Jun 5, 2010
An Unexpected Harvest & Reviews!
Not sure why it was unexpected, other than it was 90 degrees at 8:30 am and I had only planned on watering the garden and then hiding out the rest of the day! Alas, the heat and humidity over the past week had other plans in store for me! Since my tomato issues had me preoccupied the whole week, other things were left on auto pilot and went unnoticed until today! Here they are, along with my personal observations since they are mostly all new varieties to me this year:
1.0 lbs carrots (Purple Haze, Cosmic Purple, St. Valery), 1.0 lbs Dragon Langerie Beans, 11 oz Heirloom Yellow Wax Beans, 4.5 lbs Peas
'Purple Haze' Carrots - hard as a rock, horrible tasting, my dog who loves carrots wouldn't eat them, will not grow again!
'Cosmic Purple' (don't have a close-up) are purple splashed with orange - while moderately interesting, had a tough core and not enough good about them to make me grow them again
'St. Valery' grew very well here, crunchy yet tender, carrot-ey, passed the Finnegan taste test so it must be good! This was free seed I got last year from Baker Creek, otherwise I wouldn't have grown it - will order more next year. I grew it last year, but didn't get a decent germination or harvest, Granny's seed mats made the difference this year!
I do understand that these may perform differently in other areas/zones, but for me, they are the hits and misses!
Dragon Langerie (Dragon's Tongue)
I know a lot of us jumped on this bandwagon this year, and how could I refuse the delightful photos in the seed catalogs? They must be hugely popular this year since mine were backordered for a long time. Other than their beauty on the vine, these fell short of expectations in my garden. They are beautiful however! Tip for picking, they lose color and get huge VERY quickly! The color is most intense while small, also more tender and tasty then. They do of course, lose color after cooking and in my opinion there are other beans that taste far superior. My summation: grow these if you want to have beautiful things in your garden during a outdoor dinner party as people walk around and ooh & ahhh over things, but in the kitchen they fell short for me.
Dragon's Tongue after blanching
Now on to what I consider the superstar bean of the century! Why have I never grown these before????
Heirloom Golden Wax Bean
I can't say enough about these - slender, pretty, great bean flavor, tender, the easiest bean to snap the ends off I have ever encountered. Bush bean that produces like a pole bean. I will be picking these daily from just 1/2 of a raised bed's worth. After blanching, no color loss, still snappy, I will definitely use these to mix with my green pole beans when they come in for beautiful bags of frozen beans in the winter, and they will make for great Dilly Beans once I am ready to start canning. For those that want to know, I got this seed from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, and I will be ordering more pronto. On the website, their picture looks like the beans are a little too mature for me, harvested skinny like mine they are extremely tasty and pretty! Tip for harvesting, don't wear polarized sunglasses, that's how I got some that were still light green, LOL!
(they still taste just as good this way)
Heirloom Golden Wax Bean - still gorgeous after blanching!
I could not have done all 5 lbs of peas today without my child laborers!
Marley underfoot while we are working, she had little green peas all over her by the time the kids were done shelling, I'm just glad they didn't spill the whole bowl on her, she might have actually woken up!
For those of you who wanted to see the Food Saver in action, here it is!
I put the entire harvest into the freezer today since the chances for me cooking a decent meal this weekend are non-existent! It is in the upper 90's so we will probably go to the beach tomorrow evening once it cools off and eat sandwiches.
What about tonight? The USO is putting on free concerts for a Military Appreciation Festival on the beach all weekend and tonight I will be toes-in-the-sand watching Hall & Oates! I am showing my age now, but I am excited to see them, and although they are old now guess what? So am I, LOL! And yes, the kids are coming with me! Should be a fun evening, even if a hot one!