Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tomatoes, tomatillos *Originally written fall of 2010*


Yikes in some ways good and in some ways not so good.
I got great yields.  I expected the most from the Romas, but was pleasantly surprised by the Pruden's Purple.  The Pruden's were juicy, sweet and firm in the right way. The vines behaved and though the ripening was on the late side it was well worth the wait.  It made some lovely- if a little watery- salsa.  I did counter the wateryness by draining it a bit and adding some of the dehydrated sweet corn i made and then let the salsa wait over night in the fridge. The dehydrated sweet corn reconstituted itself by drawing in much of the excess tomato juice and it added another sweet flavor to the recipe.

The two Roma plants produced enough to get almost a dozen pint jars in the pressure canner.

I didn't get the time or anything to get anything else canned, but i might experiment with some meats this winter...  another subject for later :0)

The 'yikes, not so good' was the absolutely insane growth of the yellow pear tomato plants.  Next year one will be more than enough. I had forgotten that cherry types are more like wild and crazy vining plants than anything else- though it produced lovely tasting yellow, pear-shaped fruit in avalanche-like abundance, it took over the space so much, i couldn't harvest half of its fruit or the fruit of the two types closest to it. So it really caused problems in the end.

The Siberia tomato was nothing special for me this year. I kept thinking it was Black From Tula and i mentioned that i was growing them a couple times here and there (even at Seed Saver's Exchange) but it turns out that those seeds didn't germinate and i just kept getting it mixed up in my mind.  Anyway, they didn't do well for me. They grew to the size and shape of an over sized salad tomato, they weren't particularly sweet and were rather acid, toughish skin and tended to go bad on the vine quickly...produced slow and the plant just barely got anywhere.  I think the seeds were too old and had suffered in a way that the plants that grew from them were lacking severely.

The Empire Hybrid were nice. It continued to produce and most of the green tomatoes i just picked were from the Empire.  Its not a bad tomato, not superb though. Sort of like grocery store fruit- only with a real garden fresh flavor instead.  If i have more seeds hanging around i'll plant some for next year, but if i don't wi won't order them in particular.  I have plenty of new tomato seeds for next year right now.

Polfast.  It just wasn't spectacular i guess.  I barely remember it doing much. I think it was supposed to be ready earlier than some other types, but i don't think it was anywhere near the first to ripen for me. I'll have to check back to be sure.  I guess it was kinda unremarkable in the end.

Tomatillos...  I had gotten the purple type and the seeds to my amazement, germinated after being stored for about 10 years. The plants did well, took their time to flower, then suddenly started taking off as if overnoght.  Right now the plants are still covered with numerous lantern-like fruit.  I have gotten a lot of what i think are ripe ones, at least one mixing bowl full.  I tasted one and it must not have been ready even though it was purple all over and the husk had split.  It was pretty astringent.  Maybe it was overripe?
I have grown these tomatillos before (the year i bought the seeds in the first place), but they produced so late all those years ago i never got to try them at all.  The green ones at the grocery aren't astringent and flavorless like this,  so i guess i'll have to look into what is up with these purples.

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