"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

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tomatoes

With the continuation of warm daytime temperatures and dry weather our tomatoes are finally starting to come into their own. Looks like the plants will produce a little better than I had originally thought if this warm weather holds out for another week or so. With hot days and clear cold nights frost has been showing itself in our bottom field so we will have to be diligent in watching the temperatures and pick all of the tomatoes ripe or not at the last minute as is usual for us this time of the year. Luckily our tomatoes are grown up the hill and under the protection of the trees which gives us a good 3-5°'s of leeway. Here are a few that I noticed on my way out of the garden last night.

Bursztyn is always a favorite with its very sweet yet tangy flavor.


Still waiting for Miracle of the Market to produce a ripe tomato but the fruits are filling out nicely. (Thanks Annie's Granny:)


Persey is another new to us variety (again, thanks to Annie's Granny) that has been performing well...we have been eating quite a few of these the past couple weeks.


Silvery Fir Tree continues to surprise us, the foliage is all but gone while the tomatoes finish ripening. Each plant of this variety I grew produced around 15 - 16 nice tomatoes...not bad for such a shrimpy little plant.

34 comments:

Mrs. Mac said...

I'm glad you mentioned about the frost factor .. I haven't given it much thought YET ;( I did see the other day a frost warning for the Kalispell area. Our tomato plants are ripening slowly .. we have a ton this year .. many from seeds from a kindly 'neighbor' ..

Mike said...

Your getting frost already! Wow, that's the early

Oxray Farm said...

We have some cold damage too on some of our tomatoes. I've taken to picking them orange-red, bringing them inside and putting them with some apples to aid the ripening process. UGH! Our weird hot/cold weather has also given me blossom end rot. Such a strange year.

The Silvery Fir is a great tomato! I have just one in a pot this year but last year they did better in the ground, so I'll do that for the 2012 garden year.

Dani said...

Mr H - I reckon that the only plant we could all NOT do without in our vegetable patches, is the tomato plant.

So versatile, so easy to prepare, and completely suitable for both winter and summer meals.

And yours look delicious :)

Mark Willis said...

All over the world, people seem to agree that the tomato is their favourite fruit / veg. What a versatile plant. And every blogger seems to write about yet more varieties that I have never heard of. There is just so much choice.

I'm hoping we have a few more weeks to go before we get our first frost, but this has been a strange year for weather, and anything could happen.

Jane said...

I think a fall freeze will be early for us too. I see the pony winter hair is coming on early and the mad dash of the wild animals to fatten up is in full swing. We all may have loads of green tomatoes adoring our counters soon. Glad your getting more than you thought.

johnnydesoto said...

Your tomatoes look perfect!

My tomato crop came early this year.The earliest maybe ever, and while I was disappointed to have to do all that preserving in July, it was all for the better. By early to mid August the rains came and ruined what was left of the crop. We had 6-13" regionally even before Irene which dumped another 6-10". And now Lee is finally moving past after dropping another 2-4". We even had showers in between. August was the wettest on record with an average of about 19", nearly half the total average rainfall for the year!

Anyway Black Prince did nicely but cracked heavily once the rains came. Eva Purple Ball produced perfect unblemished fruit that ripened slowly over a long period and kept well. I was impressed that it didn't seem very susceptible to bacterial spot and held its leaves all summer. I also also grew Amish Paste: held its leaves well but again very susceptible to cracking.

Flavor wasn't impressive with any of the above except black prince but it probably was the year.

Rafael said...

I note the names of these varieties that can rip in such cold conditions. I'm a little impressed, it does not look easy to grow tomatoes there ....

"Miracle of the markets" is an old early-mid French variety, quite rare here, I did not know it was grown in the United States:) Did you try "Marmande"? I think it ripes faster and it is delicious too.

I hope you still have more ripe tomatoes.

Mr. H. said...

Mrs. Mac - We usually get are first hard frost somewhere between the 15th of this month and the first week of October. I talked to a guy that lives in a cabin close to the lake the other day and he got frost in his yard a couple weeks ago...hopfully we will have another week or two of frost free conditions.

Mike - Frost in our field not in the yard or garden, hopfully the garden will be spared for a while longer.

