Saturday, August 1, 2009

Harvested Green Zebra Today!

Today's harvest includes 31 Snow White, 26 Black Cherry, 21 Red Currant, 17 Jaune Coeur de Pigeon, 16 Babywine, 11 back yard Garden Peach(2), 8 Oaxacan Jewel(2), 7 Plum Tigris, 7 White Currant, 7 back yard Green Grape, 6 White Zebra, 5 SunSugar, 5 front yard Husky Cherry Red, 5 back yard Husky Cherry Red, 4 Black Krim (6 ounces, 9 ounces), 3 Mong, 3 Early Annie, 3 Tiger Paw, 3 Black From Tula (8.5 ounces, 11 ounces, 8.5 ounces), 3 Patio, 3 front yard Green Grape, 2 Silvery Fir Tree, 2 Oaxacan Jewel(1) (one 6 ounces), 2 front yard Speckled Roman (one 7 ounces), 2 Dr. Wyche's Yellow (10.5 ounces, 11.5 ounces), 2 front yard Garden Peach, 2 Super Snow White, 2 Sweet 100, 2 Japanese Black Trifele, 2 Red Grape, 2 Green Zebra(2) (new!), a back yard Paul Robeson, Yellow Perfection, German Orange Strawberry, Amazon Chocolate (6.5 ounces), Pierce's Pride (6.5 ounces), Berkeley Tie Dye, Big Yellow Zebra (27.5 ounces!), Italian Ice, Vintage Wine and Jaune Flamme for a total of 224 tomatoes among 41 tomato plants.

I believe this is the highest total number of tomato plants harvested this year.

My wife watered the back yard tomatoes and some of the front yard tomatoes. I don't know if she's completely caught up with watering but if not, she's close.

The harvested Big Yellow Zebra is a monster. I forgot to mention it yesterday – I knew it was coming.

Babywine, back yard Garden Peach(2), Plum Tigris and White Zebra had new harvest highs for the year. Black Cherry tied its' harvest high for the year.

White Zebra is a tough harvest. The ripe White Zebra is very similar to the unripe White Zebra.

After I post this I'll get images of the 30 ounce Mexico and the 27.5 ounce Big Yellow Zebra.

The two harvested Green Zebras look both large and perfect.

Friday, July 31, 2009

July 2009 Tomato Analysis

My estimate for July 2009 was 4000 tomatoes, then later dropped to over 3000 tomatoes. Due to a late flurry we ended up with 4576 tomatoes for the month. Not a bad harvest!

While the original estimate turned out to be too low, it turned out to be a pretty good guess.

Still, in 2007 we harvested 6154 tomatoes with less plants. How come? From memory, the weather was better. Also, I had completely dug out the dirt in the “koi pond” and used a wheelbarrow to take it in to the back yard for a raised bed. We shipped in some compost and put it in the “koi pond”, then mixed some of the dirt back in (using a wheelbarrow to bring it back). This year we didn't get around to shipping in compost.

Also in 2007 we brought brought in some mulch from the city, which helped. We believe that program has stopped.

We've gone past the crest of the tomato wave, but not by much. The high harvest total day was July 24. My memory of the heaviest harvest was the day one of the days in the three day stretch with July 24 in the middle of it.

Most of the plants are weather beaten and doubled over, but that's natural. A couple plants haven't borne any fruit yet, which will hit in August.

In August 2007 we harvested 2806 tomatoes. In August 2008 we harvested 1004 tomatoes.

In 2007 the high point of the harvest was about July 8 or so. In 2008, the high point, if you could call it that, was around July 23, like this year.

Based on the relation of August to July tomatoes over the past two years and the late high harvest point, my tomato harvest estimate for August 2009 is 2700 tomatoes.

Harvested Over 4500 Tomatoes For The Month!

And today's harvest includes 41 Red Currant, 40 Snow White, 25 Black Cherry, 13 Jaune Coeur de Pigeon, 7 back yard Husky Cherry Red, 6 White Currant, 6 Japanese Black Trifele (8 ounces, 9 ounces, 10.5 ounces, 6 ounces), 5 Babywine, 5 front yard Husky Cherry Red, 5 Oaxacan Jewel(2), 4 back yard Green Grape, 4 Sweet 100, 4 Early Annie, 4 SunSugar, 4 Yellow Perfection, 3 back yard Garden Peach(2), 3 Amazon Chocolate, 3 Patio, 3 front yard Speckled Roman (one with minor end rot, unfortunately), 2 Silvery Fir Tree, 2 Oaxacan Jewel(1) (one 6 ounces), 2 Black Krim (6 ounces, 7 ounces), 2 Cuor de Bue, 2 Black From Tula, 2 Plum Tigris, 2 back yard Paul Robeson, 2 Tiger Paw, 2 Red Grape, 2 Italian Ice, a back yard Mexico (15.5 ounces), German Orange Strawberry, Pierce's Pride (7 ounces), Vintage Wine, Mong, Super Snow White, Dr. Wyche's Yellow (15 ounces) and Turkish Striped Monastery and White Zebra (new!) for a total of 214 tomatoes.

