Saturday, August 9, 2008

Tomato Tasting A Rousing Success!

And this morning we harvested 15 Salisaw Cafes, 11 Stupice, 5 Old Ivory Eggs, 4 Cherokee Chocolates, 3 Blue Fruit (one 6 ounces), 3 Black Krims (11 ounces, 6.5 ounces, 10 ounces, back yard), 2 Aker's Plums, 2 Jaune Flammes, 2 Lime Green Salads (back yard), Arkansas Traveler, Red Yellow Cap (8 ounces), Piccolo, Italian Market Wonder, White Bush, Husky Cherry Red, Black Krim (13.5 ounces, front yard), Pierce's Pride, Chocolate Stripes (6 ounces), Aunt Ruby's German Green and Green Grape.

We went to a tomato tasting at a restaurant in Hollywood later in the morning. We brought Evan's Italian Plum, Olga's Round Yellow Chicken and Pierce's Pride to the tomato tasting.

I was expecting to have an enjoyable time but wow, this was really fun! There were all sorts of tomatoes to be sampled. Someone had already brought Pierce's Pride but no one else brought Evan's Italian Plum (we brought the three we've harvested) and Olga's Round Yellow Chicken (we brought one). We tried a lot of tomatoes and we really liked several of them. Some of the memorable ones for us included Nyagous, Siberian, Jetsetter, Napa Grape but the most striking tomato was called Vintage Wine. Not so much the taste (only okay by me) but the striping was very memorable. We'll be on the lookout for these and other tomatoes next year.

The Polish Pastel on display looked different than what we're harvesting. Another mislabel?

We met several nice people at this event and exchanged business cards with a couple of them. An interesting point made by a participant: “That's the first party were I never asked anyone what was their occupation. We just talked tomatoes!”

People were very happy with the taste of Olga's Round Yellow Chicken – the tomato was nearly gone by the end of the party. Scott Daigre (of Tomatomania!) said that the 9 ounce Evan's Italian Plum is about twice the normal size for this tomato.

Now we wish we brought Black Krim, Salisaw Cafe and Old Ivory Egg, for example. Maybe next year.

We had the Red Currant pulled by the gardeners. What a great plant!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Staked, Taped and Watered

And today's haul includes 11 Salisaw Cafes, 10 Stupice, 4 Kimberlys, 3 Black Krim (back yard, 7 ounces, 6 ounces), 2 Zhezhas (back yard), 2 Pierce's Prides (10 ounces, 8.5 ounces), 2 Evan's Italian Plum (6 ounces), 2 Blue Fruit (6 ounces), 2 Piccolos, Jaune Flamme, Zhezha (front yard), Gregori's Altai, Green Grape, Paul Robeson, Black From Tula, Snow White, White Bush, Red Currant, Chocolate Stripes, Black Krim (front yard, 10 ounces), Sioux, Black Plum Paste and Polish Pastel.

Last night I tomato taped as much as I could until the tape ran out. Also, I staked several plants with some of the remaining stakes.

Our Manchester Terrier grabbed one of the back yard Zhezhas but we were able to save it in time.

I watered the back yard last night.

The back yard Black Krims and Pierce's Pride look quite nice.

I don't see the blooms on Yellow Brandywine – Platfoot Strain any more.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Harvested Evan's Italian Plum Today!

And today's harvest includes 16 Salisaw Cafes, 7 Stupice, 5 Cherokee Chocolates, 3 Zhezhas (back yard), 3 Snow Whites, 3 Husky Cherry Reds, 2 Lime Green Salads (from the “koi pond”), 2 Piccolos, Aker's Plum, Black Plum Paste, Kimberly, Aunt Ruby's German Green, Black From Tula, Paul Robeson, Black Krim (front yard, 6 ounces), Polish Pastel, Green Grape, Black Krim (back yard), Lime Green Salad (back yard) and a new one: Evan's Italian Plum (9 ounces)!

Last night I took another look at the Lime Green Salad next to the curb, the plant that got munched by the trash can falling on it. Turns out it had been completely uprooted and was no good anymore. I threw it away.

My wife watered the front yard yesterday.

I picked a ripening Thessaloniki today but it was another damaged one. Sigh.

I need to do some tomato taping this evening and water the back yard, time permitting.

Today I had a first: While looking at Black Plum Paste, I noticed a caterpillar on it! My first caterpillar of the year.

I've noticed what looks like caterpillar damage and remains, especially on Salisaw Cafe. I've thrown out around 30 partially eaten tomatoes on the plant and I've seen signs of what looks like caterpillar poop on this plant and others, but I haven't seen any leaves being eaten. Since I've seen one today I'll look more closely at the other plants.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Harvested Painted Ukrainian Today!

Today's harvest includes 8 Salisaw Cafes, 8 Stupice, 6 Black Plum Pastes, 4 Kimberlys, 3 Green Grapes, 2 Husky Cherry Reds, 2 Old Ivory Eggs, 2 Paul Robesons, Piccolo, Aunt Ruby's German Green, Garden Peach, Snow White, Lime Green Salad (from the “koi pond”), Lime Green Salad (back yard), Black From Tula, Zhezha (back yard), Cherokee Chocolate, White Bush, Olga's Round Yellow Chicken, Arkansas Traveler and a new one: a beautiful 13 ounce Painted Ukrainian!

While picking in the front yard, I looked over some of the damage. There was a Red Yellow Cap tomato left, but it too was damaged beyond repair. A couple of Snow White tomatoes had broken, too.

Our Manchester Terrier had picked off two tomatoes of unknown origin. A different tomato that he picked off last week is ripening...but we can't tell what plant it came from.

