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Thursday, July 5, 2012

First tomatoes, potatoes

That Black Krim tomato was saying pick me, and that’s what I did on the 4th of July.  I think I timed it about right.  It felt about right, even though it was more of a pale red on the outside.   

This is the tomato sliced into halves.  Gorgeous tomato isn’t it?  For flavor it’s comparable to the Brandywine I grew last year.  Sweet with a hint of tartness, like jam.  The meat is darker than the skin.   


Those green shoulders common on heirloom tomatoes may actually serve a purpose – the chlorophyll at the top of the tomato makes sugars that stay in the tomato.  The sugars serve as a building block for other flavor components.   The green top has been bred out of modern varieties for perfectly uniform looking, but not perfect tasting tomatoes.  Here’s an article about it in ScienceNews:  http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/341845/title/Convenience_shoulders_tomato_taste_aside
The cage of Yukon Gold tomatoes was clearly finished.  This morning I removed the cage and support posts and dug up the potatoes.  This variety does not usually give the yields of the Red Pontiacs, which will last for a few more weeks.   I got 5 pounds, 4 oz from five small tubers.  The two red potatoes are from a runner that found it’s way from the adjacent cage of Red Pontiacs.   Now I can make one of my favorite comfort foods – simmered potatoes, green beans, onions and sausage.  

This is the second batch of onions drying out.  There’s one more batch this size still in the beds.  I built a wood frame, about 2’ x 4’ in dimension with ½ inch wire screen where the onions can dry in the sun.   Onions dry quickly in this heat.  By 11 AM today the temperature was above 90 F.  The high on the July 4 was 102, and at 3 PM today it’s 101 according to Intellicast.  Friday and Saturday the predicted highs are 104.   The tomatoes and peppers are not setting many viable fruit now.

Now that I am watering the beds by pumping water from the pond I realize that I had not been putting enough water down on the beds when I watered from the house system.  Digging down into the soil I found it lacking moisture about six to eight inches down.  The plants had been pulling water out of this zone and not enough was trickling down to replace it.  The rule of thumb is an inch of water a week, but  when the daily highs are upper 90’s or more, the sun is blazing in a cloudless sky and there’s also some wind up then the plants probably need two or three inches of water a week.   I’ve been laying down a lot of water almost daily and the plants are responding well.    

6 comments:

Lynda said...

Very nice harvest! No tomatoes for me, yet. Did get a bunch of corn, chard and onions. I'm canning the corn right now...taking a blog break!

GrafixMuse said...

The Black Krim tomato is a beauty!! I learned something new about green shoulders on heritage tomatoes. Great yield on your Yukons!

Dave said...

Great looking tomato - and an interesting article. I'm growing Black Krim for the first time, but I don't have any ripe ones yet. Now I know about how they look when ripe!

kitsapFG said...

That is really interesting info on the green shouldered tomatoes. I think I would have let that variety go to long on the vine because the lighter skin would have fooled me into waiting. Beautiful tomato with all the color variation.

It is very easy to not water enough because depending on the soil structure and current moisture level, water may not percolate down very well into the deeper portions of the soil. I always check back to see if it really did what I thought, and am often suprised at the lack of moisture below the top few inches.

foodgardenkitchen said...

Looking at the potato picture, I could only think "which of these are not like the others?" :) Fortunately, you explained the intruder...

Both the potato and onion harvests looks great! And the tomato is goo looking.

Mary Hysong said...

That is a beautiful tomato. I think I might try the Black Krim next year; tho I'm dying to try another one I heard of recently; chocolate cherry! Great looking harvest!

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