Saturday, September 04, 2004

you say tomato

The common tomato, from the natural order Solanaceae and the genus Lycopersicum...also goes by the name Wolf-peach, Love Apple and Pomidor. I have been spending many hours with this South American Fruit. I am glad that another season is coming to a close. I am tired of tomatoes, but I know I will be glad that I did this. Months from now, when the snow is blowing, I shall open a jar of summer goodness, and make plans for next years crop.

Overall, this was not the best year for tomato growing. We set records for rainfall, and cool temps..and because abundant and unobstructed sunlight is essential for the development of quality "maters", I have had better results in years past. A bad growing season also makes it difficult to determine the success of the individual varieties that I tried for the first time. But, I shall do the rating anyway.

Burpee 4th of July
Was not ready by the 4th, more like the 21st. Small and tasty, and the first garden tomato of the season. Not growing this next year.

Roma VF Hybrid
Very meaty, but small. Taste was OK. Good yields..not growing next year.
Thai Pink Egg
A big disappointment! They were slow to grow, small and tasteless. No go for next year.
Blonde Kopfchen
A big success! This was a beautiful size and flavor. Nice color and grew like a champ even in the poor conditions. The roma type grows in a cluster vine like the six pack. Will be saving the seed and growing this next year.
Monte Verde
Successful plants that just keep producing nice large and firm table tomatoes. Not a one of them split, even will all the rain.
Golden Jubilee
Beautiful plants and bright dark yellow/orange fruit that looks better than it tastes. Very attractive on the plate alongside other heirlooms.
Now I know why these are one wants to grow them. They have very almost mis-shapen fruits with splits and stitching. The inside is a red flesh, but rather bland taste (could just be all the rain.)
Juliet Grape
Very tasty, abundant flowers and fruits...almost the size of a roma.

One last note here ...about yields. This year I was way below normal. I grew over 50 plants, but only managed to harvest about a bushel and a half. A bushel weighs approx 53 pounds, and I should be harvesting about 120 pounds (or close to 2 bushels) from the 50 plants. This averages out to 60 quarts or 15 gallons. This would be the amount needed for one person to have 1 cup of sauce (or juice) 7 times a week for 36 weeks.

So, I have pulled the vines, and put all the canning equipment away for another season, and stocked the pantry shelves (schwew)..and hey, I have my own supply of lycopene to last the winter...and I could not have done it without my SQUEEZO!

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