16 June 2010

Tomato Crop for 2010

Last year Lewis and I fell in love with heirloom tomatoes. Their smell and taste! Like tomatoes are supposed to be, like the tomatoes our grandparents grew up with. Not your grocery store variety, although we have seen a tiny selection of "ugly tomatoes" at our local Giant. And we were able to pick up some at a local roadside stand last summer.

The guy at my local nursery gave me a few sad tomato plants at the end of their selling season last summer. I nursed them and they produced a few fruits. They were amazing, and even planted beside my usual standby varieties like "better boy", the heirloom varieties did not suffer from the tomato blight like the hybrids. I think we had a "black heirloom", "green zebra", something small and yellow whose name I've forgotten (maybe lemon?) and a "Cherokee purple". I think we liked the flavor of the black tomato best (it isn't really black, just a dark purple) and it is a very meaty tomato. Maybe they aren't all heirlooms, but they are certainly flavorful and unusual.

There were so many varieties to choose from this year, and I kind of went overboard, buying 7 different kinds of tomatoes.

Burgess Stuffer
Cherokee Purple
Yellow Pear
Green Zebra
White Beauty
Black Heirloom

I'll post each one as we try them and note what we like about them. This will also help me make better (or more) selections next year.

One thing I skipped this year is my usual "sweet millions" which is a super sweet cherry tomato. I have several dozen volunteers coming up here and there and I'm sure at least one of them will turn out to be a "sweet millions". We usually have more fruit from them than we know what to do with anyway. I can always pop them into one of the large planters and keep them on the edge of the porch or beside Oli's door. I left room in each bed next to the door because Oli- and his rope- are usually pretty rough on the plants closest to the door!

I was extremely tempted by the Tomato Chocolate Cherry from the Park Seed catalog that arrived in late winter, but I knew I wouldn't be starting seeds this year, so I refrained. Maybe next year...

Here are my first two tomatoes, "tigerella":
I'm really looking forward to all the blt sandwiches we'll have for dinner this summer!


Di said...

My daughter gave me Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" book for Christmas, which then got me interested in heirloom varieties. I ordered tomato and pepper seeds from the Seed Savers Exchange and like you, I went a little beserk. But, oh, homegrown tomatoes are soooo good.

Have fun growing, eating and canning your tomatoes!

Donna said...

Chocolate cherry tomatoes are great. I love Black Krim tomatoes, they are the best tomaotoes for a BLT.