Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Have you eaten a Golden Delicious apple lately? Don't worry, I'm not giving up my passion for tomatoes for apples...but I happened to enjoy a golden Delicious in the car on the way to work today. And to be honest - it was delicious! Usually I follow my protein shake with a Fuji but in a nostalgic moment at the market the other day I bought Goldens instead. I think it was the only kind of variety my Mom ever gave us. My apple this morning was sweet, juicy and crisp. It was a delight. Of course, it was not as delightful as my prebreakfast snack out in the yard...

I headed out to the garden to harvest some tomatoes before the big rainstorm hit. It obviously had rained a bit overnight. It was balmy and a little breezy. The grass and leaves were bright green and glistened in the sunshine. Little drops of rain dripped off rose petals. The smell was fresh and alive. The tomatoes had been washed and looked happy and shiny and oh so ready for picking. It was glorious!

I surveyed all of the plants before plucking several handfuls of tomatoes. There are seven or eight huge green Neve's Azorean Reds. I hope the weather will remain steady and give them time to ripen. Morado and Orange Strawberry produced several ripe tomatoes this week and there were more to pick this morning. Persimmon, one of the first to produce earlier in the summer is giving me a second round of big, orange, sweet fruit. Jetsetter and Copia, as always, have many ripe tomatoes that don't seem to mind being left on the plants until I need them. The Sungold Cherries are still delicious and sweet and provide an abundance of little gems. White Cherry seems to be getting ready to give forth huge numbers of delicious berries. There are so many tomatoes on the plant but they still have a little green and are too firm to enjoy.

With my heart feeling happy I picked enough Sungold Cherries to satisfy my morning craving and a host of others for making a pot of soup this chilly evening. Someone told me that at the end of the week the rain will be gone and the weather forecast is for 87 degrees on Friday. I picked a few more to make Gazpacho for the hot weather.

I love growing tomatoes for so many reasons but today it's because there seem to be tomatoes for all seasons.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

As the weather changes, mornings are cool and warm afternoon sunshine gives way to chilly evenings. This all happens way too quickly for me. I know a lot of tomato growers who have pulled out their plants and put in winter vegetables. I'm still harvesting, making panzanella and gazpacho and comparing tastes and textures of the many tomatoes I grow. I will admit that it's the cherry varieties that continue to give the best flavor. But that doesn't mean the medium and larger tomatoes should be ignored.

Today I tasted Golden Jubilee, Barnes Mountain Yellow and Amazon Chocolate. Golden Jubilee is a tomato that I planted late in the summer as an experiment. I wanted to see how it would do as summer gave way to fall. It has produced one tomato so far, a small golden fruit that was a bit too tart for my taste. Amazon chocolate was quite tasty. It's a pretty, red, oval shaped tomato with subtle yellow feathering on the skin. It tasted good and fairly mellow. It would be nice in a salad but it's nothing special. Barnes Mountain Yellow is one of the prettiest tomatoes I've seen but I don't know what it's called yellow...it's a deep orange tomato, a bit flat on the top and has beautiful bright green stripes. This tomato definitely gets a Wow! The taste of this tomato is deep and rich, much like it's coloring. It's got a true tomato taste with just the right amount of acidity. Sometimes it's really nice to know just what you're going to get - no surprise, no mystery...the skin of this tomato tells you just what to expect and it definitely doesn't disappoint.