Thursday, September 23, 2010

Meet the Tomatoes!

With such funny, mild weather this summer, it has taken until just the past few weeks for us to finally meet this season's tomatoes. 

the extended family

Back in April, when I planted the majority of the summer garden, I sowed seeds for nine tomato varieties directly into the upper bed.  Though I had planned to start seedlings and transplant, time lapsed (as it tends to do) and I skipped some steps and put the seeds straight into the ground.  The cotyledons sprouted quickly, and lovely strong plants followed.  We had huge, bushy plants for months with no fruit to speak of.  Slowly, at the end of August, the tomatoes finally started appearing.

Ox Hearts

Our only crop to get bloom end rot - not on all of them, but on enough.  I'd say good for saucing, but not the best eating tomato.  A little mealy.

Orange Fleshed Purple Smudge

The catalog described these as more beautiful than tasty.  Ours taste pretty good, but the beautiful swipe of  purple that's supposed to grace the top of the fruit has yet to show itself.
White Queen 

So delicious!  Firm, but fairly seedy.  Fruity, a nice touch of citrus, and really tasty.
Galo de Table

Yummy cherry.  A multi-colored variety.  They are ready to eat when they are yellow (firm and tangy), great at orange (sweet with good bite), and at orangey-red (very sweet and very juicy).
Emerald Green

This has been our most prolific thus far.  Really tasty and really large.  Sweet, but still nice and tangy.  The catalog mentions that they grow with ease and with relatively little heat - which has been true for us.
Black Cherries

So pretty and dusky colored.  Big producer with firm, rich-flavored fruit.  And delicious oven-dried.  (Thanks for the inspiration Livi and Steve!)
Amish Paste

I waited several years to finally get this variety.  I'd looked for seedlings at local nurseries and online, but they were always unavailable - at least when I was looking.  Part of settling on seed this year  was the impetus to finally have some Amish pastes. Totally worth it!  Not a great looking specimen, and not a great eating variety, but when it comes to making sauce this is holding up to the hype.  Big tomatoes, almost no seeds, great consistency and amazing, zingy flavor.

Of the nine different tomatoes that I planted, we are still waiting on two of them - they have plenty of fruit, but it's all still green.  Our giant German Red Strawberry was the first to ripen, but after that one ready fruit, the rest have stayed green.  Pink Ponderosa is also slow going. All of the seeds came from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds - which is one of the most fun, inviting, inspiring seed catalogs to peruse.  I definitely recommend indulging in a paper copy.

1 comment:

  1. They're all so pretty! And I'm glad to see there's someone else who just can't resist growing as many varieties of heirloom as possible. It's so easy to get carried away with a gorgeous seed catalog.