Saturday, July 10, 2010

Harvested Pineapple and Depp's Pink Firefly!

Today's harvest includes 16 White Currant, 10 SunGold, 10 Violet Jasper, 9 Husky Cherry Red, 6 Snow White (back yard), 5 Gypsy, 5 Red Grape, 4 Red Currant(2), 4 Principe Borghese, 3 Marianna's Peace, 3 Zapotec Pleated, 3 Green Grape, 2 Stupice, 2 Topaz, 2 Red Currant(1), 2 Brown Berry, 2 Yellow Pear, 2 Speckled Roman, 2 Pineapple (new, 14.5 ounces, 14 ounces), Snow White (front yard), Babywine, SunSugar, Weeping Charlie, Red Boar, Sweet Tangerine (6 ounces), Ananas Noire, Jaune Flamme(2) and Depp's Pink Firefly (new) for a total of 101 tomatoes.

Almost all of our tomatoes were given away by the morning, including today's harvest. We are having a tile floor put in the kitchen and that meant clearing everything out of the kitchen. No room for tomatoes!

One of the places where we dropped off tomatoes was at our “seed lady”. We then visited in the afternoon and tried one of the Pineapple tomatoes. Very interesting tomato. My wife and I liked this tomato but neither of us fell in love with it, yet we can understand why this can be a favorite for others. It's a very mellow taste that doesn't remind you of a tomato at all. This won't sound appealing at all but seems somewhat tasteless. What's really going on when you taste this tomato is you get the gentle sweetness up front without the acid taste at the end. Thus the “tastelessness” is really the lack of an acid kick at the end. Recommended.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Harvested Miss Elliotte Black!

Today's harvest includes 11 White Currant, 8 Violet Jasper, 7 SunGold, 7 Yellow Perfection, 6 Red Grape, 5 Snow White (back yard), 5 Husky Cherry Red, 3 Stupice, 3 Marianna's Peace, 2 Gypsy, 2 Nyagous, 2 Zapotec Pleated, 2 Speckled Roman, 2 Brown Berry, 2 Red Currant(2), 2 Principe Borghese, Snow White (front yard), Japanese Black Trifele, Orange Fleshed Purple Smudge (6 ounces, but no purple smudge), Black Krim, SunSugar, Lyn's Mahogany Garnet, Topaz, Red Currant(1), Yellow Pear, Gajo de Melon, Ananas Noire, German Orange Strawberry, Sweet Tangerine, Thessaloniki and Miss Elliotte Black (new) for a total of 84 tomatoes weighing 5 pounds 9 ounces.

Yesterday's haul also weighed 5 pounds, 9 ounces.

SunSugar was watered by the time I got home. The front yard tomatoes were watered again as well.

The heat wave that was predicted earlier this week didn't happen, at least yet. We're supposed to reach the low 90's next week, approaching the normal temperatures for July.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Harvested Pierce's Pride and Toni's Round!

Today's harvest includes 15 White Currant, 13 Snow White (back yard), 9 Violet Jasper, 7 Stupice, 5 SunGold, 4 Principe Borghese, 4 Zapotec Pleated, 4 Yellow Perfection, 3 Red Currant(1), 3 Brown Berry, 3 Speckled Roman, 3 Black From Tula, 2 Husky Cherry Red, 2 Marianna's Peace, 2 Ananas Noire (one 6.5 ounces), 2 Nyagous, 2 Jaune Flamme(2), 2 Red Grape, Gypsy, Sweet Tangerine, Red Boar, Lyn's Mahogany Garnet, Red Currant(2), Green Zebra, Green Grape, Black Cherry, Japanese Black Trifele, SunSugar, Patio, Garden Peach, Black Krim (9.5 ounces), Pierce's Pride (new, 10 ounces) and Toni's Round for a total of 100 tomatoes.

I don't have today's weight but the weight for the last two days was 5 pounds 7 ounces and 5 pounds, 6 ounces.

We have our first mislabel – the tomato plant labeled Azoychka clearly isn't Azoychka. Azoychka looks like a typical tomato about 4 – 6 ounces, flattened, only yellowish orange in color. What's growing looks like a thinner version of Yellow Pear. We'll keep it labeled Azoychka until we can harvest from this plant and hopefully identify it for what it is.

My wife watered the whole back yard and all of the front yard tomato plants with the exception of SunSugar. I could tell SunSugar wasn't watered because the fertilizer was still visible. No problem, either she or I will get it watered by this evening.

We need to get a netting around Black From Tula. A bird got another one of these tomatoes.

