Monday, August 8, 2011

Yes, We Have Some Tomatoes!

 My First Tomatoes!

Finally, almost exactly one month late, the first tomatoes are ripening!  I have nine varieties and a total of 27 plants.  Some get only 2' tall and others, over eight feet tall.  Some are Black.
Many are purple, some yellow, orange, and of course, some are red.
   At the moment most are green.  The weather is good now, better than most of the country, low '80's every day, but it took a long time getting here.  One of the coldest, wettest Springs on record.  I lost two plants to early blight and chopped branches off others to try to save them.
   Can you imagine the anxiety in being a farmer?  Too wet, too dry, too cold, too hot, seldom "just right".
   A lot of the tomatoes for the fresh market are grown in greenhouses these days.  They can be grown in Iceland now!
There is something about the warmth from the Sun, how that marries into a tomato to offer the perfect fruit. 
   Tomatoes are related to potatoes and are part of the "deadly nightshade family"!  Such sweetness from a plant thought to be poison!  A native of South America, the world didn't know much about tomatoes until the 19th Century.  I feel sorry for the Kings and Queens that never had a "BLT"!
or just a tomato and cheese sandwich.
   I like the color combination of my different varieties, makes salsa pretty and each color is a different flavor.
August tomatoes are the best.  It is the warmth at night that is important to the tomato.  I am hoping for a late Summer.  The cool Fall evenings can drain the flavor from a good tomato.

Tomatoes ready for the dryer!
   Until I discovered food dehydration and dried tomatoes I canned them all.
   Most commercial dried tomatoes are the same as store-bought tomatoes.  They are grown from a variety designed to ripen all at once and be picked by a machine.  Their genetics are for perfect roundness and firmness.  They are picked green and allowed to turn red in a room full of gas.  They never ripen, just turn red and have the bite of an apple.
   My tomatoes and my dried tomatoes have a full flavor that is difficult to believe.  You can do a million things with dried tomatoes but what I like best is just on a cracker with a piece of cheese and to give them away.
   It is one of those "art things", a gift that can't be bought.
More of my garden is HERE


SooZeQue said...

Those are gorgeous. Wish I could come over and have a little snack with you. Jars of those beauties in Olive Oil are to die for. I can only dream! Sadly it's so flippin hot here I don't do well with tomatoes. Lucky You, Jerry!

Ruby said...

Wow! What a wonderful harvest, and what a wonderful garden you must have. I have two tomatoe plants growing in planters on my balcony; they are just beginning to ripen.

Once upon a time, when I lived in a house and actually had a 'garden'; I would pick the last tomatoes green .... just before the first frost. I would then wrap them in 'newsprint' (the end of rolls obtained from newspaper publishers); tuck them away in a hamper basket in a cool are of basement .... and 'voila' ripe, red, juicy, tasty tomatoes from my garden in the dead cold of winter.

Thanks for sharing the photos of your garden; does wonders for my 'soul'.

Barbra Joan said...

Well thank you God for the tomatoes that finally got to Jerry, I think he was half a person waiting for those tomatoes.. Hooray, JC finally all is well with Jerrys world.
hugs, BJ

AutumnLeaves said...

Purple and black tomatoes? I am going to look them up and see what they look like! I also didn't know tomatoes were of the nightshade family. Full of interesting notes in this post, Jerry!

T.D.K. said...

I missed this one somehow. Beautiful, had no idea there were so many colors.