Two days ago my wife watered the “corner office”. She'll try to get to the rest of the front yard today if time permits.

The dogs picked off a tomato or two over the past could of days. I had bigger issues to address so I didn't worry about it that much.

I tomato taped a couple of plants in the “koi pond” this morning.

It's becoming increasingly hard to harvest Snow White tomatoes. The plant is so big and has doubled over so much that it's hard to crawl underneath it.

We ended up harvesting 4576 tomatoes for the month, 2323 in the front yard and 2253 in the back yard.

Yellow Perfection now holds our all time record for the number of harvested tomatoes from one plant in the back yard, 317 tomatoes. But Black Cherry is quickly catching up, now at 275 tomatoes for the year.

We ended up harvesting over 1000 Red Currants for July 2009 (1020).

The White Zebra was overripe. I had actually seen it on the vine a few days ago, picked it yesterday because it looked ripe but I had forgotten the name of the plant. I was wondering why it hadn't changed color. Now I know why. It's named White Zebra. It simply got more pale. My wife threw it away but I'll still credit the on line spreadsheet.

Speaking of which, I've added some basic charts to the on line spreadsheet.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

LA Times Daily Dish Blog Post

My wife and I just got mentioned on the Los Angeles Times Daily Dish blog.

Thanks for the mention!

Harvested 1000 Red Currants For 2009!

And today's harvest includes 51 Red Currant, 36 Snow White, 24 Black Cherry, 12 Jaune Coeur de Pigeon, 9 back yard Garden Peach(2), 6 Yellow Perfection, 6 Babywine, 5 Tiger Paw, 5 Black From Tula (6 ounces, 7 ounces, 13 ounces, 8.5 ounces, 9.5 ounces), 5 front yard Husky Cherry Red, 5 back yard Husky Cherry Red, 4 front yard Green Grape, 4 SunSugar, 4 Sweet 100, 3 Patio, 3 back yard Green Grape, 3 Amazon Chocolate (one 6 ounces), 3 Vintage Wine, 3 Mong, 3 Oaxacan Jewel(1) (12.5 ounces, 11 ounces), 3 Oaxacan Jewel(2), 2 Black Krim, 2 front yard Speckled Roman, 2 front yard Garden Peach, 2 White Currant, 2 Japanese Black Trifele (7 ounces), 2 back yard Mexico (17.5 ounces, 25.5 ounces), 2 back yard Garden Peach(1), 2 Cuor de Bue, Early Annie, Sweet Olive, Red Grape, Dr. Wyche's Yellow (17 ounces) and Silvery Fir Tree for a total of 218 tomatoes.

We've now picked more tomatoes in the front yard than in the back yard for July. We've picked over 2200 tomatoes in the front yard for July.

Overall we've harvested exactly 1000 Red Currants for 2009.

There's something funny when a 25.5 ounce Mexico tomato and a 17 ounce Dr. Wyche's Yellow start to seem mundane.

Speaking of which, the front yard Mexico tomato plant doesn't appear to have any more tomatoes on it. The plant itself still looks okay so a second wind is possible. And the cooler weather will help most of the plants get a second wind.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Harvested A 30 Ounce Mexico Tomato Today!

And today's harvest includes 33 Snow White, 29 Red Currant, 25 Black Cherry, 14 Babywine, 13 Jaune Coeur de Pigeon, 11 Yellow Perfection, 8 back yard Garden Peach(2), 7 front yard Husky Cherry Red, 7 Oaxacan Jewel(2), 6 Tiger Paw, 5 White Currant, 5 back yard Green Grape, 5 Amazon Chocolate, 5 back yard Husky Cherry Red, 4 back yard Garden Peach(1), 3 Black From Tula (one 9 ounces), 3 Japanese Black Trifele (one 9 ounces), 3 front yard Speckled Roman, 3 Berkeley Tie Dye (11 ounces, 9.5 ounces, 17 ounces), 2 Dr. Wyche's Yellow (8 ounces, 18 ounces), 2 Black Krim (one 6 ounces), 2 Super Snow White, 2 Mong, 2 Silvery Fir Tree, 2 Patio, 2 SunSugar, 2 back yard Mexico (20.5 ounces, 30 ounces [not a misprint]), 2 Cuor de Bue, 2 Pierce's Pride (one 8.5 ounces), 2 Plum Tigris, German Orange Strawberry, Sweet 100, Oaxacan Jewel(1) (9.5 ounces), a front yard Garden Peach, Vintage Wine, Red Grape, Jaune Flamme and Beaverlodge Plum for a total of 219 tomatoes.

