26 August 2014
Homegrown garden tomato harvest!
It is finally tomato season! HOORAY. The plants are all doing fairly well, even with limited watering.
These guys are Caspian Pinks, the same variety I grew last year. They're large, heavy pink heirlooms with some ribbing at the top and a lovely intense flavor. I got a few volunteer seedlings, transplanted two of them for reasonable spacing, and let them go to town.
Some of the blossoms bloom and then dry to a crisp immediately, but plenty of them go ahead and set fruit too. Considering how big these tomatoes tend to get -- both plants and fruit -- I'm fine with that. The flavor is worth it.
As you can see, they also tend to split a bit at the top. It's nothing too serious, though.
Evidently tomato splits are caused by lots of different things, from irregular watering to lack of calcium to lack of mulch. The shape of the varietal also makes a difference. I'm certainly guilty of irregular watering, since, you know, there's a drought, but I have plenty of calcium via eggshell soil supplements, and I mulched with cardboard, at least. In any case, the fruit is reasonably well yielding and delicious.
My two other tomato plants are new-to-me heirlooms from the farmer's market tomato guys. These are Dona tomatoes, which are evidently a standard in French markets and prized for their balance. They're medium-sized and a classic orangey-red, and are by far the most prolific tomato I have this year. Look at that huge cluster of fruit!
Most of these are not quite ripe yet, so I can't report back on their taste. I can say that the stakes and cage are intent on falling over at every single opportunity, however.
Next we have the Green Grape. Check out those striations!
This guy is a large grape tomato, maybe two inches long, that starts out green and ripens to gain a crown of orange stripes. Very nice. The fruit grows in smaller clusters, much like actual grapes.
They're excellent for snacking, but not as full-flavored as some other grape and cherry tomatoes I've tried. So the next best idea is to make all the tomato salad in the land. It's clearly time to cut a big handful of them in half, sprinkle with with salt, and go to town. And, of course, since they're so strikingly colored, they would be a perfect addition to a mixed tomato salad.
Tomorrow: the rest of the garden!