Saturday, August 8, 2009

Fun At The Loteria Grill!

Today's harvest included 25 Black Cherry, 13 Super Snow White, 13 Snow White, 11 Babywine, 11 Red Currant, 6 White Zebra (one 6 ounces), 5 back yard Husky Cherry Red, 5 Jaune Coeur de Pigeon, 4 Japanese Black Trifele, 3 Husky Gold, 3 White Currant, 3 back yard Garden Peach(2), 2 Berkeley Tie Dye (6 ounces, 7.5 ounces), 2 Green Zebra(2), 2 Plum Tigris, 2 Sweet 100, 2 Red Grape, 2 SunSugar, 2 Jaune Flamme, 2 Oaxacan Jewel(2), 2 front yard Husky Cherry Red, Mong, Silvery Fir Tree, a front yard Garden Peach, Amazon Chocolate (6 ounces), Paul Robeson and Italian Ice for a total of 126 tomatoes.

I got up early to harvest. No time to blog or put in the figures. I got my wife up and we got ready to head to the Loteria Grill for a morning tomato tasting. We had this event last year and it was a lot of fun.

We brought along 3 White Zebras, a handful of Black Cherries, 4 Japanese Black Trifeles and 2 Mexico tomatoes for the tomato tasting. We rushed to the event, getting there about 8:40 AM and helped prepare the event for the 10 AM tasting.

The event was just as fun as ever though I remember even more tomato varieties this year. We liked Old German, Toni's Round and Green Giant.

The story of who brought in Green Giant is interesting. I am a software developer by trade, and growing tomatoes is a fun hobby. Two years ago one of my best friends (the best man at my wedding) and I went in to visit a guy who needed an upgrade of their old data entry system. I did a little work on their system only to realize I had none of their data files. I can't run it. There was some correspondence between my friend and this person...but nothing happened and it faded away.

You should know where this is leading. My wife pulled out the tomato of a sack and handed it to me and I did what I do to prepare it. My wife pulled out a card that said “Green Giant”, turned it over and hey, that's the business card from the two year old potential client! My wife pointed him out...hey, that's him!

So we talked to him for a while. He's a pleasant guy, fun to talk to. He says he still wants to upgrade his system but also said he was gravely concerned about losing his business late last year. I don't hold out much hope to upgrade to their data entry system but talk about serendipity...

I tested our Mexico tomato and it was pretty good. I tried the Japanese Black Trifele and the taste was excellent. The Black Cherry and White Zebra were all gone so I don't know how they tasted.

A group of us went to Umami Burger after the event to discuss the tasting and possible future events.

We got home and immediately took a nap.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Reached 1000 Tomatoes For August!

Today's harvest includes 16 Snow White, 12 Red Currant, 11 Black Cherry, 7 Babywine, 7 Super Snow White, 6 Jaune Coeur de Pigeon, 6 back yard Husky Cherry Red, 6 White Currant, 4 Oaxacan Jewel(2), 4 Sweet 100, 4 Japanese Black Trifele, 4 Plum Tigris, 3 back yard Garden Peach(2), 3 front yard Husky Cherry Red, 3 Red Grape, 2 SunSugar, 2 back yard Mexico (14 ounces, 13 ounces), 2 Green Zebra(2), 2 Mong, Vintage Wine, a front yard Speckled Roman, a front yard Garden Peach, Dr. Wyche's Yellow (9 ounces), Black Krim, Husky Gold, a back yard Green Grape, German Orange Strawberry, Tiger Paw, White Zebra, Italian Ice and Pierce's Pride for a total of 116 tomatoes.

My wife watered the front yard yesterday.

We've reached over 1000 tomatoes for August 2009.

A few tomato plants are going through their second wind. The upcoming cooler weather will help this second wind.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Harvested 3000 Back Yard Tomatoes In 2009!

And today's harvest includes 13 Black Cherry, 11 Snow White, 9 back yard Garden Peach(2), 8 Babywine, 8 Jaune Coeur de Pigeon, 7 Super Snow White, 6 Red Currant, 5 front yard Green Grape, 4 Green Zebra(2), 4 Red Grape, 3 Oaxacan Jewel(2), 3 Pierce's Pride (one 8.5 ounces), 3 Plum Tigris, 3 White Currant, 3 back yard Husky Cherry Red, 2 Silvery Fir Tree, 2 front yard Husky Cherry Red, Black Krim, Yellow Perfection, Amazon Chocolate, Sweet 100, SunSugar, Husky Gold, Italian Ice, Japanese Black Trifele, a back yard Paul Robeson, White Zebra (6.5 ounces), a back yard Speckled Roman (no end rot!) and a back yard Green Grape for a total of 106 tomatoes.

I forgot to mention that the blooms from our volunteer tomato plant look like Old Ivory Egg. That is consistent, since Old Ivory Egg was the only tomato plant in “Alongi Row” last year.

