Saturday, August 31, 2013

Heirloom Tomatoes and Melrose Peppers

It's Harvest Time!

I've been waiting for months to sink my teeth into this summer favorite fresh from the garden. THIS is the reason I patiently grow my heirloom tomatoes. NOTHING can compare to the taste and texture of these meaty, flavorful treasures. Of course, they seem to take forever. Mine grow very tall (7 ft.) and produce about 7-10 tomatoes. But, I grow mine in pots (large pots) so perhaps that is affecting the growth habit. This particular variety is called MORTGAGE BUSTER. Excellent. My all time favorite is MR. STRIPEY. Both varieties are full of sweet flavor and slice up beautifully. The texture is firm, solid and never, ever goopy like grocery store tomatoes.
For this tasty treat I sliced a bagel into three thin slices. Butter, a little garlic powder...pop it under the broiler. Once toasty brown I add a slice of tomato heaven and a slice of mozzarella and put it back under the broiler for a few seconds to melt the mozzarella just a bit. Finally, I top it with fresh basil (grown in a pot right next to the tomatoes, of course) and a sprinkle of balsamic vinaigrette. Have I died and gone to heaven?
Melrose Peppers
Well if all that tomato heaven wasn't enough I now have a new favorite pepper growing in my garden. Remember, my vegetable garden is grown in large pots, so I usually choose varieties that I think will do well in pots. I had read a lot about these Italian favorites and was excited to share them with my pepper-loving Italian hubby. I had no idea they would be so PROLIFIC, CAREFREE and DELICIOUS. I have probably harvested about a dozen 4" peppers from each plant and they just keep going and going.....They can be eaten green or red. They can be stuffed, sauteed or used in salads. They are SO MUCH BETTER than regular sweet peppers. Why doesn't everybody grow these? Probably because, like me, they never heard of them...till now. By all means, get yourself some Melrose peppers and enjoy! They are not as thick as regular sweet peppers and when you cook them they don't get mushy and tasteless. They hold the flavor and remain relatively sturdy when cooked. Great for stuffing. I found this tempting recipe online
I don't want to have to enjoy these merely once a year so I have strung a few dozen of them and hung them to dry for more sauteed peppers in the chilly months ahead!


  1. I know this is an old post, but I am taking a chance. You seem to have had much luck with these! :-) I'm going to start the seeds soon and was wondering when it's time to put into many little plants should I plant together. What size pot, etc. Any advice? Thanks!!!

    1. Christine,
      I know you will enjoy growing your own Melrose peppers. I am just starting my seeds as well. I live in the Midwest zone 5. I upgrade the pot size every few weeks until the plant is about 5 inches tall. Then I put one plant in a 12" pot or 2 plants in a 20" pot. I often stake them as they will grow about 2 ft. tall with loads of peppers.

    2. If you are referring to tomatoes, I usually plant one plant in an 18 to 20" pot. I make sure to use high quality potting soil mixed with about 20% compost from my compost pile. I fertilize with liquid fertilizer every 2 or 3 weeks. I try not to let the soil get too dry because then when I water heavily the tomato skins often split/crack due to too much water uptake too fast. I remove the lower leaves when they start to yellow.


Thank you for your comment/inquiry. I moderate comments before posting them. If you have an inquiry that requires a response please include your email address (I do not post inquiries or your email address).