Big Pink has a tomato on it.

My wife prepared some tomatoes for taste testing during dinner. Here's my mental notes on what we tried:

Chile Verde (upper left corner) – I saw my wife's reaction as she ate this tomato. She gave kind of a far off look which indicated to me she didn't care for the taste. She told me she really liked it and for me to give it a try. I tried it, liked it and gave a far off look as I began thinking how to relate what I was tasting. The taste is unique and doesn't taste tomatoey at all. I took bite after bite doing the same thing and having the same experience. The best I can do is this: If you have ever had the Trader Joes' soy ice cream sandwiches, the mouth feel was similar. It did not feel like a tomato. If you combined that feel with pretty strong fruit taste, you got it. A definite winner.

Green Grape (upper right corner) – Always a winner.

Black Cherry (lower right corner) – Ditto.

Snow White (yellow tomato, far right) – Ditto.

Nyagous (lower center/right) – Excellent taste.

Garden Peach (upper center) – The tomato itself looks somewhat milkier than the Garden Peaches I remember from prior years. It tasted like citrus, very good.

Plum Tigris (lower center) – My wife thought she had cut up a Speckled Roman but I thought it was Plum Tigris. We tasted it and we both agreed it wasn't Speckled Roman. It tasted “brighter”. My wife didn't like Plum Tigris last year and was wary of growing it again this year. She liked this year's version better than last year's version.

Yellow Pear (to the left of Snow White) – A little mushy and thick skinned, but good taste. Our take is that it's definitely worth continuing to try, it's just that this particular tomato was a little past its' prime.

Green Zebra (to the left of Plum Tigris) – The taste was more tomatoey than I remember for Green Zebras in the past. It tasted quite good (my wife loved it) but the tomatoey taste didn't make it stand out for me.

Michael Pollan – This was the only one that missed. The tomato tasted really good at the July 3 party, but not today. It simply wasn't ripe enough. It needed a couple more days to mature. No big deal, that happens.

When I got home Black Krim had a bad lean to the west. I took a hammer to drive in the stake and I could hear it splinter. And it didn't help the lean. I was actually stuck. If I let go it could fall. I tried calling my wife but she was in the kitchen and the door was closed. Fortunately I hit upon the idea of leaning the plant to the east and hanging the hammer off of the top of the frame on the east side. The plant straightened up but didn't topple over. That gave me time to bring my wife over to hold it while I retrieved a thick stake and hammered it into place. All is well with this plant.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Harvested Black Oxheart and Sara Black!

Today's harvest includes 13 Violet Jasper, 7 White Currant, 7 Snow White (back yard), 6 Yellow Perfection, 5 Husky Cherry Red, 4 SunGold, 4 Principe Borghese, 4 Red Grape, 3 Marianna's Peace (one 6 ounces), 3 Black From Tula (one 10.5 ounces), 3 Red Currant(1), 3 SunSugar, 2 Garden Peach, 2 Brown Berry, 2 Zapotec Pleated, 2 Nyagous, 2 Thessaloniki, 2 Gypsy, 2 Dr. Wyche's Yellow(2), Stupice, Michael Pollan, Black Cherry, Topaz, Green Grape, Red Currant(2), Red Boar, Speckled Roman, Black Oxheart (new) and Sara Black (new) for a total of 86 tomatoes. My wife weighed them but I don't remember the exact amounts. I believe both yesterday and today were in the 5 pound range.

Again, we have a marine layer in the morning keeping the sun away and providing for a very light mist in the morning. This is July in the west San Fernando Valley!!!! This isn't time for marine layers.

My wife and I had a discussion on Sara Black. I noted it looked like it had been pecked by birds yesterday. I harvested it today thinking the same thing. But when I brought it inside I believe it just had a terrible split along a seam and not a bird pecking. My wife thought it was pecked coincidentally along the seam and out to the compost bin it went along with one of the Black From Tula tomatoes that clearly had a peck or two on it.

We've now harvested over 1000 tomatoes for the year (1027).

Violet Jasper is the first tomato to reach triple digits for harvesting with 109.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Harvested Green Zebra!

