Creating a Life of Plenty

The Tomatoes are Coming! The Tomatoes are Coming!

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Nope, no warning of impeding invasion, just a warning that bumper crops of tomatoes are about to explode in the garden.

I have been sneaking tomatoes out of the garden for a couple of weeks now, but the bumper crop is beginning to mature! I grew eight varieties of tomatoes this year. Since this is the first year of the potager, I wanted to see what varieties would do best in our zone, with the soild in the raised beds and with the care provided. I also wanted to try a few heirloom varieties to determine what to grow next year based on performance and taste. I will report on the performance in a few weeks once the harvest has subsided.

In the meantime, I thought it was a good idea to talk about the varieties of tomatoes I am growing. These are the tomatoes in the garden:

· Roma: An excellent variety for salads, stewing and canning. This is also the most popular tomato used in sauces.

· Better Boy: Standard Hybrid tomato with few seeds, good for slicing!

· Early Girl: A determinate early variety that is an excellent choice for salads and quick sauces

· Hybrid Yellow: I chose to include a yellow tomato for color when making capresi (tomato, mozzerella and basil) salads. This variety is excellent for slicing and works best for fried green tomatoes if taken off the vine early.

· Grape Tomato (red): For salads and snacking, this variety grows in clusters of 6 or 8 tomatoes that mature in succession.

· Cherry Tomato (white): Although I planted this with a roma tomato in a pot, it is still retaining a lighter color (although much more yellow than white). It is excellent to pop in salads or a quick pasta dish!

· Ox Heart (Heirloom): This is an old fashioned Amish heirloom variety with a heart shaped pink fruit that can weigh up to 1 pound. The flesh is very meaty and containes very few seeds, making it great for slicing. Another advantage is that this is an indeterminate variety, which means it will produce fruits over a longer period of time rather that in one big harvest!

· German Pink (Heirloom): is a Bavarian variety that produces large 1-2 pound meaty fruits with few seeds. The German Pink has a full sweet flavor, even floral, and a tender skin. The tomato is an extremely versatile fruit, as it is excellent for canning and freezing but also slicing and juicing.

Next time, I will talk about growing methods….ooooh exciting!

Happy Gardening!

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