Next....if you happen to be near your TV tomorrow at 5:55 PM and happen to be watching WRAL, you just might see someone familiar and involved with tomatoes in a big way....(I am cringing already!). I've been told it should show up on the website after 7 PM tomorrow night - here.
Finally - my blogging has decreased as tomato harvest, seed saving, documenting and preserving has increased. My driveway is an assortment of plants in various stages of health - from excellent to totally dead. That's typical for this time of year, with the type of heat and humidity we've experienced, and the varying ability of different varieties to deal with it all.
Right now I've got 9 flats of tomatoes just picked....a dining room table and kitchen counter each half covered with them. If it were only as simple as pick and eat or process - but of course it is pick, record, decide seed save or not...then this week the added complication - will it last for Tomatopalooza, or does it have to wind up in sauce or salsa or a canning jar?
Some things are not what I hoped them to be, which is typical. Of all of the varieties we carried as seedlings this year, you may have a surprise if you are growing the following: Caitlin's Lucky Stripe (I knew it wasn't totally stable yet - I got delicious 4 ounce pink ovals with yellow and green shoulders, rather than 6 ounce pink fruit with gold vertical stripes), Tennessee Britches (mine are coming out large, flat, ugly and pale yellow with pink streaks), Large Lucky Red (it is a nice tomato, but pink - supposed to be red, and I am not surprised to still see variations), Sungold Select II (mine is a red cherry - tasty, but not gold like it is supposed to be) and Hillbilly (mine is a hard, red thing - clearly a hybrid, and not very good). And there may be issues with pepper Corno di Toro (long, slender, green, likely crossed with a hot type), Super Shepherd (a pretty chartreuse, but pretty hot, so beware! supposed to be dark green) and eggplant Ping Tung Long (mine looks like Rosa Bianca instead). Not too bad, actually, considering how many varieties we carried. And not all bad news - the surprises, with the exception of Hillbilly and Corno di Toro, are just fine as they are.
Tomatoes of the year for me (not counting Dwarfs, some of which have been spectacular) are Green Giant, Brandywine, Dester Amish, Lillian's Yellow Heirloom, Nepal, Cherokee Green and Polish. All have outstanding flavor (really 9 out of 10 territory) and are doing very well. Amish Dester is a new one I got from my visit to the SSE last fall....I will have seedlings next spring!
If some of the tomatoes I picked today (and hope to pick in the next few) hold, I could have over 100 different varieties to bring to Tomatopalooza. But you never know....must get them out of the hot garage and stage them indoors!