Today's harvest includes 14 Violet Jasper, 8 SunGold, 8 White Currant, 6 Stupice, 5 Yellow Perfection, 5 Red Currant(1), 4 Garden Peach, 4 Red Grape, 3 Zapotec Pleated, 3 Marianna's Peace, 3 Speckled Roman, 3 Brown Berry, 3 Black Cherry, 3 Snow White (front yard), 2 Black Krim (one 8.5 ounces), 2 Principe Borghese, 2 Plum Tigris, 2 Sweet Tangerine, 2 Nyagous, 2 Ananas Noire (one 8 ounces), Gajo de Melon, Black From Tula (6 ounces), Dr. Wyche's Yellow(2), Red Boar, Yellow Pear, Topaz, Japanese Black Trifele, Husky Cherry Red and Green Zebra (new) for a total of 93 tomatoes.

I added fertilizer to the container plants but the fertilizer hasn't been watered in yet. I should also add that my wife continues to add bird netting around the tomato plants whose tomatoes show bird damage (Ananas Noire comes to mind).

So many tomatoes are maturing that I can't keep track of them all. There were at least three more I saw today. Obviously, we harvested one of the newly maturing tomatoes, Green Zebra.

There was actually a slight mist in the air and the exposed section of the newspaper was wet, though it thoroughly dried inside our house.

There is supposed to be a heat wave later this week. Let's wait and see.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Harvested Japanese Black Trifele and T. C. Jones!

Today's harvest includes 12 White Currant, 9 SunGold, 8 Violet Jasper, 8 Principe Borghese, 5 Red Grape, 4 Snow White (back yard), 4 Husky Cherry Red, 4 Gypsy, 3 Speckled Roman, 3 Stupice, 3 Red Currant(1), 3 Brown Berry, 3 Yellow Perfection, 2 Patio, 2 Ananas Noire (one 7 ounces), 2 Zapotec Pleated, Taxi, Snow White (front yard), German Orange Strawberry, Sweet Tangerine (6 ounces), Marianna's Peace, Gajo de Melon, Black Cherry, Japanese Black Trifele (new) and T. C. Jones (new) for a total of 84 tomatoes weighing 4 pounds, 15 ounces.

My wife and I went to a pool party in the afternoon. We brought along a bunch of the smaller tomatoes and had a lot of fun splashing in the pool.

As of today, White Currant is our biggest producer.

The numbers have been steady over the past couple of days. The weather has been unseasonably cool for July. Right now it's completely overcast. This is really unusual.

Four years ago I moved in with my then girlfriend/now wife in July 2006. This month was notable because there was a run of 22 days over 100 degrees, including a 119.2 degree day on July 22. Between June 27 and July 27, 2006, the lowest high temperature was 99 degrees on July 3 and July 5.

Don't hold me to this, but I think our high so far this year has been around 93 degrees. Yesterday's high was 80.6 degrees. The day before, 80.9.

This is why our production has been delayed a bit. But look out, this is also great fruit-setting weather. If it heats up, look out, we'll have some very large harvest numbers.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Harvested Chile Verde!

Today's harvest includes 11 White Currant, 9 SunGold, 8 Violet Jasper, 6 Principe Borghese, 5 Yellow Perfection, 4 Speckled Roman, 4 Stupice, 3 Green Grape, 3 Black Krim (9.5 ounces, 10 ounces, 9 ounces), 3 Ananas Noire (9 ounces, 6.5 ounces, 6.5 ounces), 3 Nyagous, 3 Thessaloniki, 3 Red Grape, 2 Brown Berry, 2 Red Currant(1), 2 Babywine, 2 Black Cherry, 2 Husky Cherry Red, Patio, Red Currant(2), Sweet 100, Topaz, Taxi, Red Boar, Sweet Tangerine (6 ounces), Zapotec Pleated, Gajo de Melon and Chile Verde (new) for a total of 85 tomatoes weighing 6 pounds, 13 ounces.

Last night we had a barbeque at Liz and Ricardo's. It was a blast! The food and company was outstanding. The taste of the barbequed meat was out of this world delicious!

We brought a boatload of tomatoes to sample and they were a hit as well. We sampled Michael Pollan for the first time. Everyone liked it and the taste description that seemed the most accurate was “kiwi-like”. It reminded my wife of the taste of Lime Green Salad. German Orange Strawberry was a hit (“citrusy”), so was Speckled Roman (“meaty”) but the hit of the evening for me was Black Krim. My description of the taste of Black Krim is juicy and consistent with a velvety undertone. I think it's our best tomato taste so far this year.

In the afternoon I added a stake to Violet Jasper as the plant consistently leans westward. I put a stake on the west side to resist any more leaning in that direction. Also, I tried it again at the barbecue. The taste started out “cardboardy”, then started to become “tomatoey” (okay) but at the point the taste was becoming acceptable, the cardboard taste came back and dominated. I don't like the taste of this tomato.