Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Pretty much the end of the tomato harvest

 

If you have stopped by recently, you will have seen the chopped tomatoes as my blog header. I've stewed and strained quite a few tomatoes in the past weeks, added a little tomato paste, and frozen them. I look forward to that taste of summer on my pasta this winter. We tried many new varieties this year - some heirlooms. They are so individual both in look and taste. Here is a pic I took a while back.

The ones on the front left are called Purple Cherokee, from seeds found on a Cherokee reservation. They just may be the best tasting tomatoes I've ever eaten. On the front right are Rose de Berne.They are a Swiss heirloom. We didn't get too many, but they were very delicious. On the yellow plate is a super producer with a terrific taste, Moskvich. Not an heirloom yet, but a great tomato from Russia. Not sure what the time table is for declaring a tomato is an heirloom. I think the Moskvich was developed in the 1970s. 

The yellowy orange one is Marmalade, not an heirloom. Great producer and such a beauty. It is really stunning in the garden.

The green and yellow ones are ripe. That is their color. The variety is Green Zebra. I always pronounce the name with the British "Zeb", not the American "Zee" because I first heard of it on Pie in the Sky, one of my most favorite television series. There is an episode where Henry Crabbe makes this delicious looking dish, stuffing a Green Zebra with bread crumbs, parsley, garlic, olive oil, and something else I think I'm forgetting. I was so looking forward to making it, but my Green Zebras just didn't get big enough this year.  Will try again next year (the gardener's motto). The first picture was taken today - maybe the last tomatoes of the season. The little one on the bottom with those grooves is called Costoluto Genovese, an Italian heirloom. What flavor, and I love the grooves - I just cut one section out and eat it! 

We've grown Peacevine cherry tomatoes for years. Next year we may try a few heirloom cherries, too. I bought quite a few from a local farm this summer, and the taste was out of this world. Here is a whimsical picture of them with my colorful bowls.

We did a few different things with our tomatoes this year - one was cutting all the shoots off except the main flowering ones. That was okay, except we didn't get nearly as many tomatoes as other years. Will go back to letting the side shoots flower, until later in the season. I'm always up for trying new ideas, but this one just didn't work out that well. Plus I missed the huge, tall plants we got before.

When I was a kid, I never ate tomatoes - not even tomato sauce. And these summer months, they are all I wanted to eat!

9 comments:

  1. Ours are still going but not for much longer I think. Some years they go on into November, we've even had one or two in December before now. Like you I've frozen loads and also made some into ratatouille which we eat with loads of things in the winter or just over pasta or as soup. Our favourite tomato this past two years has been a big red one like those two at the bottom of your first photo. The difference being that the crown of ours was purple not yellowy/green. So pretty and wonderful in sandwiches or baked in the oven. Like you we love our tomatoes in different colours so we've grown red, yellow and small purple ones this is year. We also always grow the Italian plum variety but for some reason the seeds didn't germinate this year. As you said, Nan, 'will try again next year'. Us gardeners have to be the most optimisic people on the planet. LOL!

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    1. What a lovely comment. Just like we are chatting as we stand over our gardens. I'd love to see pictures of yours.

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  2. Isn't it funny how the Brits say the letter "Z"? We had a poster of the alphabet for our son. The last box for the letters had Z going to bed! Said the British way, that rhymes. Now, I must remember that Purple Cherokee tomato, it looks so good! If it was anything like my black strawberry tomato, I bet you enjoyed the beauty of it too!

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    1. I know! There are so many differences in the languages.
      And I am looking forward to getting some of those black strawberry tomato seeds!

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  3. Tomatoes are a difficult crop here in Kentucky--where we have both early and late blight. We've tried various remedies and different types of tomatoes. I remember the tomato harvests of my Vermont garden with great nostalgia. On a happier note, the yield of butternut squash was bountiful this year, ripening before the dreaded grey squash bugs arrived. In the gardener's mind there is always 'next year.'

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    1. I am so surprised. I guess I kind of thought warm climates mean more tomatoes. I hear about tomato blight on British gardening shows, but I didn't know it was in this country. So much I don't know, even after all these years!! If you had a greenhouse, could you grow them there successfully?

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  4. Nan, I discovered Pie in the Sky this summer and gobbled it up! Funny, I kept thinking how familiar he looked and finally looked up his name and realized then that he was Harry Potter's mean uncle. So glad to have found him to be so lovable and charming in the mystery/chef series. I didn't catch the Zebra while watching it but enjoy confusing my husband by pronouncing words as the Brits do as I catch them while watching television shows or YouTube, every morning telling RH to be sure and take his vitamins, not pronounced with a long i. Or telling him we have an Amazon delivery, the "zon" not emphasized and so much prettier, and Monty's "Herbs" as a man's name.
    I keep seeing so many people naming Purple Cherokee as their favorite tomato now. Mine was always Beefsteak but we did harvest a few Purple Cherokees in our too-shady tomato patch last year and they were good. Alas, tomatoes have been set aside by me presently as I'm on a low potassium diet and I've had to go to substituting roasted red peppers for tomatoes in red sauce recipes. My most recent lab work showed potassium back in normal range but I'm still being careful to be on the safe side, preferring to add back in a little of the Rancho Gordo dried beans I love as my potassium fix for the week.

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    1. What a great comment! Like chatting in person!!
      He is so lovable! I just love the show. I watch it almost every year.
      God, I do the same thing with British pronunciations! My very first one happened in the 1970s after watching Fawlty Towers on TV. Believe it or not I had never heard of basil, the herb, and so when I did find out, I pronounced like the English say it. I had never heard it pronounced over here, and didn't for a long time, and I got completely used to the short "a" rather than the long "a". Another one that I use is for the plant Forsythia. Every one in the country says "fith" not the long "i". Well, from Gardeners' World, I found out Forsyth was a real guy and it is named after him. More here, if you are interested - https://owlcation.com/stem/Forsythia-Flowers-in-Spring-and-the-Botanist-William-Forsyth
      So of course I pronounce it the long "i" in honor of him!!
      Amazing about Purple Cherokee. I didn't realize so many people knew about it. Isn't it the best taste.
      Sad about the potassium. I wouldn't have it tested if it meant I couldn't eat tomatoes. I'd rather die happy. hahaha

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    2. I didn't know about forsythia but I love that and will add it! And I had forgotten about basil, I'll drive RH crazy with that one! Nan, I did splurge on a few little sweet tomatoes in my salad this week and nothing tastes better with a vinaigrette than tomatoes. And I miss potatoes so much that I'm going to try a suggested method of slicing them thin, boiling and then rinsing well and refrigerating for 24 hours and eating cold--I'm thinking that a little potato salad done that way might be safe and I miss it so much.

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