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The Tomatoes are at their peak !


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#1 Skywatcher

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Posted 01 July 2022 - 09:21 PM

Last year was a dismal failure in the raised beds. Nematodes came with the tomato starter plants, and wiped out the carrots and eliminated any fruit from the wasted tomato plants.

After a full fall and winter of nothing but dry soil and regular turning to expose all the soil to sunlight, I believe I succeeded it getting rid of them.

 

My tomatoes this year grew vigorously and started setting fruit by May. Then the heat started and continued without much pause between heat waves. I have still managed to get a pretty decent crop, although I think the continuing 90-+100 temps will pretty much end this years crop production. 

 

I already have pulled 40 to 50 tomatoes which we have been feasting on and freezing to make spaghetti sauce, but today I had to collect a big haul which has all been getting ripe at once.

I thought i would share some pics with you all......

 

post-126525-0-06707300-1656728462.jpg

 

Tomatos 1.jpg      Tomatos 3 sized.jpg

 

Tomatos 4 sized.jpg


Edited by Skywatcher, 01 July 2022 - 09:24 PM.

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#2 YoshiTrainer

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Posted 02 July 2022 - 01:25 AM

Those look incredible Sky, it is a wonderful time of year!
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#3 ShortcutSlim

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Posted 03 July 2022 - 02:50 PM

Ahh yes. Tomatoes. Looking good Sky! I've had a love affair with tomatoes that I inherited from my Grandfather who was a truck farmer is his early years. I only grow heirlooms anymore,and generally plant a dozen plants. I often end up with 50+ plants as I can't bring myself to cull the excess after germinating seed.None go to waste as my daughter shares the same passion and we also share plants with friends and family.  I'm late this year as we had an unusually cool spring here in S Oregon.

 

Keeps me out of the pool hall too. ;)


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#4 Juthro

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Posted 04 July 2022 - 12:22 AM

Damn Skye, you've got it going on!  Congrats on an amazing harvest friend :)

 

Our tom's here are just now blooming, no fruit yet.  


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#5 Skywatcher

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Posted 04 July 2022 - 08:42 AM

I just looked over the garden this morning, and will be bringing an equivalent amount inside later this morning. I have 4 big ziplocks full of cored and washed fruit in the freezer now, so this years batch of spaghetti sauce is not too far away.


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#6 Juthro

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Posted 04 July 2022 - 01:13 PM

That answered my next question, as to how how process your plentiful bounty :)  Do you pressure, or water bath can your sauce (if you dont mind telling)?



#7 Skywatcher

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Posted 04 July 2022 - 04:02 PM

I found that if you just remove the stem and core after they are fully ripe, and then put them directly into the freezer, they stay peak ripeness until I have enough to make a good size batch.

I don't peel them because when they are thawed out, the skin comes right off and I hate messing with boiling water and ice bath...

Once the skin is off I squeeze the seeds out, not trying to get them all, just most of them. I run the squeeze tomatoes in the food processer a few good pulse's. I like the sauce to still have some little chunks.

 

All of that goes in a big pot to cook down. I do the onion and some garlic in a little olive oil first to get them translucent before adding the tomato pulp. I'll add some basil, and whatever herbs I want, and just let it slow cook down. Depending on the tomatoes sweetness, I might add a little sugar, but this year I won't need it.

 

I have added some tomato paste sometimes, but not unless I feel I need it. It simmers a few hours, and taste it as I go before adding more herbs. It will simmer several hours.

 

I try to use good size jars to can it, around a quart size. Before they are all gone this year, I really like to make a light, chunky, fresh sauce with some red peppers and zucchini for a few meals as well...

 

I know a pressure cooker is much faster, but I kind of like the long ritual, which after smelling it all day will be followed with either spaghetti or lasagna for dinner.


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#8 Juthro

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Posted 04 July 2022 - 07:12 PM

Sounds delish!!

 

Tomatoes are not a sure thing here, some seasons we get a decent crop, other years we dont get enough to preserve.  We go the same route as far as freezing them until we get enough to run a batch of sauce.   Once our tom's are thawed, we run them through a hand cranked food mill.  It removes the seeds and skins quite nicely, but  it doesn't leave any chunks (I like a chunky sauce as well), to get around that we add back tomato slices that were dried in the dehydrator when we make what ever dish we are making.  It works well for us.

 

We like to add some green pepper, onion, and celery to our sauce.   I personal use a pressure canner just cuz I find it easy and I don't have to worry about PH, but there is nothing wrong with water bath canning.  It really is just about what your comfortable with.

 

Kudos on the amazing harvest friend, it is impressive.  I'll be thrilled if we get even close to half that :)

 

 

 

 


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#9 Skywatcher

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Posted 05 July 2022 - 09:04 AM

Thanks Juthro.

