHB and GYO posts!

  6. Summer savory is great dried to use on roasts or chicken marinades during the winter. In the summer, I love to marinate chicken in lime juice with bruised summer savory leaves and then grill. Very tasty.

  7. Wow, I am completely green with envy. Fantastic garden Kalyn.