It's That Tomato Time of Year Again
by James Glaser
June 11, 2013
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Yes, that first ripe tomato of the year is always wonderful, but when your plants really start to produce, and you are getting more fruit than you can eat each day, you rapidly learn which tomato tastes the best.

Tomatoes! When you finally arrive at that "best' tasting tomato, you start looking at the others and think, "I could give some of those away." You had better come up with some sort of plan, because when you start producing more than you can eat, it only takes a day or two before your counter starts to get over-run with uneaten fruit. Although it will last for days, soon you start see deteriorating fruit.

Just in case some of you are thinking tomatoes are really vegetables, legally you are probably right. This from Organic Gardener:

In the case of Nix v. Hedden, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that tomatoes are vegetables, despite the botanical fact that tomatoes are fruits. According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Botany, a fruit is defined as "strictly, the ripened ovary of a plant and its contents. More loosely, the term is extended to the ripened ovary and seeds together with any structure with which they are combined."

For me, this year has been spectacular for production. I always plant way more than I can eat, but that is the fun of raising tomatoes. You keep trying new varieties to get new taste sensations.

This year's new "fruit" crop consists of Sun Gold Cherry, Stupice (from Czechoslovakia), Speckled Roman, Riesentrabe, Silvery Fir Tree, and the old standbys of Brandywine, Early Girl, and Lemon Boy

I can highly recommend the Ricsentrabe which produces a little bigger than cherry size tomato and is said to be an heirloom variety out of Pennsylvania. Also, the Silvery Fir Tree, a determinate plant with six ounce fruit is really great. Brandywine and Yellow Boy are always good and are my slicers.

I did something new this year. I started planting my in-ground garden with blueberry bushes and have set up a large container garden nearer to the house. I still plant vegetables in the ground, but as the blueberry plants grow, they will crowd all the space, and my whole vegetable production will be in above ground containers. I have my containers sitting up on foot-high decks, and that makes tending to the plants so easy. No bending over and no working on my knees. The one draw-back is that you have to monitor your soil moisture more closely.

We had a tropical storm come through this week. We had 4 inches of rain one day and rain every day since, with 90 degree days, and cool nights. That has made everything in the garden really produce and with that came a new crop of fast growing weeds. (No weeds in the containers.)

Well, it's about time for another tomato sandwich. Wanda tells me she is going to make mayonnaise from scratch, and if we can't get better bread, we will have to bake our own. We have already reached the point of eating all we produce, so spaghetti sauce, stewed tomatoes, and frozen fruit time is here. Also, giving away what you grow is a lot of fun.

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