With the 110ºF temperatures we got in Boise last week, our watermelons and large indeterminate tomatoes ripened suddenly.
The watermelons we grew were developed in Northern Idaho in the 1970’s for the short growing season, an open-pollinated early maturing variety called ‘Blacktail Mountain’. The flesh is red and deliciously sweet. Personal size, average weight is 3-5 pounds each. See recipe below for Watermelon Lemonade. Our other melons are about 3 weeks away from being ready and ripe.
Indeterminate tomato varieties we are growing this year include:
1) ‘Cherokee Purple’, an old heirloom, beautiful, deep, dusky purple-pink color, complex sweet flavor, and very-large-sized fruit.
2) ‘OxHeart Pink’, mildly sweet with really nice flavorful meat. Good sliced or for making into sauce, few seeds. Large fruits weigh about a pound each.
3) ‘Ukrainian Purple’, another heirloom prized for its flavor and productivity. Purplish-pink flesh is sweet and meaty. Shaped like a Roma tomato, yet larger fruits. Used for salsa, sauces, fresh eating, and preserving. A personal favorite.
4) ‘Yellow Pear’ Cherry Tomatoes, bright yellow pear shaped fruits with old fashioned tomato flavor. The Yellow Pear is known to have been cultivated in Europe as far back as the 17th century.
5) ‘Purple Striped Bumble Bee’ Cherry Tomatoes, colorful and fun. A nice balance of acid and sweetness.
Our determinate canning tomatoes are just starting to ripen and will come on all at once in about two weeks. We separate out the larger canning tomatoes and sell them as slicers. The variety we chose this year for our canning tomatoes is ‘Burrell’s Special‘.
We had several request for Armenian Cucumbers last year, so this year we grew them. Long, slender fruits tastes like cucumbers and looks somewhat like a cucumber inside. It is actually a variety of muskmelon. The flesh is mild, very small/narrow seed cavity, doesn’t need peeling when picked young.
Also Currently Available-
Pickling Cucumbers: Taking orders for small size (2″-4″ for $2.25/lb.) and have a waiting list of about two weeks. Taking orders for medium size (4″-5″ for $1.50/lb.) and have a wait of about a week. Larger pickling cucumbers (over 5″ in length for 75¢/lb.) are available now, product on hand.
‘Persian’ Cucumbers: Large- 2 for $1.00, Small- $2.00/lb.
Summer Squash including green, yellow and round Zucchini: 85¢/lb.
Patty Pan Summer Squash: $1.50/lb.
Bunch Beets: $2.75
Garlic ‘Chesnok Red’ and ‘Early Italian’: $7.00/lb.
Fresh Herbs: Oregano, Marjoram, Sage, Tarragon, Rosemary, Chives, Feather Dill – all $1.50/bunch
Sweet Italian Basil: $2.00 a bunch
Jalapeño Chile Peppers: 15¢/each or $2.00/lb.
Cayenne Chile Peppers: 15¢/each or $4.00/lb.
Grape Leaves: 15¢/each. Cut on demand.
RECIPE : Watermelon Lemonade
- 2 – 5 pound watermelons, seeded and cubed
- 16 oz fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 – 1 cup sugar
Directions: Working in batches, in a food processor or blender, combine the watermelon and lemon juice. Cover and process/blend until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Transfer to a extra large pitcher (makes a gallon). Repeat with remaining watermelon and lemon juice. Stir in sugar, chill. Serve over ice if desired.
Until next time, -peace-