Saturday, September 19, 2009

Reached 9500 Harvested Tomatoes For The Year!

Today's harvest includes 11 Babywine, 6 Snow White(1), 4 Snow White(2), 3 Yellow Perfection, 3 Garden Peach, 2 White Currant, 2 Japanese Black Trifele, 2 Black Cherry, 2 Turkish Striped Monastery, 2 Tiger Paw, Plum Tigris, Sweet 100, Jaune Coeur de Pigeon, a back yard Husky Cherry Red and Black From Tula (6.5 ounces) for a total of 42 tomatoes.

We've reached 9500 harvested tomatoes for the year (9534)! And it looks like we now have a fair shot at reaching 10,000 tomatoes for the year.

Yesterday it got up to 101 at Pierce College. Today it got up to 95 degrees. The temperature is still hot enough to burn out blooms.

This blog post is late because my wife and I went to the Los Angeles Dodgers game this afternoon. We had to arrange to get tickets from Chris's brother, then pick up a friend of Chris in Pasadena and head to the game. I met with Chris's parents and sat in field level seats well off of the right field line not too far away from the foul pole. My wife and her friend were right in line with home plate on the second deck.

This game was a rout, with the Dodgers winning 12-1. It was notable for a couple of reasons. First, there was a grand slam in the first inning. My wife and I have been at two Los Angeles Dodger games this year and in both games there has been a Dodger grand slam.

Second, my wife and her friend appeared on the main scoreboard between the seventh and eighth innings! The camera person did a pan of the restaurant in right field and my wife and her friend were dining at that moment, near the window.

Attached below is an image of a caterpillar eating a tomato, noted after today's early morning harvest.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Reached 900 Harvested Black Cherry Tomatoes!

Today's harvest includes 6 Snow White(2), 6 Babywine, 6 Black Cherry, 5 Yellow Perfection, 4 White Currant, 4 Plum Tigris, 4 Snow White(1), 2 German Orange Strawberry, 2 Paul Robeson, 2 White Zebra, 2 Vintage Wine, 2 Silvery Fir Tree, Mong, Black Krim, Dr. Wyche's Yellow, Oaxacan Jewel(1), a back yard Husky Cherry Red, a back yard Green Grape, Tiger Paw, Garden Peach and Sweet 100 for a total of 54 tomatoes.

Black Cherry has reached over 900 harvested tomatoes (905)! Plum Tigris has reached over 100 harvested tomatoes (103).

Black Cherry and Yellow Perfection are near the end of their second wind. There's not a lot of fruit left on these two plants.

Even if the harvest totals “falls off a table” again, we'll easily double the original estimate of 700 tomatoes for the month.

I see some new blooms on Snow White(1) but I also understand we're supposed to get hit with another heat wave.

Hmmm....if we get 300 harvested tomatoes in both the front and back yards before the end of the year, we'll reach 10,000 tomatoes. That seems doable, so I have to say that it's now a possibility.

The front yard Husky Cherry Red is all brown now, having been suffocated by Babywine. This plant is draped completely over Husky Cherry Red.

My wife finished watering the front yard.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tomatoes In The News

And here's more tomato stories in the news...

The Baltimore Sun -- Tomato Blight. Next Year?

The Journal Times (Racine, WI) -- Tasty Tomato Recipes

Popular Science -- Better Tomatoes Via A Fertilizer of...Human Urine?

Reading Eagle (PA) -- Blights afflict Berks homegrown

Madison County Courier (WI) – Going Green: That Nasty Tomato Blight

AgWeek – This Summer’s Heroic Tomatoes Deserve Gallant Culinary Efforts

Mail Tribune (Southern Oregon) – Don't Let Oregon Summers, Tomatoes Go To Waste

The News-Herald (Southeastern Michigan) – Southgate: Tomato Tasting Will Be Part of Saturday's Plant Exchange

The State Journal Register (Springfield, IL) – Tomato Time – How To Avoid The Overload

and one year ago today:

The Los Angeles Times – Winnetka Man Loves His Tomatoes

Yellow Perfection Reaches 500, Babywine 400 Harvested Tomatoes

Today's harvest includes 11 Babywine, 8 Black Cherry, 7 Snow White(1), 6 Yellow Perfection, 2 German Orange Strawberry, 2 Paul Robeson, 2 Plum Tigris, 2 White Currant, 2 Silvery Fir Tree, 2 Red Grape, 2 Vintage Wine, 2 Black Krim (one 6 ounces), Mong, Jaune Coeur de Pigeon, Oaxacan Jewel(2), Snow White(2), Sweet 100, Japanese Black Trifele, Black From Tula, Speckled Roman, Tiger Paw and Pierce's Pride for a total of 58 tomatoes.

Yellow Perfection has reached over 500 harvested tomatoes (502)! And Babywine has reached over 400 harvested tomatoes (401).

My wife watered portions of the front yard on Monday.

Today is the one year anniversary of the article featuring me on the front page of the Los Angeles Times. I'll link to this story in a separate post.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It's Our Second Anniversary!

And today's harvest includes 15 Black Cherry, 11 Babywine, 6 Yellow Perfection, 5 Plum Tigris, 4 Paul Robeson, 3 Oaxacan Jewel(1), 2 Snow White(1), 2 Snow White(2), 2 Dr. Wyche's Yellow, 2 Silvery Fir Tree, 2 Japanese Black Trifele, Turkish Striped Monastery, White Currant, Vintage Wine, Oaxacan Jewel(2) and a nice looking Black Krim (7 ounces) for a total of 59 tomatoes.

I know for a fact I picked a Sweet 100 and put it in the harvest basket, but when I pulled out the tomatoes for counting it had disappeared. Oh well.

