Welcome to Carol Canning's Crazy Tomato Adventure
See the results of my 2012 Test Garden page
What starts are available on the 2013 Starts page
Information and Recipes are on the Information page
A wamer, dryer summer in 2012 made for an earlier, more bountiful crop. Surprisingly, I found the fruit smaller than seasons before, but very flavorful. My mother inlaw Vera helped with the harvest.
I grew a lot of bicolored, green, white, gold and orange tomaotes and they were delicious, especially the Orange Russian 117 and Marvel Stripe. The Chile Verde and Aunt Ruby's German Green makes the best salsa with it's earthy, citrus undertones and beautiful lime green color. The white, gold and orange varieties are as sweet as they are beautiful. They adorned my homemade pizzas and made for some awesome sorbet. I have a bunch of seeded and peeled fruit in my freezer for my midwinter Bruschetta cravings.
The early reds were very successful and a welcome treat in August. I had plenty of paste tomatoes for sauce and freezing. Having a supply of home grown frozen tomatoes for soups, stews and pizza toppings helps me get through the winter until we can have fresh grown tomatoes again
My neighbors and I tried out tons of recipes from pickled cherry tomatoes, bread pudding, pizzas, tortes, hot-sweet tomato jam to yummy tomato sorbet. I will post more recipes on my blog as the season progresses.
In my test garrden, I found that when I planted multiple plants of the same variety, some would flourish and some would not do as well, even though they were planted in the same environment. So, it might be a hit or a miss if you only have one plant of a certain variety. This is frustrating, because I can’t guarantee every plant.
By ripening green tomaotes in brown paper bags with a ripe apple, I was able to avoid having any green tomatoes left over. I harvested before the temperature fell below 34 degrees. Cleaning and drying the fruit with a towel and monitoring for rot, gave me ripe tomatoes through December. Granted, the tomatoes aren't as tasty as off the vine, but better than the ones you buy at the store.
Protecting your plants from rain by covering them is necessary with our flukey weather. The bent PVC pipe covered with clear plastic using clips is an affordable solution. I covered my tomato cages and clipped the plastic to my PVC chicken fencing. 60 gallon clear trash can bags will fit over cages. The bags need to be secured so the water at the top of the cage doesn’t drag the bag down and squish your plant. Covering your plants protects from early frost also.
The 2009 tomato season was productive for Northwest Oregon. The tomatoes were plentiful and delicious. This inspired me to start many varieties of Heirloom Tomato seed described as "excellent flavor".in Amy Goldman’s beautiful book: “The Heirloom Tomato, From Garden to Table.”.
2010 and 2011 were cooler and wet. Despite that, I harvested many beautiful, delicious tomatoes. My bounty was very late, the end of September, early October. An unseasonable two weeks of eighty degree weather in September bumped the crop to fruition.
2012 was warmer and more productive. I harvested through Octover 15.