SEED TO TABLE SERIES - PART 3
Summer brings the best and brightest of the garden into our kitchen! Whether you choose your favorites from the farmer's market or pick them fresh from your own garden, here are some great harvesting tips from our Master Gardener Daphne and a few of our favorite summertime recipes.
Pour a glass of your favorite Round Pond wine, and let's get cooking!
Tips on Harvesting Your Summer Bounty From
Master Gardner Daphne Blackmer
When harvesting your tomatoes, you want to wait until the fruit is fully colored and still firm to the touch. Did you know that a green/unripe tomato, if fully formed in shape, will ripen off the vine? Just leave on your kitchen counter until its ripened to the desired color.
Our Favorite Summer Tomato Recipes:
All peppers actually start out green. Sweet Peppers come in many varieties and colors; try to pick them when they're firm and have turned the appropriate color (i.e., pick a red bell pepper when it's red). For hot peppers, the longer they stay on the plant the hotter they will become. The heat of all peppers is mainly found in the seed and membranes within the pepper, and if removed, you can enjoy the flavor of the fruit itself.
* Padron Peppers are a very popular hot pepper that is traditionally harvested when the peppers are still sweet and small (no more than 2 inches in length).
Our Favorite Summer Pepper Recipes:
Squash and Zucchini come in many different sizes. The larger they get, the tougher the texture becomes. If you have really large squash on the vine, just make sure to pick it off anyway to encourage more fruit production. Try harvesting squash blossoms for a fun appetizer!
Our Favorite Summer Squash Recipes:
There are a few things to look for when harvesting eggplant in order to know if it's ready. The skin should show full color, should be firm and tight, have a nice reflective sheen to it, and the seeds inside should be fully produced. For optimal flavor, we recommend the size being a bit larger than your hand, but not overly so. To avoid harvesting your eggplant when immature, it helps to harvest just one and cut it open to see the seed production before you move on to all the others.
Our Favorite Summer Eggplant Recipes:
- Grilled Eggplant, Tomatoes & Mozzarella
- Baked Eggplant with Spicy Orange Syrup
- Grilled Eggplant Dip & Niçoise Olive Dip
To lengthen the season of your basil plant, we recommend constantly snipping the flower buds off, to prevent the plant "going to seed". To harvest, simply cut the top sections of the leaves off the stem. If you harvest your basil leaves regularly through the season, it will encourage new leaf growth and you will get the most of your crop!
Our Favorite Summer Basil Recipes:
Always harvest your ears of corn from the lowest section of each stalk - lowest to highest. The silks at the top of the corn will help indicate when to harvest; they should be an ombré starting with white and ending with a golden/brown. Cut the full ear off at the base, and strip away the leaves and silks to enjoy your delicious corn.
We always recommend subsequent planting of corn to extend the harvest all summer long. Corn usually germinates in 5 to 12 days, so depending on the variety and the soil temperature - the best soil temperature being 68-86 degrees Fahrenheit - plant approximately 3 weeks apart for a continuous supply.
Our Favorite Summer Corn Recipes:
We hope that you enjoyed our SEED TO TABLE series!