My son has a nice little hobby germinating seeds–usually seeds from tropical fruits we buy at the supermarket. But this year, he had much success focusing on something the whole family can enjoy, tomatoes! Last year, he picked up an interesting book about home-grown tomatoes, which sparked this useful and practical interest. It’s not exactly about how to grow tomatoes, but instead, the trials and tribulations of the home gardener. The book is called The $64 Tomato. If you are a home gardener, give it a read! You’ll have quite a few laughs. As the title suggests, gardening has its rewards, but it sure ain’t cheap. So true, so true. Why do it then? If you’ve ever tasted a home-grown tomato, you’ll know the answer to that question immediately!
Turning to our tomatoes this year . . . . .Truth be told, our sun exposure situation isn’t the best. Tomatoes really do need full sun, and 8 hours of it. Our tomato garden gets full sun, but not the full 8 hours, so our output isn’t the best. The varieties my son picked for this year included our usual Better Boy, pictured above and below. They are medium-size tomatoes with average acidity and taste, but are pretty dependable in terms of output. Another plus is that they produce fruit all season long.
We also have Black Krim, a Russian heirloom. This variety is at the top of my favorite list.
Look at it sliced! It’s huge and juicy, nearly like a Beefsteak, but on the sweet-side. A slice of this tomato on a sandwich is out of this world.
Then we have a yellow variety, Yellow Boy. These are about the size of our Better Boys. They aren’t all that sweet but are very juicy. They are supposed to be less acidic than red tomatoes. Also, instead of lycopene that produces a red color, the yellow variety contains carotene.
One of the bigger varieties we grew this year is Big Rainbow. This is another heirloom and just out of this world. It is yellow with red stripes. (Or red with yellow stripes.) It’s super sweet, less acidic than red tomatoes, and just plain melt-in-your-mouth delicious. This variety is vying for the top spot on my list!
Below is a mixture of the varieties we picked in an outing to the garden about a week ago. That was probably the best run to the garden we had this season.
As you can see from the basket, we’ve also got grape tomatoes, both red and yellow. Below are a couple of red ones hanging next to some Better Boys. If we leave the grape tomatoes to ripen on the vine, they tend to split open before they are totally ripe. That’s not good, so we tend to pick them when they are still half-green.
The grape tomatoes are great to pop in your mouth for a quick snack (with some mozzarella!).
When we bring the tomatoes indoors, we spread them out in peach cartons from Costco that we’ve accumulated. It’s better than leaving them in the basket, where they tend to get squished.
As we enter August, we can expect smaller and smaller yields, but it still shouldn’t be so bad. When summer is over, our tomato indulgences will be no more–at least until July of next year.
So there you have it–our tomatoes from summer 2018. If only tomato summers would never end!