Monday, August 24, 2009

Today is the day that I dread every summer...I know it will come because it does every year but it's always a little heart wrenching. Every morning I go outside to check on the tomato plants. If the leaves are drooping in the morning it means they need water. If they look perky and upright before 10 am I know not to turn on the hose - no matter how they may look in the afternoon! This morning the plants looked great. They're happy, as I am, that the gray mornings seem to be a thing of the past. As I reached into a Sungold Cherry to take my first bite of the day I noticed something on the ground. It looked like bunches of small black beads. If you're a needlepointer, as I am, you know exactly how it looked. After all these years I know that this can only mean one thing...that the dreaded Hornworm has arrived in my garden. Sure enough, I found the stem that had once been lush with leaves completely bare. That was all the confirmation I needed and so the search began. It took some time but the small green worm that so perfectly matched the color of the leaves was discovered and done away with.

Tonight I sampled three tomatoes - Persimmon, Black Krim, and Copia. Copia is multi colored, more spotty than a smooth blending of colors. I expected this tomato to have a smooth flavor but was really quite surprised. It's not overly acidic but there's definitely a tartness when you first take a bite. The flavor mellows in your mouth but the seed sacs are quite watery so I didn't love this one. Black Krim, which I tried and didn't like last week, remains the same. I guess it could be good in salsa but it's a huge plant with small tomatoes that become over ripe way too quickly. As far as I'm concerned it's a waste of prime garden real estate. By now you've probably guessed that Persimmon is today's favorite. Persimmon is a beautiful, large, orange, smooth-skinned tomato - it's really quite attractive. They hold their shape and firmness well. Inside, the meat is solid and dense and you get a lot of flavor with not too much seed. There's enough acid to know you're eating a tomato and just the right amount of sugar to make it delicious. It's a perfect balance of flavor.

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