I specifically remember harvesting 4 Sweet 100s this morning. But by the time I counted them in the kitchen I only had one. I looked around a bit outside for the missing three tomatoes but couldn't find them. Oh well.

The tomatoes from Super Snow White look exactly like Snow White.

As of today we've picked over 400 Black Cherry tomatoes (402).

We've picked over 3000 tomatoes in the back yard this year (3001) and over 2800 in the front yard (2802).

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Volunteer Tomato Plant Is A Foot Tall

Today's harvest includes 14 Black Cherry, 10 Babywine, 8 Red Currant, 7 Jaune Coeur de Pigeon, 6 Snow White, 6 Red Grape, 4 back yard Husky Cherry Red, 3 front yard Garden Peach, 3 Oaxacan Jewel(2), 3 Super Snow White, 3 front yard Green Grape, 3 back yard Green Grape, 3 Plum Tigris, 3 Italian Ice, 3 back yard Paul Robeson, 3 Pierce's Pride, 2 Green Zebra(1), 2 back yard Garden Peach(2), 2 Japanese Black Trifele, 2 Black From Tula, 2 Sweet 100, 2 SunSugar, 2 Black Krim (one 6 ounces), Oaxacan Jewel(1) (6 ounces), Mong, White Currant, Jaune Flamme, White Zebra (6 ounces), Yellow Perfection, a back yard Mexico (13 ounces) and Big Yellow Zebra (14 ounces) for a total of 104 tomatoes.

Wow, just four days ago we harvested over double the amount we harvested today.

I was distracted for a couple of reasons – we had a relative in Los Angeles on business get ill and have to be admitted to the hospital. All looks like it will end well.

And this morning a tree trimmer from the city came by while I was harvesting in the front yard. They trimmed a few branches from our pine tree in the back yard.

Our volunteer is about a foot tall and actually has a couple of blooms on it. Marz Round Green is about 2.5 feet tall with a few blooms as well. However, it has gotten hot again and I expect these blooms to go sterile.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Donated Tomatoes To Project Angel Food

My wife made a delivery of 20 pounds of our tomatoes to Project Angel Food. They were very grateful. My wife was impressed with their facility and their mission.

The Tomato Plants Are Tired

Today's harvest includes 24 Black Cherry, 17 Snow White, 12 Red Currant, 9 Babywine, 8 Jaune Coeur de Pigeon, 7 Sweet 100, 5 Tiger Paw, 5 Oaxacan Jewel(2), 4 White Currant, 4 White Zebra, 3 Italian Ice, 3 back yard Husky Cherry Red, 3 Paul Robeson, 3 Super Snow White, 3 front yard Green Grape, 2 Pierce's Pride, 2 back yard Garden Peach(2), 2 Berkeley Tie Dye (8.5 ounces, 15 ounces), 2 Yellow Perfection, 2 Plum Tigris, 2 Green Zebra(2), 2 Patio, 2 Red Grape, 2 Vintage Wine, 2 front yard Garden Peach, a front yard Husky Cherry Red, a front yard Mexico, Black Krim, SunSugar, Amazon Chocolate, a back yard Green Grape, Black From Tula (8.5 ounces), a back yard Mexico (24.5 ounces), Japanese Black Trifele and Aunt Ruby's German Green for a total of 140 tomatoes.

My wife watered the front yard yesterday. It was still damp in the front yard from it. Technically that's a no-no, but the plants are old and the air is dry so there's really no harm to occur. In general – water in the morning.

Almost all the tomato plants are leaning over or are doubled over.

I didn't notice until yesterday that we picked more tomatoes in July 2009 than in all of 2008.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Freezer Works!

Today's harvest includes 31 Black Cherry, 19 Snow White, 12 Jaune Coeur de Pigeon, 9 Babywine, 9 Red Currant, 8 back yard Paul Robeson, 6 Oaxacan Jewel(2), 6 back yard Husky Cherry Red, 5 Berkeley Tie Dye (7 ounces, 8 ounces, 8.5 ounces, 8 ounces, 13 ounces), 4 White Currant, 4 Sweet 100, 4 Yellow Perfection, 4 Amazon Chocolate, 3 Oaxacan Jewel(1) (6 ounces, 7 ounces, 6.5 ounces), 3 Super Snow White, 3 front yard Garden Peach, 3 back yard Green Grape, 3 Black From Tula (10 ounces, 6 ounces, 12 ounces), 3 Green Zebra(2), 3 Red Grape, 3 Italian Ice, 2 Plum Tigris, 2 back yard Garden Peach(1), 2 back yard Garden Peach(2), 2 Pierce's Pride (one 8.5 ounces), 2 Mong, 2 front yard Green Grape, 2 front yard Husky Cherry Red, Vintage Wine, Black Krim, Japanese Black Trifele, Green Zebra(1), White Zebra, a back yard Mexico (20 ounces), Tiger Paw, SunSugar, Husky Gold and Cuor de Bue (7.5 ounces) for a total of 169 tomatoes.