We've now harvested over 4500 tomatoes from the front yard (4515)! I've noted that some of the front yard tomato plants (especially the two Snow White plants and Dr. Wyche's Yellow) are more green due to the cooler weather. I don't know if that will mean another run of tomatoes out of these plants but it does mean they are still quite healthy.

Last night my wife and I had an early celebration of our second anniversary at a nearby Argentinian restaurant. The food was delicious. We spent most of our time wondering how two years went by so fast.

Our actual second anniversary is today, September 15.

If you were at our wedding two years ago, you know how much fun it was for everyone involved. Please add your memories to the comments section of this thread/post. Thank you!

Monday, September 14, 2009

We Met The No-Dig Garden Guy

Today's harvest includes 9 Yellow Perfection, 8 Black Cherry, 7 Babywine, 5 Paul Robeson, 3 White Currant, 3 Japanese Black Trifele, 3 back yard Husky Cherry Red, 2 Vintage Wine, 2 Snow White(1), 2 Snow White(2), 2 Dr. Wyche's Yellow (one 7 ounces), 2 Oaxcan Jewel(1), 2 Jaune Coeur de Pigeon, 2 Amazon Chocolate, 2 Garden Peach(2), German Orange Strawberry, Tiger Paw, Sweet 100 and Oaxacan Jewel(2) for a total of 58 tomatoes.

The weather was cooler yesterday (and today) and, coincidentally or not, the harvest numbers dropped. The totals are coming back in to the range experienced late last month.

We've reached 300 harvested tomatoes for Snow White(2)! The Snow White(2) is one of our strongest plants, a late bloomer (literally), and it wouldn't surprise me to end up with over 400 tomatoes by the time the harvest is over.

Japanese Black Trifele has now reached over 100 harvested tomatoes (101). Jaune Coeur de Pigeon has reached 350 harvested tomatoes.

Before I get into what my wife and I were doing on a Sunday afternoon, I'll need to set the stage.

In June of 2008 there was an article in the Los Angeles Times about how to make mulch from hay. I thought it was something terrific and almost perfect for what we were doing. We saved the newspaper article but never got around to implementing it for this season (The article can be found here.)

Fast forward to April of this year. My wife and I took a tour of the Los Angeles Times building – the blog post can be found here – and the blog post indicates, this guy wanted to get in touch with me. It turned out that the lady who was our tour guide through the Los Angeles Times building (Lisa Boone) also wrote the article.

It took months to get the email address from Lisa – I guess she thought she had sent it (perhaps she did but got the email address wrong and I never saw it) but after a couple of tries on my part I did get the email contact.

So we corresponded and my wife and I came by to visit yesterday afternoon.

What a blast! Pat and his girlfriend couldn't have been more gracious hosts. We talked and talked and walked through their terraced garden. They talked about their No-Dig vegetable garden and showed us around while my wife took notes on her iPhone. I discussed techniques we use when planting and growing tomatoes...and the hours flew by.

Later on inside they tried some of the tomatoes we brought. They were cutting up the tomatoes when I stated “These tomatoes are good but they're not quite as good as earlier in the year...” By that time they were sampling them and loving the taste of these tomatoes. Man, have I become such the tomato snob.

We're going to keep in touch, that's for sure!

Then we paid a visit to our “seed lady” and spent a few pleasant hours with her.

Now I'm looking forward to preparing our soil for next year!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Reached 1000 Harvested Tomatoes For September

And today's harvest includes 14 Black Cherry, 13 Snow White(2), 12 Yellow Perfection, 7 Babywine, 5 Snow White(1), 4 Oaxacan Jewel(2), 4 Japanese Black Trifele, 3 Orange Blossom, 3 Paul Robeson, 3 White Currant, 3 back yard Husky Cherry Red, 2 Silvery Fir Tree, 2 Jaune Coeur de Pigeon, 2 Garden Peach(2), Plum Tigris, Red Currant, Jaune Flamme, Garden Peach(1), Vintage Wine, a front yard Husky Cherry Red, Husky Gold, Sweet 100, German Orange Strawberry and Pierce's Pride for a total of 87 tomatoes.

Fulfilling a promise yesterday, I pulled out the front yard Speckled Roman, Jaune Flamme, Red Currant, Garden Peach(1) and Orange Blossom.

Yesterday my wife went to a worm composting class with our friend Liz. I was going to come but I had some new consulting work.

My wife came back with the worm compost materials and a bag of worms, plus a bale of hay. I'm not sure what the hay is for, but what the hey! We assembled it and we have our own worm composter as a complement to our regular compost bin made last week. The pulled tomato plants went in to the regular compost pile.

We've reached over 1000 harvested tomatoes for September (1082)! Again, I have no update to the original estimate of 700 tomatoes for the month. I know the harvest numbers will fall but I thought they would have fallen much quicker than they have. I'm happy for that!

If we continue harvesting around 80 tomatoes for a few more days, 10,000 tomatoes will be a possibility.

We hadn't harvested a Pierce's Pride in over a month.

The tomatoes from the volunteer look exactly like Old Ivory Egg.

Tomatoes In The News

This is the first of a new series of columns: Tomatoes in the news.



Des Moines Register – Grower Follows Her Tomatoes To The Table

The Washington Post -- When a Garden Loses Its Light, What's a Tomato Grower to Do?

The Dallas Morning News – Grab the Last Summer Tomatoes For Almost-A-Meal Salads

Kitsap Sun (Washington state) – Helping Your Tomato Harvest Along

GazetteXtra (Janesville, WI) – Crying Over Rotten Tomatoes

StarTribule (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota) – Eating Seasonally In Tomato Heaven

New York Times – Green Tomato Soup With Bacon and Brioche Croutons