Monday, September 29, 2014

Today's Harvest

I'm really happy with most of the vegetable seeds I have purchased over the years and since most are open pollinated and/or heirlooms I will save seed from year to year.

I have done this randomly from year to year, but since I have begun semi retirement and increasing homesteading tasks and projects I consider seed saving one of the more obvious additions.

Today's harvest is the Pingtung Long Eggplant with a couple of the Jupiter sweet bell peppers.  Ed Hume sells these.
Here is a sweet bell pepper that will mature in short season climates. Its crisp, blocky fruit will turn from medium green to red if left on plant longer. Excellent raw in salads or dips. Great to use as stuffed pepper or in tempura recipes. Matures in approximately 75 days from transplanting.

I've saved the first seeds last week, allowing the pepper to turn red on the plant first.  This was not a normal growing season for me so I don't want to review this yet.  Like the Stupice tomato we tried I'll give them another try. They taste good but are on the small side.
Pingtung Long were purchased from Pine Tree Garden Seeds:
Asian HEIRLOOM An open-pollinated oriental eggplant variety, imported from Taiwan. Fruits are elongated and slender, averaging 10" long and 1 1/2" to 2" across with a lovely, lavender-purple colored skin and white interior flesh. Bred to be resistant to many diseases, as well as tolerant to wet and hot conditions. A good yielder, with fruit weighing about 1/2 lb. each. 30 seeds.
I usually roast eggplant but for the eggplant meat balls they are cut into cubes and cooked in the skillet.  Great flavor!  I am getting several from each plant, having been harvesting for maybe 6 weeks?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Garden Favorites Part 3

This year I tried a tomato seed that is said to be early and somewhat cold tolerant.  If I would have had a normal season to start with I could be more confident about a review.  However, what I saw it endure from start to finish is impressive and so I will give this one another season to see how it does under more favorable conditions.

Here's the info on the variety:

This is the tomato you've been hearing about! Early, dependable, firm, juicy, small to medium size fruit. Northwest home gardeners have been raving about this early variety. 3 to 4 foot bush with unusual potato like foliage. Approximately 60 days from transplant.

Special Directions for Short Season Climates

SOWING: Start seeds indoors, in pots, trays or flats in a warm room with plenty of bright light. Water with warm water. Cover with 1/8 inch fine soil.
THINNING: Thin when plants are about 2 inches tall. Individuality pot or space 3 inches apart in flats.
TRANSPLANTING: Plant outdoors in May, when all danger of frost has passed.
SPACING: Leave 24 to 36 inches between plants.
GERMINATION: Approximately 1 to 2 weeks in the home. Keep soil moderately moist during germination.

Ed's Special Advice

Plant in full sun. If possible, against a south or west wall or fence where sun reflection will provide additional heat. Black plastic at base of plants or a tire placed on the soil will also help provide heat for earlier ripening. Fertilize monthly and water deeply when dry.
Organic Certification by Washington State Department of Agriculture

My plants survived a late frost in June.  They stopped growing for a while. Then they got skinny.  They started out with a nice thick stem though.  We got a few small tomatoes in July.  Mild flavor.
I read people's reviews and they were mixed regarding flavor.  Mine weren't tasting like a beef steak but way better than grocery store offerings are in the spring!  I'm giving them another try.

Thursday, September 4, 2014


So much to do before the wedding!  No gardening until next week.