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  • Archive for the ‘Vegetable and Fruit Portraits’ Category

    A few tomato portraits from this season. It’s been a few years since I’ve taken fruit and vegetable portraits—err, looks like I filed a kombucha post in the wrong category as you will see if you click through that—and I got around to doing a few one day before canning a few weekends ago. Hopefully I can get out and do some more this summer!

    60
    Togo Trifle/Togo Trefle: These tomatoes have been fairly prolific this season but they have also been targeted heavily by the leaf footed bugs and as such I’ve had a ton of them rotting on the vine because of those pesky insects.

    58
    Rutgers: This tomato isn’t super special looks-wise but it does taste good and does make an easy tomato for blanching, peeling, and canning

    56
    Paul Robeson: Another tomato suited for canning, this one tastes good and has been the more prolific dark or chocolate type varieties in the garden this spring.

    54
    Cherokee Purple: I have not been getting many of these as I would have hoped for this season. In fact, most of the beefsteaks have under-performed this season.

    53
    Arkansas Traveler: This is looking a little more red than pink and I’ve not been getting many of them, either.

    55
    Pattison squash: Before the squash vine borers got to town on the squash vines I was able to get two squash off the vines. They are storing well on our cabinet and we’ll eat them soon.

    22

    21

    I started making kombucha in August of 2013 (and side note to that post: A 10pm run to Walgreens for sugar? Oh man, I miss those days of randomly running out to the store at weird hours. That *does not* happen now with a toddler. Making kombucha at 10pm also does not happen!) and I’ve kept it up on and off in the years since. Brewing and drinking kombucha is definitely cyclical, with months of being very interested in having the drink around and other months where the batch sits in the closet just hanging out until I’m in the mood for a new batch.

    For those months that the brew just hangs out, the batch becomes very fermented and basically turns into a vinegar. Some people will take this vinegar and turn it into salad dressings but others will turn it into a shrub. Shrubs are typically made with drinking vinegar, like a high quality apple cider vinegar, but there are now recipes and variations for kombucha shrubs. Google will get you several recipes to get ideas but I gleaned my idea from the Cultures of Health blog.

    Since we’re still flush with fresh blackberries from the garden I took a generous handful of blackberries and put them in a bowl with about a 1/2 c of sugar, smooshing it all together with a fork and then let it sit for 5-10 minutes. I then put that mixture into a quart Ball jar and filled the jar with my overfermented kombucha, put a cap on it and then put it in the fridge for about four days. On the way home from work I picked up a bottle of club soda and tested out my drink one evening before dinner.

    I used a fancy wine glass for effect and mood, pouring about a 1/4-1/2 c of the shrub in the glass with another 1/2 c of club soda. I was very pleased with the results: a slight tangy flavor with just the right amount of sweet for a great refreshing summer drink. You could switch out the club soda for rum or maybe vodka if you want to go with some alcohol; I’m even thinking the right white wine might even be good for this mixture.

    If you want to try a more traditional vinegar shrub you should check out Lisa’s rhubarb syrup shrub recipe she just posted!

    eggplants_map

    If there is one thing about eggplant, it is that you can easily have too many! We grew all of these varieties last year, actually another one that keeled over before harvest, but I concluded one or two plants will suffice next year. I saved seeds from I think most of them, either that or we had some leftover, but nonetheless eggplants in moderation.

    whitestarhybrid_1
    White Star Hybrid
    These were pretty neat in that you could really tell that they were ripe/overripe as they turned yellow or dark orange, in addition to becoming rock hard. Not an edible stage!

    rosita2_1
    Rosita
    This size eggplant worked great for eggplant parm sandwiches.

    listadadigandia_1
    Listada di Gandia

    fondmay_1
    Fond May

    aswad_1
    Aswad
    The Baker Creek catalog shows just how big these can get!

    antigua_1
    And finally Antigua.

    Chinese Mosaic Beans

    Chinese Mosaic Beans

    I think we got these seeds from Baker Creek last year and they preformed very well for us. The best part is that you can easily make more out of handful of beans by cutting them in half. We will definitely be growing them again next year.

    Green Tomato...likely Amazon Chocolate or Cherokee Purple.

    Green Tomato...likely Amazon Chocolate or Cherokee Purple

    It’s been awhile since I did any of these portraits. I took a lot of photos like this of our harvest last spring and summer but then we moved to the house and life got a little bit hectic. Now I am taking this week to process a lot of older photos and get both this website and Wildscape Photo updated a bit. With the Wildscape update I’m going to include a garden section where you can see some of these fruit and vegetable portraits.

    Several months ago Chris pre-ordered some canvas—-can’t remember the company at the moment—with the intent of having some of these fruit and veggies on the canvas and put in our kitchen. We need to paint the kitchen too but I thought I might as well get onto the processing part of the photos so we can get the ball rolling.

    I’m not sure which variety of tomato this is. By the looks of it I’m guessing Amazon Chocolate or Cherokee Purple as they are both heavy, full bodied fruits, and we grew those last year.

    I can’t wait until May—tomato season!

    yellowpear1

    yellowpear2

    yellowpear

    I have to say that these are going down as one of the most prolific tomatoes I have ever grown. They are giving my sungolds a run for their money on abundance. Last night I was picking the golden fruits off the vines in the last bits of light before dusk, I was reminded of black plum tomatoes that I grew in Florida. The shape is different but I was instantly missing my seeds and tomatoes from then.

    It really is interesting growing tomatoes in a different climate. If I were in Florida still, the vines would have been ripped up for about a month now, or at the very latest ripping them up now. They would be ratty, worn figures of their former selves. Chel was recently lamenting the onslaught of heat, humidity and rain in SW Florida—and oh, I remember that. I’m just waiting for mine to set in. I don’t think we’ll get the rain she does, but we’re semi-coastal so I think our humidity will be quite nasty with chances for afternoon thunderstorms likely on occasion.

    I saved some seeds from the yellow pears yesterday, along with a few sungold and Cherokee purple. I think seed saving is almost as much fun as harvesting the fruit! (That’s another post in itself later on.)

    sumter1

    sumter2

    I’m starting a new series of portraits of the vegetables and fruits I harvest out of the garden. Hopefully I can make it a weekly series!

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