Well, now it's a pattern. We probably saw our last harvest north of 200 on Saturday. The numbers for Red Currant and Snow White are slowly ebbing.

My father in law came this morning to pick up their two dogs. We also gave them a grocery bag of tomatoes to take back home. He and his daughter checked out the freezer – it's working perfectly! We put a bowl of water in the freezer and it was frozen this morning.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Went To My 30 Year Reunion

Today's harvest includes 20 Babywine, 19 Black Cherry, 19 Red Currant, 15 Snow White, 9 Italian Ice, 8 Plum Tigris, 8 Jaune Coeur de Pigeon, 6 back yard Garden Peach(2), 5 Sweet 100, 4 back yard Green Grape, 4 Black From Tula (6 ounces, 9 ounces, 6 ounces), 4 Oaxacan Jewel(2), 4 front yard Speckled Roman (one 6 ounces), 4 front yard Husky Cherry Red, 4 back yard Husky Cherry Red, 3 Patio, 3 Japanese Black Trifele (7.5 ounces, 6 ounces), 3 SunSugar, 3 Black Krim, 3 Silvery Fir Tree, 2 Super Snow White, 2 Vintage Wine, 2 front yard Garden Peach, 2 Oaxacan Jewel(1) (8 ounces, 9 ounces), 2 Red Grape, 2 White Currant, 2 Green Zebra(1) (new!), 2 Tiger Paw, 2 Pierce's Pride (6.5 ounces, 6 ounces), Yellow Perfection, Green Zebra(2), White Zebra, Mexico (18 ounces), Big Yellow Zebra (23 ounces), Amazon Chocolate (6 ounces), Jaune Flamme and Dr. Wyche's Yellow (10 ounces) for a total of 174 tomatoes.

Today represented a dramatic drop from the day before. However, I got up late and it was getting hot outside so I didn't work too hard harvesting. Let's see how tomorrow's numbers are before determining if we have a pattern.

The reason I was late harvesting today was that last night I was at my 30th high school reunion. The reunion was a bit of a blah reunion, but mostly due to the organizers. For $90 per person they can serve iced tea with the meal. They only served water. My wife came along, asked for coffee and it never came. There were a couple of other things that indicated the handlers hired to run the event were phoning it in.

After the meal, the standard deejay cranked up the music and drove a fair amount of people outside the doors.

Still I'm glad I went and more glad my wife came along. I enjoyed being with my wife more than anything.

I met some old friends and at the end there was a group that went to the Catholic elementary school, which included me.

But...growing up in Orange County wasn't fun. It was, well, dreadful. Orange County probably isn't too bad today. But when I moved there Huntington Beach had approximately 8000 people. I was beyond bored. Having what I now recognize as an abusive father growing up and currently have an abusive brother makes the OC an unfriendly, strange, ugly and unhappy place to be.

The town exploded. It went from about 9000 people in the town to over 100,000 people in one year. No joke. It was white flight and defense industry money. For our freshman year we had around 5000 students.

As I have mentioned at other reunions, people who didn't talk to you during high school won't talk to you at the reunion. It's just the way it is.

Still I had a nice time even though I didn't go out of my way to be sociable to everyone. If people came up to me (which happened) I was thrilled. I really did have a good time. A person that lived across the street from me while in high school (and didn't much care for me then) was face to face with me, less than two feet apart. Heh, she didn't say anything and I wasn't about to break the ice.

My wife made it a lot of fun.

Speaking of which, I haven't been mentioning all the hard work she's been doing processing all the tomatoes. We have over 30 jars of canned tomatoes. On Friday she spent over four hours working on a reduced tomato sauce that was excellent. She's both a trooper and a keeper.

I finished the front yard watering on Friday afternoon.

At dinner tonight we tried three Zebra tomatoes, Green Zebra, Big Yellow Zebra and White Zebra. My wife liked White Zebra the best while I liked Green Zebra the best. In both cases, though, it was the first tomato we tried.

My wife couldn't stand the Big Yellow Zebra a few days ago. While it was our least favorite of the three tomatoes, that's not a shot at Big Yellow Zebra.

White Zebra – smooth, mellow and refreshing.

Big Yellow Zebra – same, though watery.

Green Zebra – same, though more refreshing.

I preferred the refreshing Green Zebra while my wife preferred the smoothness of White Zebra. But all the tomatoes didn't have the tomato acid kick. They were all quite good.

Black Cherry has passed up Yellow Perfection in the total number of tomatoes harvested (320 to 319). So for now Black Cherry holds the all time record for the most tomatoes harvested from a back yard tomato plant.

Earlier today, we got a freezer delivered to us. We didn't have to pay for it! Josephine, a neighbor two blocks down whom my wife has known for years, had an extra freezer. Her son delivered it. It's the perfect size for our garage. Repeat, perfect. So we will have more room to hold our tomatoes!