Wow! The garden, especially the back yard, must have heard me when I said they were looking tired and somewhat exhausted. Look at the sizes of some of today's harvest: Back yard Mexico (30 ounces), back yard Mexico (20.5 ounces), Dr. Wyche's Yellow (18 ounces), Berkeley Tie Dye (17 ounces), Berkeley Tie Dye (11 ounces)...that's 6 pounds of tomatoes right there.

Speaking of which, my wife was able to sell and give away 8 pounds of tomatoes yesterday and will be giving away some more to friends today. We're not drowning any more (though we're still swimming in tomatoes!) but our offer of two days ago still stands – if you're in our neighborhood and would like some, let us know.

Above is an iPhone image of today's harvest. The two Mexico tomatoes are to the right, the Berkeley Tie Dye tomatoes are in front and the Dr. Wyche's Yellow tomatoes are buried below others.

Needless to say, the 30 ounce Mexico is the largest tomato I've harvested. It actually weighs a tad over 30 ounces. It could stand a day or two of ripening. When I harvested it I could only see and feel the bottom of the tomato and based on that it was ready. It's a little green at the top but in a couple of days that will be gone. I'm sure we'll take more pictures of that tomato later.

And the plumber came out and fixed the plumbing. The tomato skins backed up in the kitchen cleanout so the water had nowhere to go, and out in the bathtub it came. All is well now.

We're now over 4000 tomatoes for the month (beating the original estimate) and both back and front yard totals for the month are over the 2000 mark. It looks like the front yard totals will overtake the back yard totals for the month before the month is over. Overall, the front yard totals are still 260 behind the back yard totals for the year but just 10 behind for the month.

It's good to see Patio getting a second wind. Last harvested Patio tomato was 20 days ago. Jaune Flamme is getting a second wind and in this unusual case, the second wind may be better than the first wind.

And in another unusual note, it's overcast early this morning.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Canning, Canning and More Canning

Today's harvest includes 47 Red Currant, 39 Snow White, 15 Black Cherry, 14 Tiger Paw, 10 Jaune Coeur de Pigeon, 9 Yellow Perfection, 9 front yard Husky Cherry Red, 6 SunSugar, 6 back yard Green Grape, 4 back yard Garden Peach(2), 4 Japanese Black Trifele, 4 Babywine, 4 Oaxacan Jewel(1) (7 ounces, 6.5 ounces, 7.5 ounces), 4 Oaxacan Jewel(2), 3 front yard Garden Peach, 3 Vintage Wine (one 7.5 ounces), 3 Plum Tigris, 3 Black From Tula (8 ounces, 10 ounces, 10 ounces), 3 Sweet 100, 3 White Currant, 3 back yard Husky Cherry Red, 3 Amazon Chocolate (7.5 ounces, 7.5 ounces, 6 ounces), 2 Pierce's Pride, 2 Cuor de Bue (9 ounces, 8.5 ounces), 2 German Orange Strawberry, 2 Red Grape, 2 Mong, 2 Super Snow White, 2 front yard Speckled Roman, 2 Dr. Wyche's Yellow (11.5 ounces, 8.5 ounces), Silvery Fir Tree, a front yard Green Grape and Turkish Striped Monastery for a total of 218 tomatoes.

I found out that there were issues with Sunday's canning. There were problems with the tongs being used to fish the cans out of the hot water.

So my wife met with Liz and Ricardo yesterday, went to an Ace Hardware store in San Dimas and bought the appropriate bottle tongs. She had a good time and brought home more tomatoes to sample.

She spent around four hours canning last night, using a recipe supplied by a friend of mine. And she went to bed utterly exhausted.

While canning we tried a Nyagous tomato provided by Liz and Ricardo as well as a Dr. Wyche's Yellow. Two big thumbs up from both of us! Nyagous was very tasty. Dr. Wyche's Yellow looked great when sliced and has a mellow, low-acid, almost plain taste that was quite good.

But in the “no good deed goes unpunished” category, the bathtub backed up with tomato skins and bits of tomato from the sink. The plumber has been called.

While harvesting in the back yard I noticed that a lot of the plants are looking tired, haggard and somewhat exhausted. Having said that, SunSugar is getting a bit of a second wind.

I haven't taped in a while because it's been too hot. Several plants can use it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

We're Drowning!

We're drowning in tomatoes! If you're local to the west San Fernando Valley and would like a some tomatoes, send me an email and we'll get some delivered to you.

One More Mexico Image

Harvested Early Annie And Front Yard Green Grape!

