March 29, 2010

Tomatoes in Waiting

The latest post at Tech Law Garden shows the current state of the tomatoes.

All 362 of them.

But, what I'm most excited about are the varietals we're growing this year. After much experimentation last year, we determined that tomatoes with more flesh and less liquid were better for many of the uses we enjoy such as canning, sauces, roasting, salsas, etc.

Don't get me wrong -- nothing, and I mean nothing, can compete with a big juicy liquid-filled tomato in its prime during the height of tomato season. It's just that if you want to do something other than eat it raw, the liquid starts to be less and less useful, and this is balanced against the fact that the plants can only take up so much liquid, so production is lower for high-juice tomatoes.

Accordingly, we jettisoned many of last year's higher juice/gel-sac tomatoes in favor of more paste tomatoes. If it's a repeat, it's come from seeds I saved because we felt it was on the high end of quality when taste, heartiness, and production were taken into consideration. This year's 28 grown-from-seed entrants are:

-Amish Paste (new)
-Black Cherry (1-1 1/2 inch diameter cherry repeat)
-Black from Tula (medium/large purple from saved seeds)
-Brown Berry (3/4 - 1 inch diameter brown repeat)
-Coustralee (ruffled, large, pink, repeat)
-Federle (new)
-Green Giant (huge green-when-ripe beefsteaks, repeat)
-Green Zebra (small green and yellow striped globes, repeat)
-Health Kick (new, high lycopene)
-Heinz 2653 (new)
-Howard German (new)
-Husky Cherry Red (compact, hearty, determinate, disease resistant, good for lower sunshine locations, repeat)
-Japanese Black Trifele (dark brown shouldered pear shaped tomato with potato leaves, delicious repeat)
-Kentucky Beefsteak (huge, orange, prolific, favorite, repeat)
-Mini Carol from seeds saved from fruits grown from Knapp's Fresh Veggies (sweet, early producer, orange minis, repeat)
-Orange Russian 117 (red-orange/yellow striped beauty, medium/large, repeat)
-Powers Heirloom (new)
-Principe Borghese (new)
-Purple Calabash (new)
-Purple Russian (new)
-Roman Candle (new)
-Sun Sugar (sweet and delicious saved for repeat, although supposedly a genetic hybrid, so perhaps not..)
-Super Marzano (prolific red paste tomato that does well in pots with sufficient calcium, VFNT (disease resistant), repeat)
-Sweet Horizon (orange oxheart, repeat)
-Thessoloniki (red juicy taste test winner in our home, medium sized, repeat)
-Top Sirloin (largest tomatoes from last season, huge red beefsteaks, late bloomers, amazing, repeat)
-Viva Italia (new)
-White Oxheart (white oxheart with amazing sweetness and acidity, a favorite, if not the favorite from last year, repeat)

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