Raymond Alexander Kukkee
We had apples this season. Lots of apples. How blessed we are. We know that some apple-growing areas had poor crops caused by weird, hot spring weather and late frost; but somehow,
we were not too badly affected. The bears didn't get the apples, either, nor did the deer. Apples and more apples, we picked them happily, and they are all in great shape.
No doubt about it, even our apple inspector was impressed!
|The Apple Inspector Approves the Apples|
Even E.B.S. (Ebony the Short) and T.T.T. (Tilly the Tall), our resident pups, love to play with an apple--and munch on them.
We had to digress a little, didn't we?
Now for tomatoes.
We like tomatoes. Big ones, small ones, cherry tomatoes, heritage tomatoes. Beefsteak, Manitoba, Tiny Tims, Sophie's choice--We like them all. We use them both green and red.
Check out the green in the greenhouse! Not bad for one single plant! We have about 20 producing plants molly-coddled in the greenhouse just in case the weather is bad.
These tomato plants are organic--no fertilizers or sprays of any kind!
|Green tomatoes --One plant in Greenhouse|
Those are tomatoes IN the greenhouse. The tomatoes are indeterminate type plants, pruned, shortened and defoliated after the second or third set of flowers set fruit. Not bad, 27 individual tomatoes on one bushy plant --at first count!
How about outside? "Field" tomatoes ? You mean the ones out in the garden?
We have those too! Check these out!
|Field Tomatoes ripen on the vine|
The tomato plants in the garden beds have been defoliated to allow the tomatoes to ripen in the sun. Normal, natural, healthy! My resident genius gardener figured this one out. Leaving excess foliage over the tomatoes invites trapped moisture, mould, slugs, and other insects. In our geographic location in NW Ontario, in late summer we get very heavy dew overnight.
Removing excess foliage allows the remaining tomato plant stems and leaves to stay healthy and dry, discouraging mould, insects, and spoilage, encourages the plants to feed the tomatoes, and the result is much bigger, better quality fruit.
We do have to admire the creativity of Mother Nature too, even out in the tomato patch. This tomato is a curiosity, just plain weird and huge. It weighs in at: 1 lb, 9 oz.( 702 grams) It clearly had no growth issues even if it's design is strange. I bet a slice of this tomato would work fine on a bagel sandwich with that hole in the middle...
|A Weird Giant Tomato--not quite ripe..yet|
Would you squeeze that one in a mason jar for winter instead? Make spaghetti sauce with it? Tomato sauce? Salsa? Would you want to? Why not eat it fresh instead ! We'll let it ripen a bit more...
Did you know that green tomatoes will ripen on the table indoors as long as they are shiny when picked? Tomatoes that are very immature and not shiny, dull-looking-- will not ripen properly.
Here's what we do with our tomatoes each season. My resident genius makes preserves and a "few" other things. Lucky me!
- Canned tomatoes (processed in glass Mason jars) (110 liters last season)
- Tomato sauce
- tomato paste
- Tomato soup
- Prepared pizza sauce (includes spices)
- Prepared spaghetti sauce (includes spices)
- Tomato juice (plain)
- Tomato juice (spiced, i.e. cocktail juice)
- Salsa (Using both green and red tomatoes0
- Green tomato mincemeat (Yes, mincemeat for Christmas tarts! )
- Brown sauce (Similar to, but better than commercial "HP"brown sauce )
- Hot sauce (including Habanero or other very hot peppers)
- Barbecue sauce
- Enchilada sauce
- Bruschetta ( somewhat like a salsa)
- Chicken wing sauce
- Creole sauce
- Seafood Cocktail sauce
- Green Chili sauce
- Sweet & Sour sauce
- Sun-dried (dessicated) tomatoes
No matter, that's enough already--for now, ---at least until we discover some additional use for tomatoes.
Who knows, we may even want to use that weird tomato if it doesn't end up in a bagel.
By the way, don't forget to save some tomato seeds for next year! Check in with Uncle Mac over at the shed to find out how!
Is that Incoming I hear?
Photographs by the author.