May 30, 2009

Who Made the Garden 2009

So the time for garden role call has finally arrived for 2009. It was touch and go for a while, but I believe the list is set. Two new accomplishments this season would be, number one, my lack of total panic that is classically followed by the ritual tossing of any sick looking seedlings. Nope....not this season....this season I held onto my sanity and isolated any sick looking babies, and lo and behold most of them grew out of whatever me and the environment had to throw at them. And number two, finally being able to plant my entire tomato garden from my own seedling stock. No store bought starts for me this season. I even had enough plants to give away , and to tuck into stray areas of my flower bed. Even after all of that I still have a few in need of good homes, and I am thinking they will find them at our Community Garden to help fill the local food pantry.

As far as my listing goes, I will leave off the major descriptions and critiques until the Tomatoes on Parade posting in September. For now I will post a basic description if I have one.

So without any further ado...the tomatoes of 2009:

First the cherries.

Whippersnapper - This is a small plant suitable for baskets and pots. The fruit is supposed to be pinkish-red small and oval-ish.

I happened to take a picture of one of my baskets this weekend. I am really pleased with how durable this little guy is.

Green Grape
-This cherry tomato gives a high yield of green fruits with an amber blush when ripe, inside is neon green, thick foliage, very tiny seeds. This variety was bred by Tom Wagner.

Bertucci's Red Grape - Okay, first things first...there is NO VARIETY BY THE NAME BERTUCCI'S RED GRAPE
I only call this plant by that name because I obtained the seeds from a tomato I ate in a salad at the Restaurant that bears the name. Ok so the name says it all, the fruit was a grape shaped red tomato. I only saved the seeds because it was one of a very few tomatoes that I have ever eaten out of season that was even remotely palatable. So I figure ...what the heck, let me see what I get when it actually is tomato season. For all I know it will end up being a big tasteless slicer....but hey , I have the room so I am giving it a shot.

Alyx Little Yellow Sun - I haven't seen much information about this variety out there, and I ordered it based on name alone( It is a long story). But from what I understand this is a yellow cherry. I know, not much to go on there....sorry.

Paste types

Opalka - I have heard a lot of good things about this tomato. The fruits are 3 to 5 inches long, fat and usually with a knob at the blossom end. This tomato originated in Poland.

And Finally

Black Krim - Medium to large,beefsteak shaped reddish-black fruits. From the Island of Krim on the Black Sea.

Brown's Jubilee - As soon as I know what type this is...I will let you know.

Dona - This is a French market variety. It bears smallish, 4-6 ounce slightly oblate shiny red fruit. They are supposed to be very balanced in flavor.

Evergreen - Medium sized, oblate green fruits with an amber blush. I usually love the taste of green when ripes....I hope this one is as juicy and sweet as the others I have tried.

Gregory - I have been informed that this may actually be Gregori's Altais renamed....but there is no way to know for sure. So since I received it as Gregory, I am keeping it as Gregory. However I have no clue what so ever how this tomato will turn out.

Mr. Brown's - Of course I lost all my information on this one. And of course I cant find any info online. I do think I remember being told this is a pink beefsteak. At least I think that is what I remember.....

Orange Strawberry - I am really looking forward to these 8 to 16 oz heart shaped tomatoes. They turn deep orange when mature. A heirloom variety from the USA. Indeterminate.

Primrose Gage
- The primrose-yellow fruit are about the size of a golf ball, with soft, almost velvety skin. Supposedly this variety was collected in 1931 from Dobbie & Company, Ltd. of Edinburgh, Scotland.

*Updated to add*

Cherokee Green - Collector Craig LeHoullier writes, "In 1997, I grew out Cherokee Chocolate from another seed saver. One plant gave me fruit that stayed green when ripe with delicious flavor. Suspecting it was a cross, it has nonetheless proven to come true from saved seed, indicating that it may be a mutation. It is essentially like Cherokee Purple or Cherokee Chocolate in plant habit, fruit shape and size and flavor, but the interior ripens bright green and the skin takes on a yellowish hue when ripe."

Funny how quickly time starts to fly once the Summer months roll around....but I still can hardly wait for that first fresh tomato.

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