Oxray Farm - Yes, you do live in a tough area for growing tomatoes, such early and late cold spells...hopfully th eworst of it will hold off a bit longer. We will also definitely be growing a few of the Fir Tree plants next season as they did so well this year.

Dani - Tomatoes are an important one for us as well, I don't think a week goes by that we don't use a tomato product of some sort.

Mark - It really is amazing how many varieties are out there..wish it was the same for certain other vegetables whose varieties are slowly in decline.

Jane - I suppose we will have to be happy with green tomatoes ripening indoors. Last year most all of our crop was harvested this way and it actually made canning a little easier for us.

Johnny - No doubt the poor flavor had much to do with you cool rainy weather. We have had the opposite weather, a cold rainy spring that went on forever and now hot dry conditions...which I am so very grateful for. I cannot even imagine getting as much rain as you have in August, our driest month around here...wow.

We are also growing Eva Purple Ball but I have not yet had the opportunity to try them.

Rafael - Some years, the last being 2009, we have good luck with tomatoes but most years it is a struggle to get the majority of them to ripen fully and we have to pick them green for ripening indoors.

I did not know that Miracle of the Market was a french variety, how interesting. I had not heard of Marmande and just looked it up, sounds like a great tomato...I will add it to my list for next season.

Kimberly @ We Call Her Momma said...

Your tomatoes look delicious. We shouldn't have frost for another 3-4 weeks and hopefully longer.

Mr. H. said...

Kimberly - Fingers Crossed.:)

sylvie in Rappahannock said...

Those all look good Mr. H! Your post always remind me our different our growing conditions are... you have frost already... and I have tomato fatigue!

.09 Acres said...

Your tomatoes look amazing. Mine were a bust in Virginia this year, got hit with an early blight that toasted all but one Black from Tula plant. Managed to harvest a few, but your pics have me drooling.

Mr. H. said...

Sylvie - I have never yet experienced tomato fatigue. Now green beans and peas on the other hand...yes.:)

.09 Acres - Too bad about your plants, I am very grateful that we do not often have issues with blight. Hopefully next year will be a better one for your tomatoes.

Silke said...

Oh, wow, I always marvel how different the climate is in your part of the world. Here, our tomatoes were done and finished in July. Our peppers are still producing. Our pomegranates are all harvested. And no frost in sight. Some cooler nights, yes, but that's cooler as in 67 degrees instead of 79. Still feels like summer here... And I wish we still had fresh tomatoes growing! Hi to Mrs H! I hope you are doing well!! :) Silke

Mr. H. said...

Silke - We have actually been experiencing above average daytime temperatures but the nights are starting to cool off quite a bit. Hope you had some nice tomatoes this year and are enjoying those pomegranates.:)

Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

That's a great harvest of tomatoes, you'll be busy for quite a spell with them..I'd be in "Fried Green Tomato" heaven :o)

LynnS said...

Thanks for showing some of your tomatoes -- it's fun to learn about other varieties. You have some beauties there and with a bit more patience, and heat, they'll ripen on the vine for you. I really can't imagine the climate you are gardening in. Then again, I am having a hard time dealing with the climate I am gardening in. *snicker*

When you bring a load of green tomatoes inside, where do you lay them out to ripen? Or do you keep them stored in buckets wrapped in paper or something? I'm having to pick half-ripe tomatoes now because they're splitting from excessive rainfall -- the fruit flies are awful right now!

Mr. H. said...

Ginny - I am going to hav eto try some fried green tomatoes this year, I have never tried tomatoes that way but I bet they are really good fried.

Lynn - It's not the easiest climate to grow tomatoes in, some years are great and others more challenging. I think though I would prefer my long winters and late springs over the crazy weather you all have been experiencing of late. The local meteorologist calls our area Camelot because the conditions are always so predictable. No wild weather extremes for the most part....of course now that I have sad that...:)

When we harvest the tomatoes green they are placed in boxes no more than 2 or 3 deep and are ripened on our porch. Last year almost every green tomato we picked ripened up nicely this way.

jimmycrackedcorn said...

