"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tomato To Tomato

I am down to my last three "fresh" Burpee Long Keeper tomatoes. The last couple of years I have been working on getting my tomatoes to last longer in storage. Saving the seeds of this particular tomato has helped it adapt to our climate and conditions, last year this tomato kept until my first new ripe ones appeared at the end of June. I sat down and ate it with the first ripe one, it was a triumphant moment as I had been working towards this for years.

Unfortunately most of this year's crop ended up as sauce or frozen whole due to much smaller production. We shoot for about 1500 medium to full size tomatoes off of about 45 - 50 plants, and that easily puts us in fresh, frozen, dried and sauce tomatoes for the year, the total for this year was around 600.

When hail and wind storms devastated our gardens in July it was too late to replant tomatoes as we did with many other crops. So We had to cut them back and let them regrow, most of the indeterminate ones survived but only put out half as many tomatoes as normal. Many of our determinate plants died.

Determinate tomatoes, or "bush" tomatoes, stop growing when fruit sets on the top bud. Most of their crop ripens near the same time. Indeterminate tomatoes are vining and will grow and keep producing until the first frost does them in. They will set fruit throughout the growing season, and are our favorite type of tomato plants.

Burpee Long Keeper is a semi-determinate plant. They are of small to medium size thick skinned and orange-red color when ripe. Definitely not the most tasty or beautiful tomato but if you want to have a great keeper this one gets an A+ from me.

If someone else has a good keeper, please do tell?


deborah said...

Thanks for this informative post. I haven't tried the Long Keeper you mention. Sounds like you got great results, despite the awful gardening year. 2008 was a nasty gardening year here in Minnesota too. It stayed cool through June and when it did warm up, mother Nature sent us one violent storm after another. I guess you just throw your hands up, reap what you can, and start planning for next year. Needless to say, I am super excited for 2009! I enjoy your blog very much. Thanks.

Mr. H said...

Hello Deborah,
I will have to pop over to your blog and take a look also. Zone 3, wow you do have it tough over in Minnesota. We realized years ago that there will always be something that goes wrong and to just dig in and fight back...but I am definitely ready for spring 2009 and a new start.

Thanks for stopping by

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