It looks like we lost between 11 and 12 pounds of tomatoes yesterday.

My wife took a look at the Painted Ukrainian and said “It looks like Mr. Stripey!”. Later on I looked at it and I'll be – it really does look like Mr. Stripey. Do we have another mislabeling?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I left work early today. I needed to get some rest.

But when I got home, our black trash can (Tuesday is our trash day) had landed on top of the Lime Green Salad near the curb. I pulled it off, adjusted the outside cage and noticed I had lost one of the tomatoes.

The worst was yet to come. Thessaloniki had toppled over. Since it was tied to both Black From Tula and Red Yellow Cap, those two plants were pulled down as well. Yikes!

I got some large stakes (forgetting to get thick tomato tape) from Green Thumb in preparation for the job ahead.

When I got back, our neighbor had appeared and offered to help. We propped up Black From Tula, then Thessaloniki, then Red Yellow Cap.

But the lost tomatoes has made this a disaster. In short, I lost about 40 beefsteak tomatoes. 3 Black From Tula tomatoes were ripe, but broken. I may have lost all of the Red Yellow Cap tomatoes. Some of them weighed nearly a pound. Looks like I lost about 10 pounds of tomatoes.

Harvested Back Yard Lime Green Salad Today!

Today's harvest includes 16 Salisaw Cafes, 13 Stupice, 8 Kimberly, 7 Paul Robesons, 4 back yard Black Krims (6 ounces, 12 ounces, 10.5 ounces), 3 Piccolos, 2 Cherokee Chocolates, Black Plum Paste, Black Cherry, Italian Market Wonder, Garden Peach, Lime Green Salad (from the “koi pond”), Jaune Flamme, Thessaloniki, Black From Tula, Red Currant, Sioux, Old Ivory Egg, Husky Cherry Red and a new one: Lime Green Salad from the back yard!

In case I didn't mention it, my wife made tomato sauce over the weekend using most of the dark tomatoes on hand and a Red Yellow Cap.

I went to our computer user group board meeting in the evening and brought a bunch of tomatoes. They were happy! My wife went to a movie with our seed lady and brought a bunch over. Per my wife, she was very happy to receive them.

And the former mother-in-law to our seed lady received tomatoes over the weekend. She writes I ate one last night that literally made me moan, it was so good. Farmer Bill does it again!

Our Manchester Terrier got another tomato that was “Kimberly sized”.

I thought I'd have another poor total today. I had three plants left to harvest and I knew the totals weren't good. But, the last three plants to pick were Kimberly, Salisaw Cafe and Stupice. Not so bad anymore!

The back yard Lime Green Salad was actually picked several days ago and left to ripen in the house. It was picked early so the Manchester Terrier wouldn't get it. It is now ready to be eaten.

Keep your fingers crossed, but there are several good looking blooms on Yellow Brandywine – Platfoot Strain. Hopefully one or more turn into tomatoes!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Tried Polish Pastel -- Quite Enjoyable!

Today's haul includes 6 Paul Robesons (one 9 ounces), 6 Stupice, 4 Black Plum Pastes, 4 Salisaw Cafes, a very nice looking Black Krim (8.5 ounces, front yard), Kimberly, Chocolate Stripes, Cherokee Chocolate, Piccolo and Green Grape.

The tomato totals dropped off dramatically today, only 26.

A Painted Ukrainian continues to mature. Right now it looks a bit like Red Yellow Cap – quite yellowish with some faint reddish markings – but the mature tomato should be pinkish. Fortunately, it's in a position on the plant that is impossible for our Manchester Terrier to pick off.

We tried Polish Pastel last night and liked it a lot. It has a complex taste, but quite enjoyable.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Harvested Olga's Round Yellow Chicken Egg Today!

Today's haul includes 6 Piccolos, 4 Kimberlys, 4 Stupice, 4 Old Ivory Eggs, 4 Paul Robesons, 4 Green Grapes, 4 Husky Cherry Reds, 3 Salisaw Cafes, 3 Cherokee Chocolates, 2 Black Plum Pastes, 2 Arkansas Travelers, 2 Gregori's Altai, 2 Black Krims (front yard, 6 ounces and 6 ounces), 2 Lime Green Salads (from the “koi pond”), Red Currant, Aunt Ruby's German Green, Italian Market Wonder, Black Cherry, Thessaloniki (7 ounces) and a new one: Olga's Round Yellow Chicken!

My wife had enough dark tomatoes to make a sauce. The look and smell of the tomatoes were tantalizing!

We got around to trying Red Yellow Cap, and we like it.

Last night my wife watered the front yard and I watered the back yard.

Looking For Houses...

Saturday's haul included 20 Piccolos, 9 Stupice, 5 Paul Robesons, 3 Kimberly, 3 Salisaw Cafes, 3 Cherokee Chocolates, 3 Old Ivory Eggs, 3 Husky Cherry Reds, 3 Red Currants, 2 Chocolate Stripes (one 6 ounces), Green Grape, Aker's Plum, Golden Jubilee, Arkansas Traveler, Black Krim (8 ounces, front yard), Black From Tula (7 ounces) and Red Robin.

I had to put in a support for Old Ivory Egg, as it was getting too big for the cage. Also, I added support to Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter.

My wife and I spent most of the day in Oxnard, Santa Paula and Fillmore, looking at houses for her parents.

While driving around, I got a call from our friend from Florida that moved back to SoCal. They're back in town and would like to meet us next weekend. We'll make it work!

However, a close friend that was in the wedding party is moving from SoCal to – you guessed it – Florida! Oh well...

Like a broken record, the Manchester Terrier picked off another Aker's Plum. This one wasn't salvageable...