Friday, May 18, 2012

Foodie Friday: Tomatoes Ride the Rails

How's THIS for Urban Gardening? :D (click for detail!)

Dragonetti's let me down this year - usually they have nice little 6-packs of mixed heirloom tomato seedlings, this year it was cherry, plum, beefsteak and extra-big beefsteak. I got a plum & a beefsteak but for some reason I do like growing the weird old heirloom ones, so today on my lunch break I dashed up to the Union Square Greenmarket, where the nice folks at Oak Grove Plantation had exactly the kind of funky tomatoes I had in mind. I came home with a multicolored menagerie - Green Zebra, Orange Ox-Heart, and a nice red Buck's County (actually a hybrid Red Brandywine, as I found out tonight - dad's side of the family has roots in Buck's County, so it seemed like a good one for me to pick).

Don't know if any of them will be quite as spectacular as this one was, at least until I knocked a hole in that tender, tender skin while trying to work it loose from the vines in which it was entangled. Ironically, 2009, the year of the great Bonnie Plants Tomato Plague (I swear I had nothing to do with that, that was a different Bonnie entirely, she probably doesn't even paddle!!!)  was the best year I ever had for tomatoes - this was the most astounding thing my garden has produced to date.
 Last year was awful, in fact - too much rain, I think it was. The cherries did OK, they literally grow themselves, but as far as the full-sized ones went, I grew masses and masses of luxuriant tomato foliage but they didn't start fruiting until September or so. Only one or two ripened, and there were enough for a couple of pots of my favorite green tomato rice recipe (TQ's find in '09 actually - he was out in PA & they got the blight out there so he suddenly had to find uses for a lot of green tomatoes - this was the best). But a disappointing year on the whole.

Sure hope the weather cooperates this year. The basil is off to a nice start, and with green, orange, and red tomatoes, just think how pretty the caprese salads will be!

No comments: