Friday, August 21

Garden Bounty

It's been quite a year for the garden! After much debate Paul and I decided in March that we would not sign up for our CSA (farm-share)this year...for the first time in many years. Instead, I enlarged and expanded the home garden. I'd feel guilty for not supporting local agriculture except that the farm we usually sign up with is so popular that they have a long waiting list.

We were sure lucky with this year's home garden being so exceptionally productive and bounteous: except for a few specialty items like pea tendrils and cider and eggs, I haven't missed being in our CSA this summer.

So, I'm informally researching tomatoes for next year...looking for best flavor! Here is what I have so far gathered:

HEIRLOOMS (or Open-Pollinated):
Cherokee Purple, German Johnson, Brandywine, and Yellow Persimmon.
Mr. Stripey (or Zebrella)
Stupice, Pineapple, Black Krim, Paul Robeson

Celebrity, Sweet 100

From this list I only have personal experience this year with Black Krim (outstanding!) and Sweet 100 (deliciously sweet and intense.) I'm still waiting for an heirloom called Mortgage Lifter to ripen. I also grew another heirloom called Crimson Cushion, which I'd rate above average and a hybrid, Early Girl, which gets an A+ for speed but only a C+ for flavor. My Romas are wonderful and dependable but not absolutely bursting with flavor. I've also tasted my neighbor's Abe Lincoln tomatoes, which to my tongue are above average but again, not outstanding. I know taste is personal, but what are your favorites?

BTW, Brandywine: it keeps popping up on all the top ten lists, so I included it, but the one time I grew it I was underwhelmed. It had a great texture, juicy and tender, but was a little bland in flavor. I hear there are different varietals amongst this strain, so maybe I got a "dumbed down" one by chance. Your thoughts? (You can comment on Facebook, or just email me...I still haven't managed to find a way to enable comments on this old template! If you respond, please let me know what region you live in, as I believe geographic location, and other factors like soil type, rainfall etc. influence flavor, too.)

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