Wow! Your tomato plants look so disease-free! I'm not going to be able to plant many next year because I have so much leaf spot and other diseases lurking in my soil. If I absolutely needed them for subsistence, I could move my garden to the other side of the yard, but that would involve an amazing amount of manual labor.

kitsapFG said...

I hope the warm up holds for you and you get lots and lots of ripe tomatoes. We had a brief warm spell and it really helped our tomatoes to ripen up - but just as it was getting going the cool has returned. I am still getting ripe tomatoes but slowed way d0own again. I will get most of mine via the off the vine ripening process as our night time temps are getting too cool to finish them off on the vine. My market miracle plants are just now setting fruit - way too late this season. Last year they produced well for me so I grew five plants of it which was a mistake because they refused to set fruit with our cool summer we had this year and only set fruit when we finally got a warm up. Frustrating because I used up valuable growing space on them and will get virtually nothing in return it looks like. Legend, Siletz, and a new one for me "Defiant" all did well for me this year despite the chilly conditions. Legend and Siletz are standbys now and Defiant will definitely get some garden space next year too. I may have to grow the silvery fir tomato in some pots next year - looks like a good candidate for that.

Leigh said...

I am so impressed with how well your tomatoes are doing. The leaves are green! The fruit is perfect! No bug holes! What's your secret???

Mr. H. said...

Jimmycrackedcorn - Yes, disease issues can be a serious problem with tomatoes. One of the things that helps us out is our longer colder winters seem keep the potato and tomato disease issues at bay. Best of luck with your tomato plants next season. Do you grow determinate or indeterminate varieties?

Laura - Even if I had to pick them all tomorrow I would be better off than I had originally thought thanks to a couple weeks of above average warm weather. I'm glad that you have been able to come up with a few varieties that seem to do well in your cooler climate, I have also been trying to narrow down which ones do best for us.

Leigh - Our secret is a long cold winter that helps to keep disease at bay and the other trick is simply luck...this year anyway. The plants that seem to do the best for us are usually indeterminate tomatoes as they seem to stave of leaf issues a little better than the determinate ones do.

Heiko said...

...and talking about tomatoes... what do I do with all them litchi tomatoes or to call them by their less confusing scientific name, 'viscious bastards'?

Mr. H. said...

Heiko - They are kind of a forbidden fruit aren't they...prickly little suckers.:)

Lrong said...

Wow, impressive looking tomatoes... my tomato plants are wilting already...

Casey said...

Hey you mentioned sepp before? you might like this.... http://permies.com/sepp

hope all is well! I need to get some sunroots this fall if you have more for sale.

Mr. H. said...

Lrong - We have been very fortunate to have an extended season due to some unusually warm conditions...of which I am very grateful.

Casey - Thanks for the link. You might find this video interesting as well. We should have sunchokes ready around the 15th of October...both red and white variety.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

I was surprised to learn that your frost comes really early in your area. I thought that fall has just started in your area and it will be at least a month of frost-free yet. Your tomato plants are so prolific. This month spring in our place are much warmer than usual. If it will be a very hot summer for us this year, I dare not dream about tomato this summer.

villager said...

It is hard to imagine having to work so hard to get crops like tomatoes to grow and ripen. I sometimes complain about our hot summers, but they are good for growing the warm season vegetables. I'm glad you had some favorable weather when it could help. Now hopefully the frosts will hold off for a bit longer!

Mr. H. said...

Malay-Kadazan girl - We live on a bit of a hill that is protected by all the trees. There have been frosts all around us but so far we have not had one in our garden...fingers crossed. Hope your summer is not too hot and dry this year.

Villager - Surprisingly I am ending up with more ripe tomatoes this season than last although the quantity of tomatoes per plant is way off from last year. So far so good on the frost. Our neighbor's garden was frosted pretty pretty good yesterday but we are lucky to have protection on our little hill with all the trees.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Brother, have you seen? I got some heirloom beans and some blue hopi corn - spread the word if you can:
http://cordarogarden.blogspot.com/2011/09/help-save-landreth-seed-company.html

:-)

Mr. H. said...

Ohio - Thanks for the heads up, I'll read up on it...it would be a shame to lose another old time seed company.

chicken coop plans said...

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