Friday, August 17, 2007

Wasted Toms

David told me to make notes on which tomatoes we will grow next year. One of them won't be tumbling toms. While they might do well in a hanging basket, we weren't thrilled with the flavor. Although they are advertised as "sweet, like you expect from a cherry tomato," we found them a little tart and dry. These poor plants suffered the worst of the fungus blight, owing to their leaves' proximity to the soil; interestingly enough, the tomatoes still ripened after all of the leaves were dead -- just not to a flavor we cared for much.

I'll pick the rest of them this weekend and make tomato jam. If they do well, maybe we can find some room for them on the deck next year.

In other tomato tastings, the sun sugars won awards for taste, resilience, and prolificacy. My friend Margaret turned us onto these sweet, yellow babes. Every day we stand outside and, straight off the vine, pop them in our mouths like candy. I struggle when giving away tomatoes to friends and neighbors -- I want them to experience sun sugars, but I'm always measuring our own store. I don't want to run out!

We also loved the stupice, which may be due, in part, to their early appearance -- when we were earnestly desiring the first tomatoes of the season. They are a nice size for sandwiches and prolific enough that we don't need to eye each other suspiciously in those early days, checking each other's measure.

The black krim (in the back on left) are delicious and a little mysterious. How can a pinkish-purple bottomed and green-shouldered tomato be ripe? David still consults me before plucking one from the vine.

Yellow brandywines (middle large tomato) are mellow and beautiful on the vine, so we'll plant those again. We hope they do better next year, however: this year we've gotten only three!

I like having the big cherry reds, because they produce enough for sharing, but we don't need the currant tomatoes as well. I didn't care for their tart flavor off the vine. I suppose we could leave them for salads, but they are problematic anyway: their skins are thick but they still seem to split at the slightest watering. I like how they look, but we haven't the room for such vanity.

We haven't been too impressed with the bessers, so they'll likely give way to more pruden's purple plants. I might add a few new varieties to fill in the gaps: white tomatoes, orange pineapples, and whatever the seed catalog says is the absolute best taste: that'll take some research. Sun sugars will get two more spaces -- maybe where the tumbling toms were this year -- because I just can't get enough of them.


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