The 2011 Garden Results
From our little 20′ x 40′ plot – we harvested well over 2000 lbs. of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and zucchini! Not bad for our first year at the farm. Our tomatoes and peppers really took off in the raised bed system, and the Stake-A-Cage system allowed them to really grow up and produce. Mary commented more than once how much easier it is to pick with the cage not going all around the plants, and I was really happy with how strong the stakes stayed put. So many times in the past, I really had problems when just staking or caging tomatoes. With the stake, it was always so hard to be able to tie off and keep the plants growing vertical – and the cages just always seemed to grow right out of the ground with the plant and fall over – not to mention how hard it is to pick through them.
Our favorite producer of the tomatoes was the Roma and Celebrity. We really had huge yields from both and it certainly allowed us to can a record amount of pasta sauce, tomato juice and salsa. The Roma is just a great staple when canning sauces since it is so meaty, and the Celebrity was just a great slicing and canning tomato with a ton of fruit on each plant!
Of the peppers, the Cajun Belle really lived up to all of its hype. We had heard from many growers and nurseries that it was a great pepper to grow – and wow were they right! We had 6 plants in all – and each of them were just completely covered with well over 100 of the peppers. They are a great pepper to eat or stuff for appetizers. I guess the best way to describe the taste is somewhere between a sweet red pepper with a hint of heat. It will definitely make it into our garden again next year.
With all of the work we did this past spring on the farm in general – we didn’t get much of a chance to plant our early crops – so next year – we really hope to add to the salsa garden with more snap peas, green beans and some onions and potatoes.