Tomato Start Time!

If you’ve known me to any time at all you may have ascertained there are some things in life I’m fairly passionate about.

I figure that home-grown tomatoes being one of them isn’t necessarily a bad thing, right?

That’s why I maybe go a little overboard when I’m buying tomato seeds in the dead of winter. This winter was no exception…

Which can work out great for YOU – if you want some pretty fabulous heirloom, organic tomato starts to put in your own garden. ‘Cause – come on – if you’re starting tomatoes, why not go wild!

Today we pick up where we started last weekend with the CMBC Community Garden launch – and continue selling our tomato starts curbside at our place.

If you want us to save something for you to come by and pick up – text, message, or phone me, and I’ll get it set aside for you.

Here’s what I’ve got available:

Remaining Inventory

Name

Color/Type

D/I?

Days

9 Alicante Red
Cooking/Slicing
Indeterminate

70

6 Amish Paste Red
Canning
Indeterminate

81

4 Anna Russian Pink
Slicer
Indeterminate

70

1 Armenian Bi-Colored
Slicing
Indeterminate

90

6 Azoychka Yellow-Orange
Multi Use
Indeterminate

70

11 Beefsteak Red
Slicing , cooking, and/or canning
Indeterminate

85

2 Black from Tula Purple-Black
Slicing
Indeterminate

75

5 Black Prince Purple-Black
Slicing/Cooking
Indeterminate

70

4 Bloody Butcher Red
Canning
Indeterminate

55

4 Brandywine Red
Slicing
Indeterminate

90

6 Chocolate Cherry Brown
Cherry
Indeterminate

70

5 Earl of Edgecombe Yellow-Orange
Slicing
Indeterminate

73

5 Elbe Yellow-Orange
Slicing/Sauce
Indeterminate

86

7 Grandfather Ashlock Pink
Slicing
Indeterminate

85

3 Henderson’s Wins All Pink
Slicing
Indeterminate

83

1 Isis Candy Cherry Yellow-Red
Cherry
Indeterminate

67

3 Lahman Pink Pink
Slicing
Indeterminate

80

5 Manitoba Red
Slicing/Cooking
Determinate

58

2 Mrs. Maxwell’s Big Italian Dark Pink
Eating/Slicing Canning/Cooking
Indeterminate

69

12 Oregon Spring Red
Slicing
Determinate

75 to 80

10 Pantano Romanesco Red
Sauce
Indeterminate

70

4 Peacevine Cherry Red
Cherry
Indeterminate

75

10 Purple Price Purple-Black
Slicing
Indeterminate

75

6 Riesentraube Red
Grape
Indeterminate

85

4 Roughwood Golden Plum Yellow-Orange
Plum
Semi-Determinate

76

3 San Marzano Redorta Red
Paste
Indeterminate

78

5 Sweetie Red
Cherry
Indeterminate

65 to 70

Or if you’d like the details on each variety – you can download the PDF here: 2013 Tomato Inventory

Time to start planning all of the amazing things you can make with some yummy tomatoes…

Garden 2011

I should probably be required to write:

I am a bad blogger. I am a bad blogger. I am a bad blogger. I am a bad blogger….

(you get the idea)

At least 100 times on the blackboard.

Sigh.

Funny how completely working and just accomplishing those basic activities of daily living still leave me completely incapacitated at the end of the day.

I makes me REALLY look forward to the day when it won’t be that way. Please, dear Lord, let there be that day one day soon!

Tonight – after dinner, John and I walked out to the garden to see how things are progressing. The remainder of those post is going to pretty much be photos with a few comments.

Enjoy our garden.

We sure are!

…..

The hydrangea is finally in bloom! In August, for heaven’s sake! I love that it blooms right outside the kitchen window.

Here’s a peek at the “new” garden – this is the plot we put in a few years ago and is adjacent to the “old” garden.

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that my Romanesco Zucchini is finally putting out fruit! HOORAY! These plants were grown from seed saved from last year’s planting. I love it when a plan comes together!

TONS of grey zucchini blooms coming on the plant.

And with John’s brilliant new fencing job around both garden plots – it looks like we’ll actually get to eat the green beans this year – instead of the chickens and the deer! I can’t tell you how much that thrill my heart. J

John found a volunteer trio of sunflower plants in the pathway between the two garden plots, dug ’em up and planted them next to one of the cucumber trellises – it’s about to bloom – I can’t wait!

Look! Pickling cucumbers actually usable size! Hooray!

…and the first burpless cuke – just about ready for picking.