Today's harvest includes 48 Red Currant, 41 Snow White, 23 Black Cherry, 17 Yellow Perfection, 12 White Currant, 11 Jaune Coeur de Pigeon, 9 back yard Husky Cherry Red, 7 Tiger Paw, 7 back yard Garden Peach(2), 4 Vintage Wine (one 7.5 ounces), 4 Oaxacan Jewel(2), 4 Babywine, 4 front yard Garden Peach, 3 SunSugar, 3 back yard Green Grape, 3 Black Krim (7.5 ounces), 3 Oaxacan Jewel(1) (6.5 ounces, 9 ounces), 3 Super Snow White, 3 front yard Husky Cherry Red, 3 Cuor de Bue, 3 back yard Speckled Roman (with significant blossom end rot – 2 were so bad I didn't bring them in the house, other 3 were acceptable.), 3 Black From Tula (7 ounces, 10 ounces), 2 Dr. Wyche's Yellow (13 ounces, 11.5 ounces), 2 front yard Speckled Roman (one 6 ounces), 2 back yard Garden Peach(1), 2 Amazon Chocolate, 2 Turkish Striped Monastery, 2 Red Grape, 2 front yard Green Grape (new!), Sweet 100, Mong, Pierce's Pride, German Orange Strawberry, Japanese Black Trifele (6 ounces), Plum Tigris, Paul Robeson, Italian Ice and Early Annie (new!) for a total of 241 tomatoes from 38 tomato plants!

This is the second highest harvest total for the day (241 tomatoes) and ties for the second largest front yard harvest total (135 tomatoes). I believe we've harvested from the most plants for the year (38).

Today we reached over 4000 harvested tomatoes for the year (4017) and over 3700 for the month (3707). We're pretty much guaranteed to reach 4000 harvested tomatoes for July on Wednesday.

My wife did canning by herself last night. I was in bed by the time the actual canning occurred. But from what I understand she ran into some difficulties. As I type she's preparing to go out to get some canning tongs.

We're happy with the front yard Speckled Romans. They have no blossom end rot whatsoever and have that “hand grenade” feel – they're fat.

I picked Early Annie a day early because it was low enough for the Manchester Terrier to snag it.

The front yard Green Grape was a bit of a surprise. Snow White is draped all over it. I just happened to be crawling underneath looking for Snow Whites (I'm telling you, finding Snow Whites is like Where's Waldo? except there can be more than one Waldo to find) and noticed some color change in the well hidden Green Grape tomatoes. The ones I harvested are the fattest Green Grape tomatoes I've ever harvested.

While our numbers have stayed high, this is mostly due to the smaller tomatoes being more productive.

We have tomatoes everywhere! My wife can't keep up with them.

More Of the 27.5 Ounce Mexico Images

Image of Saturday's Harvest

Sunday, July 26, 2009

222 Again!

Today's harvest includes 53 Red Currant, 35 Snow White, 13 Black Cherry, 13 Yellow Perfection, 11 Tiger Paw, 10 Babywine, 10 White Currant, 7 back yard Husky Cherry Red, 7 front yard Garden Peach, 6 Oaxacan Jewel(2) (one 6 ounces), 5 Jaune Coeur de Pigeon, 5 back yard Paul Robeson, 4 Oaxacan Jewel(1) (7.5 ounces, 13 ounces, 13 ounces), 4 Black Krim (8 ounces, 6.5 ounces, 6 ounces), 3 back yard Garden Peach(2), 3 Red Grape, 3 Amazon Chocolate (one 6 ounces), 3 back yard Green Grape, 3 Black From Tula (11.5 ounces, 8 ounces), 3 front yard Husky Cherry Red, 2 Vintage Wine, 2 Dr. Wyche's Yellow (11 ounces, 9 ounces), 2 Sweet 100, 2 Turkish Striped Monastery, 2 Pierce's Pride, 2 Cuor de Bue (one 8.5 ounces), German Orange Strawberry, Sweet Olive, Japanese Black Trifele, Berkeley Tie Dye (9.5 ounces), SunSugar, Super Snow White, Jaune Flamme, Mong and Silvery Fir Tree for a total of 222 tomatoes.

I watered the front yard tomato plants and the whole back yard this morning.

I harvested the same total today as I did yesterday but this batch of tomatoes was lighter than yesterday's harvest. The front yard harvest of 135 tomatoes is the second largest for the year.

I gave my wife permission to remove the front yard Paul Robeson.

Tomorrow we'll go over the 3500 mark for harvested tomatoes in July.

The highest harvest total in the back yard this year is now held by Yellow Perfection (270 tomatoes).

My wife just came back from looking all over the San Fernando Valley for a canning pot. More tomato canning in the future for us!