Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tomatoes--Part II

I'll have to say that I'm super happy with my tomato crop this year. It wasn't looking very promising after having one of the coldest summers on record.

I hate to brag, but these look amazing!

My Principe Borghese tomatoes are continuing to ripen with the mild September days. It helps that they are also fully exposed to the sun in my south-facing garden.

The other thing I like about this variety is that with my laziness in never getting around to staking my vines (see previous post), the tomatoes on the ground seem to be just fine. No mushy spots where they've been resting on the soil. The slugs even seem to leave them alone. It may be that this tomato has a thicker skin compared to the Black Cherry--the other variety I'm growing.

The Principe Borghese is a great tomato to roast or braise with zucchini and eggplant. Toss them in the pan together with olive oil, salt, and pepper and serve over fresh pasta. The perfect way to celebrate summer harvest.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Feeling Cagey

Once again I failed to cage my tomatoes this year. They ran rampant through my whole garden giving a whole new meaning to tomato "vine." I liked how full the space looked and the plants were loaded with flowers. I did get a fair amount of fruit, but not as many ripened as I would've liked. It may be because the plants didn't take full advantage of the sun.

I did have success with the vines that tumbled over my rockery in the south-facing front garden. Even with the milder temps as summer drew to a close, the tomatoes continued to ripen. The rocks' radiant heat nicely warm the fruit--an extra bonus as I ate then straight from the garden.

The two varieties I chose this year were Black Cherry from Fedco Seeds and Principe Borghese from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Both did well in the areas of the garden with optimum sun exposure. Black Cherry has low acidity and very sweet. I love mixing them whole in my pasta with fresh pesto. Or, I'll even munch on them along side a tuna sandwich.

The Principe Borghese is more acidic with a very bright flavor. This is recommended as a sauce tomato. Since I had so few of them, I've been eating them straight from the garden.

I will definitely grow the Black Cherry again. The fruits are a deep rose color. And as long as they're not shaded by other plants like mine were, they readily ripen.

As far as tomato cages go, I really wanted to get the Ultimato cage. By June, everyone was sold out of them. I've also heard that most tomato cages are too small, and by the looks of my vines, I'm glad I didn't make the investment. So, maybe I'll jump on the Topsy Turvy bandwagon. It will make a lovely accent to our brand new porch next year!