Friday, September 30, 2011

Holy tomatoes, part 2

We've had some rain and decidedly cooler temperatures here (it was 38 degrees when I left for work yesterday), so rather than lose all our tomatoes to rot or frost, I thought I'd pick 'em and see what happens.
It took me about an hour. Note to self(ves, since this also applies to Paul!): next time, properly truss the plants!! What were giant monsters are now flattened, sprawling monsters. Some of the main stems on a few of the plants are so thick and heavy that they creaked when I lifted them to look for fruits underneath.

My strategy was to pick everything with the slightest red tint (except those gone soft, which I pitched to the side), then the largest green fruits on each plant. I ended up with way more than I expected...and to think there are hundreds of decent green tomatoes still on the vines! I need to consult with Paul as to whether we'll pull in the smaller ones. We don't have the horizontal surfaces to let them all ripen in the house, and I really don't want to wrap each tomato in newspaper - as was recommended - and then unwrap and rewrap each time I need to check for spoilage and readiness. (One year I did pull entire plants and hang them upside down from the garage ceiling...but see, forgotten tomatoes ripen and then hit the floor like red bombs. Between that and all the dirt, it was a mess!)

The fact that these plants performed so well despite a summer very much like last year's, I will definitely be planting these same varieties next year. Now, if only I can find the tags we stuck in the ground. (For the record, I think we only got one ripe 'Cherokee Purple', and I'm not certain the 'Oregon Spring' performed this year, but that one did well before so I'd give it another chance.)

These are in various stages of ripening.

Nearly ripe...

Ready to eat!! (These caused Paul to say, "You know, tomatoes are one of my favorite fruits.")

Sungolds. These are always good...but man, what a beast of a determinate plant!


  1. We grow Stupice, Principe Borghese (or something like that) and romas/juliets every year, since I mostly use them for sauce & stewing.

    I wasn't terribly impressed by the Cherokee purples or the pineapples that I've grown in the past. They're big and beautiful, but the texture was BLEH.

    The Farmers Almanac says that I have until next Friday before we get a frost, but I think Sunday is going to be harvest-o-rama over here, just to be on the safe side. ;)

  2. Wow. That's a lot of tomatoes! We didn't get a single one this summer because of heat and drought. Enjoy!

  3. Oh, you have to try one of my very favorite recipes!!! The only thing that I change is to puree the tomatoes instead of chopping. It's kinda like a pumpkin spice cake. Mmm.


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