colorful edible beauties
I don’t know how many people grew up with fruit compote as a staple of their diet. My grandparents made it throughout the summer to preserve fruit for the winter months. My grandmother’s apricot compote was so good I still dream about it on occasion. Read more…
I gingerly stepped out the door and a blast of cold air threw me back in. It’s February. So much for my gardening enthusiasm, I guess I can stick to potpourri and fragrant sachets for now but since late winter is a good time for tree planting, let’s talk about fruit trees. Read more…
Peppers, like all vegetables, like a warm, sunny spot (at least 8 hours of full sun exposure) with good loamy soil and plenty of water. These plants were started indoors in February and transplanted to the garden after April 21, the date of last frost in zone 5. Bell Pepper plants will produce about a dozen fruits on a plant during the growing season. As you probably know, green peppers are just red or yellow peppers that are not yet ripened. So, if you want colorful veggies to grace your dinner table, just wait a little longer.
Bell Peppers, especially the red, yellow and orange ones, are high in fiber and excellent sources of vitamins A and C. Eat them raw during the growing season and can some for the winter. Please check out the “Art of Preserves” section this fall for pepper pickling recipes.
Tomatoes are by far the most cultivated edible and they are fruit, not vegetables. There are two ways to categorize tomatoes. First, they can be determinate (shorter, stockier types that don’t need staking, take a shorter time to bear fruit and produce all the yield more or less at the same time; they are good for tomato sauce and canning), and indeterminate (take about 80 days to produce fruit, they are tall and need to be staked, and produce small yields all summer long. They are sweeter and more flavorful and are great eaten raw). The second way to categorize tomatoes is open pollinated( will produce identical offspring with the parents) and hybrid varieties (the flowers do not consistently produce offspring that maintains the parent qualities).
Without further ado, here are some popular, high yield varieties of tomatoes:
Beefsteak (shown here) – Indeterminate, hybrid. The largest tomatoes, some weigh up to a pound. Perfect slicing tomatoes for sandwiches. Very productive.
Gardener’s delight – Indeterminate, open pollinated cherry tomatoes. Small but very sweet fruits. Children love them. Very productive.
Better Boy – Indeterminate, hybrid. Large, very high yield tasty slicing tomatoes.
Sungold – Indeterminate, hybrid. Orange productive and tasty cherry tomatoes.
Brandywine – Indeterminate, open pollinated. Meaty sandwich tomato, tasty and productive.
Early Girl – Indeterminate, hybrid. Very sweet, prone to cracking in the rain.