The lemon cucumber has lots and lots of blossoms – just no cukes yet. (They make the best Cucumber and Green Onion Salad. I can’t wait!)

Tomato plants…. Lots and lots of tomato plants…

Cherry tomatoes! Now all we need is enough sun to get them ripened up!

Look! It’s blushing!

Jessica – just in case you read this – there will be fresh green beans when you’re home – AND – squash. J

Can you believe this? I’ve still got lettuce in August!

The peppers are ripening up.

And the potato plants in the potato condo are at least 6 feet tall!

Yes, it’s true – there are actually still a few pea pods to be had.

And…

:sigh:

They’re back…

Did I mention that I’ve got 50 tomato plants planted in my gardens? And – oh – probably that same number of basil plants, too?

Squash and zucchini. Be still my heart.

Holding out hope for lots more sunny days – even if they’re on the cool-ish side, I’m okay with that.

Here’s to another 60 days of summer! J

Finally! Phew!

There’s something really amazing about the day that you actually start planting the garden.

I have this sense of – I dunno – relief? I feel like yelling, “FINALLY!”

And then doing a little happy dance.

I can admit it – I say a little prayer of thanks and sing a little song of thanksgiving to God for this incredible blessing of dirt to plant in.

So – Denise – you asked about John’s tomato trellis system. Here’s a sort of closer look at a panel he added to the line-up yesterday.

It’s three tall fence stakes and a panel of cattle fencing. These one he secured the fencing on with zip ties. (My husband LOVES zip ties!) That’s it. It works fabulously.

This year we’ve got 62 feet of tomato trellis. We’ve got 32 tomato plants in the ground along these 62 feet of trellis. We plant on one side of the trellis with tomatoes, and on the other side I’ll add things like chives and basil and maybe some marigolds – all of which are great companions to tomatoes.

We’re growing Cherry tomatoes, Cherokee Purple, Roman, Brandywine, Beefsteak, Legend, Siletz, and Romas. A nice blend of both determinate and indeterminate, early, moderate, and longer maturing varieties.

:sigh:

I can’t wait until that first tomato comes in from the garden!

Today we also got planted:

A variety of lettuces on the underside of the green bean trellis. The first planting of the blue lake green beans are on the “outside” of the trellis, too.

A variety of radishes. John decided to mix it up a bit – literally – and broadcast these together on the next segment of this green bean trellis. (And yes, we do staple the seed packages to the frame. We’re getting old – it helps us remember what’s where! )

Beets were next. We’re out of John’s mind-blowingly amazing pickled beets. It’s SO time for a good harvest of beets!

This shot gives you a better idea of how the lettuces, radishes, and beets were laid out:

Along the back and side of the fence are two varieties of Peas:

…and…

You can sort of see where they are here:

John’s standing next to the potato condo, and then to the right of where he’s at you can see the envelope for the Cascade Bush Snap Peas. The Oregon Surgar Pod Peas are planted along the fencing to the right.

And then about 8 feet of turnips:

It’s a pretty sweet thing to look across the yard and actually see things planted in the garden!

(Impressive fencing job, huh?)

All-in-all, a pretty productive day.

The girls sure enjoyed the snippets of sunshine, too.

So did Pepper!

Hope your Memorial Day was – and continues to be – filled with blessings.

Ingredient Spotlight: Canned Tomatoes

Tiffany, over at Eat at Home, is once again doing her Ingredient Spotlight blog hop. This week? It’s canned tomatoes.

Ideally, I wish every year were like this:

Years when my pantry has row upon row of home canned tomatoes.

Yeah, that was 2008 – decidedly NOT the garden of 2010!

And – because there are years with garden’s like this year’s, store-bought canned tomatoes are a life saver!

As I was going over my posted recipes I realized how few of my recipes that have this wonderful ingredient featured are even posted! (Bad me!) Honestly – I use canned tomatoes a ton! I’m going to have to get my act together and get them typed up and posted!

In lieu of that, here are recipes that use canned tomatoes that I hope you’ll enjoy!

Dina’s World Famous Lasagna
John & Dina’s Chili con Carne
Skillet Lasagna
Dina’s Italian Wedding Soup
Taco Soup – okay, this one doesn’t SAY canned tomatoes, but the truth of the matter is that I always throw them in!

Honestly – if there aren’t at least a dozen cans of diced tomatoes on the shelf in the pantry, I get a little worried! They’re indispensible! They are one of the best ways possible to deglaze a pan, leaving an amazing melding of flavors in their wake!

Enjoy!