It kind of helps make up for last years dismal failure. Interestingly, the tomatoes I got from Armstrong last year were the ones infested with nematodes. The ones from Home depot and Lowes have been bug free this year. (and alot cheaper)

 

I prefer red tomatoes for sauce. This year has been Beefsteak, Big Boy, Early Girl, and Celebrity. I have eaten all the Cherokee for BLT's and salads and Caprice. This year, one of my friends turned me on to a new flavor combo. We like a slice of tomato with fresh mozzarella and a basil leaf, drizzled with olive oil and a little pepper, but i was convinced to try adding a small slice of watermelon with a splash of basalmic. It seems an unlikely combo, but the flavors meld delishiously !


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#10 Juthro

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Posted 05 July 2022 - 10:59 AM

We like celebrities, early girl, and silver fir for our sauce.  Mostly because they are what we can grow.  They do well with the extremes summer light cycle we have here.  Some verities just get confused and wont produce anything.  For eating fresh we do a hanging basket verity (that I dont remember the name of) of cherry tomatoes.

 

Our tom's all have a healthy bloom set so far this season. I hope they all produce well, as we are out of canned sauce in the pantry.  Now if I can just figure out why my carrots haven't come up.  I think maybe I didn't water them in enough to get the seeds to pop,  we've been water stingy this year up till now, due to the well pump issues.  I do love Alaska grown carrots, for anyone who hasn't ever had them they are a lot sweeter then their southern kin.  My understanding is that it is a soil temp issue, with the colder soil the plant isn't able to process all of the simple sugars as efficiently and stores the extra in the root.   Baby Alaska carrots can taste just like candy, almost like you added sugar when cooking them.

 

Sorry, I'm getting off topic :)


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#11 Myc

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Posted 06 July 2022 - 11:19 AM

Don't forget to make a big batch of ceviche !!

Fresh tomato, onion, cilantro, lime juice, lemon juice, scallops, shrimp,...........oh yeah. ;)

I like this dish for summer so I don't have to use the stove and heat the house up.


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#12 Juthro

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Posted 06 July 2022 - 07:23 PM

Myc, do you use pre cooked shellfish, or do you go the traditionally route and just cure raw fish by soaking them in the citrus juice?


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#13 Myc

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Posted 06 July 2022 - 10:18 PM

No cooking. Only use the citrus acid to "cure" the seafood.

You'll know it's "done" when it turns opaque - just like with traditional cooking. ;)


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#14 Juthro

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Posted 06 July 2022 - 11:18 PM

I've seen it done both ways.  Both are good, though I prefer the traditional method.   Some people have a taboo about shellfish that hasn't been cooked with heat.  I respect that, but I'm not one of them.

 

As anyone who knows me knows, the sea provides a large portion of my income, and my diet.  I'm not shy about eating anything that smells like fish, lol.


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#15 Uncle G

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Posted 16 July 2022 - 09:09 PM

Oh Sky man your tomatoes are looking great.  Mine have a lot blossom end rot.  However, we just added some calcium to help.    


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#16 Skywatcher

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Posted 17 July 2022 - 09:26 AM

Oh Sky man your tomatoes are looking great.  Mine have a lot blossom end rot.  However, we just added some calcium to help.    

Calcium will help, but consistent watering will help more. Only getting the top few inches watered is not as good for them as a good 12+ inch deep soaking every week. Their roots run deep. They also get problems if the foliage is watered. I don't spray, only bottom soak.

I like to feed throughout the season as the plants will strip the soil of nutrient if I don't. I use an organic tomato fert about every 3 weeks.

 

Here's to a good harvest for you as well old friend !


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#17 Uncle G

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Posted 19 July 2022 - 07:09 AM

 

Oh Sky man your tomatoes are looking great.  Mine have a lot blossom end rot.  However, we just added some calcium to help.    

Calcium will help, but consistent watering will help more. Only getting the top few inches watered is not as good for them as a good 12+ inch deep soaking every week. Their roots run deep. They also get problems if the foliage is watered. I don't spray, only bottom soak.

I like to feed throughout the season as the plants will strip the soil of nutrient if I don't. I use an organic tomato fert about every 3 weeks.

 

Here's to a good harvest for you as well old friend !

 

 

I have drip tape irrigation.   But I watering has been inconsistent I think.  Also, our soil test came back good for calcium but I am wishing I had added some anyways.  We used Garden tone but I should used the Tomato tone.    Plus a lot of compost. 


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#18 Severian

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Posted 16 September 2022 - 05:02 PM

Epic.



My first year really doing tomatoes- learnt slot including 'stake em right away!'

Trying to figure out the bug thing though- Neem tea seems to control the grasshoppers, but there's these tiny flies eating there way in side more than a few.

Maybe that's just a price to pay for organic gardening though( in subtropical climates?/
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