Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Teeming With Tomatoes

Just before we left for a visit to the Sweet Granddaughter and her parents I noticed the tomatoes were beginning to ripen. I picked all the ripe (and almost ripe) fruit, made some tomato marmalade before we left, and took the rest with us on our journey. We left some with my dad along the way and ate the rest in San Diego. I'm not sure if they were no longer considered local (!) but there was no gas used in their transport that wasn't going to be used anyway so I think it's a wash at worst and negative energy cost at best. Having been gone six days I was anxious to see what had happened in the garden while we were gone and the Gardener Trainee was in charge. I'm happy to report that the GT passed his test with excellent plants were sidelined and the tomato plants are once more full of ripening fruit.
This is the reward of the impulsive, greedy, cheapskate gardener. I started seeds in the spring for all the varieties I decided to grow this year. That would be Sweet 100, Sungold, Mule Team, Costoluto Genovese, and San Marzano. Well, and there were the left over Brandywine seeds from last year that I wouldn't have bought again but since they were leftover I really thought I should start some. Then I was at the farmers market and saw beautiful plants ...and having been wondering about the possibility of nematodes in the garden it occurred to me that I should get a good resistant variety to test drive. Which made me get too close to the pretty plants at which point I had to buy a Sausage as well as the nematode defying Big Beef. Not long after that I realized I had not gotten seeds for Early 'safety' tomato of choice. So I had to pick one up. Now my tomato plant collection was complete! Until I went to the big open house at UCDavis where they were giving out free starts. And since I was there with my husband and son I made them get in line and came home with another Sweet 100, Celebrity and Shady Lady. So that is the recipe for what would be called too many tomatoes if such a thing were possible. I guess I should feel far the Brandywine and Mule Team have not contributed one fruit. But in Davis the tomato season is still young...maybe they'll get in the swing of things and add to the fun. I may need to look for that recipe for oven dried tomatoes that I saw on line!


Cindy, MCOK said...

Wow, those are gorgeous tomatoes! I wish I lived close enough to help you out with the surplus. I'd say your early enthusiasm when starting seeds and buying plants paid off nicely!

MrBrownThumb said...

I'm so jealous.

I wasn't planning on growing any tomatoes but by the time I decided I had to grow some it was too late to start from seed and the garden centers only had hybrids left. The heirlooms were real popular this year.

Congrats on your bounty.

Annie in Austin said...

That looks like a perfectly beautiful sight to come home to, Leslie - and unlike shoes or furniture, an impulse buy of a tomato plant can pay for itself at harvest time in your garden!

You and Carol are making me jealous.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Connie said...

This post made me laugh! I always end up with waaaay more tomatoes than I need. Each year I try to exercise more restraint...but those seeds are so tiny and some might not germinate, and I like to give them away to friends..and...and

Carol Michel said...

Those are beautiful tomatoes. Like you, I started all my tomato plants from seed, then in the spring, all those plants for sale or giveaway are sooooo tempting!

Wishing you many days of tomato eating!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Kylee Baumle said...

Leslie, you are too funny!

We are overflowing with tomatoes here, too. I don't even like them! But hubby does. Our Brandywines are just HUGE and producing very well, although the vines irritate my skin like crazy. Only the Brandywines! We've got some yellow pear and yellow grape tomatoes, as well as a small size red that I have no clue as to what it is. Still, I love seeing all that juicy yellowness and redness on those crazy vines!

Sue Swift said...

Tomato marmelade - ??? What's the recipe? and what does it taste like? How do you eat it?

Anonymous said...

Beautiful bounty, Leslie, but I have to ask how many tomato plants did you end up with? Gracious, it sounded like a lot. I love Big Beef, and Consuluto Genovese (sp?) I ate what was probably my last gold tomato of the season today. It was sweet. It was good.~~Dee

Meems said...

Very nice harvest of so many wonderful varieties, Leslie! They are beautiful.
Meems @Hoe&Shovel

Unknown said...

Too many tomatoes? I don't think that's a valid phrase, Leslie... there's no such thing in my lexicon as "too many tomatoes," anyway! ;)

Those look gorgeous. And delicious. What do you use the "tomato marmalade" for, by the way? Sandwich dressing?

Kristi said...

They look amazing!

When was Uc Davis giving away free starts?