Tomatoes 2006

Amish Paste

I will have it be known to all that I killed a mosquito in our kitchen this morning. Yep; 12/14/06, and global warming is a theory.

I have wondered how I would review the vegetables, and it struck me that I could adopt the Academy Awards format. Too hokey, certainly; though in many people’s gardens, tomatoes ARE the best actors or even the best picture.

Well. My notes say I planted 7 types of tomatoes from seed, and one tomato from an extra plant my mom had. In general, this was a very wet year, and we also had a cool spring; all this means that tomatoes took a while longer to ripen. I harvested our first small tomatoes the last week of July, but the first big ones didn’t ripen for another week or more…and the chickens nabbed my first harvest. Little buggers. I fixed them, though.

So here’s the list, from small to big:
Black Cherry (Baker Creek, ’05 seeds). Heirloom, purple, prolific, tasty. Also known around here as Pox On Your House, as these were the only volunteers I found, and I found them in EVERY bed (compost not hot enough, I guess)
Riesentraube (Baker Creek, ’06 seeds). “Giant bunch of grapes” red, nippled tomatoes; good sweet salad tomatoes; small plants, small leaves.
Sweet 1000s cherry: random plant. Somewhat thick skin, orange-ish, very prolific; not as tasty as the above two.
Green Zebra (Baker Creek, ’05 seeds). Best fresh tomato; heirloom, know it’s ready when it gets yellow shoulders. Fussy plant, not terribly prolific, but worth it.
Amish Paste (Baker Creek, ’06 seeds). Plum-like, fleshy paste tomato. Very prolific, somewhat uniform fruit; tends to ripen all at once so be prepared.
Striped Romans (Baker Creek, ’05 seed). Beauty queen winner; elongated, thick-ish skin, fussy heirloom. Will get blossom end rot if conditions not ideal (mulch is the answer). This is the “Oooo” fruit to impress the guests; easy to peel and can.
Hillbilly Potato Leaf/Flame (Baker Creek, ’05 seed). Big beauty that can crack at the shoulders if it gets dry. Cut it open and it is beyond gorgeous. I made lots of salsa with this and the Green Zebras for my kid’s school (so that is a LOT of salsa); quite tasty.
Brandywine (Baker Creek, ’06 seed). THE heirloom. Big, thick, pink tomatoes; my largest one weighed in over a pound. Quite tasty, too. Like all large tomatoes, prone to cracking and catfacing; watch their water when they’re plumping up.

I always wonder why I plant large tomatoes at about the time when it seems like they’re taking forever to pinken up, but then, when they’re all coming in (at once, it seems) I wonder why the hell I plant small tomatoes. I can’t win, in other words.

The tomatoes were planted out with a half scoop of well-rotted sheep manure in their holes, and they were planted next to 2x2x8′ posts. I lost my first batch to our ridiculously late frost. Once the second batch took hold, I put compost on them up to their shoulders, and compost (about a double handful) on each plant once more toward bloom set in mid-July. I mulched first with straw, then with grass clippings once the season went on. My other tricks this year were to plant Genovese basil in the middle of the plants: it didn’t bolt once the tomatoes blocked their light, so I always had some on hand. I also planted vining nasturtiums on the beds’ perimeter to act as a type of green mulch. The nasturtiums climbed the plants and made a colorful display. My watering schedule was nil after the 2nd week of July, but I had watered plenty to get the plants going.

Next year? Who knows. There’ll always be tomatoes around here, though.

5 responses to “Tomatoes 2006

  1. The County Clerk

    when did you harvest these?


    These look good.

  2. Is anyone else having problems posting comments? Let me know (and thanks, meresy-g). I am wondering if it is a beta blogger thing.

    thanks all
    fastweedpuller at gmail dot com

  3. I like the tomato review. It’s made me hungry for a nice, sun ripened, juicy heirloom tomato like Brandywine, right now!

    (P.S. – comments seem to be working now)

  4. I always grow Amish Paste. I love them. I grew Reisentraube this year for the first time. Wildly prolific. Lots for the chickens who were very appreciative. Blondkuchen (sp?) is a german heirloom cherry tomato that I grew this year for the first time that was also wildly prolific. Tons of tiny yellow tomatoes.

  5. I think blogger beta stinks. At least for those of us on dial-up. It’s going to get to the point where all the fancy programs are the norm and suckers like me won’t get to use the internets. sigh.

    Anyway, love your ‘mater review. You already know how I feel about those thick-skinned Striped Romans. Beautiful, though.

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