Sunday, June 26, 2011

Where I Go On and On About My Tomatoes

We have tomatoes, lots and lots of tomatoes.  I wish I was one of those organized persons who weighed their harvest and could give you an exact amount on my tomato bounty.  That's probably never going to happen. 

I am turning the extra fruit into canned salsa.   Finally read up a little on it and it turns out my sauce wasn't keeping because tomatoes are not acidic enough by themselves.  That is why my previous attempts at canned tomatoes spoiled.  It will be wonderful to open up a can of summer salsa in the middle of next winter.

I have a few varieties of tomatoes that came from the seed swap with Monica Milla of  Garden Faerie's Musings.  This first mistake I made was misreading the varieties and making up new names for a couple of the tomatoes.  Avivvi is actually Aviuri and Ladano de Panicchio is actually Ladino di Panocchia.  Found my errors when looking up my varieties and on Tatiana's Tomato Base.  There is one that has not been identified yet.  It is round and flat, barely lobed and orange mottled in color.  I can't for the life of me figure out what it is.  Nothing Mons has suggested sounds like any type of seed I've had.  Wonder if something crossed.  The second mistake I made was labeling them with wooden markers, which faded. Why, oh why can't I remember to just label the containers with a grease pencil or china marker. 

The best producer so far has been Gajo de Melon, which has given me lots of cute, pink, cherry tomatoes.   The next best seems like it is going to be the mystery tomato, although it does appear to have an issue with blossom end rot.  The Aviuri, Green Zebra and Turks Mutt are all giving me enough fruit to make it worth my time to plant them again.  Better Boy and Early Girl both are doing okay, but nothing special.  Who was that crazy man who compared heirlooms tomatoes to losers?  Of my ten tomato plants, four of them are hybrids and they are producing the scrawniest yields. 

The Monkeys have been eating tomatoes whole with a little sprinkle of salt.  At first I was afraid they were going eat them all before I could make salsa.  I caught the Teenage Monkey with one of the first big ripe tomatoes in his room.  That's right, my kid was sneaking a tomato. 

I can't praise the container in the ground method of growing tomatoes enough.  If you want to see how, go here

Happy Summer Everyone

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Squash Happiness

My garden is going gangbusters this years.  The raised beds are wonderful and very productive.  The container in ground in raised bed tomato experiment has been a fantastic success.  I ate so many perfectly ripe tomatoes today that my lips hurt. 

Me behind the Tomato Jungle

My squash is doing fine as well.  Usually the squash bugs get them, but this year the pumpkin vines have worked great as traps and I've been able to manage the bug situation.  The vines really are just beginning to produce, but The Best Boss in the World has plenty of squash now and she is sharing. 

Today I ate yellow squash and Noonday onions sauteed in butter again.  Yummy.  It is so simple - just saute the onions in a little butter on low heat until they are slightly brown and add the squash.  Cook until the squash is tender and eat it up.

I am also making zucchini with tomatoes again.  Saute the onions add zucchini and tomato sauce as well as a little brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce.  Cook until the zucchini is tender and again, eat it up.

More recipes to follow as the squash rolls in :)