i say tomato

dscf2022Now that I’m back in Eugene, after a most excellent research month somewhat dampened by a grueling trip home on metallic flying bacteria traps across country (swine flu, anyone?), I’ve got the garden on the brain.

I feel as if I’ve missed all the delicious Ramping Up to Garden Season this year.  I haven’t had time to browse the seed catalogues or even plan what I’ll be growing in all my rows.*

This week I have to either (1) spread my own compost, or (2) buy compost if mine isn’t ready, and prep the rows for tomatoes.  There’s a bit of weeding to done; I took care of most of it before I left, thank goodness, because the unweeded parts are overrun.

By the time we rolled out of bed this morning, had a debriefing session with the cats, and stopped in for a waffle at Off the Waffle (notice new website featuring the review from yours truly), the farmers’ market had been pretty much decimated.  I noticed that some of the tomatoes were already leggy and overgrown, and all the uncommon kinds were gone.

So…help a laggard out.  What’s shakin’ in the tomato world this year?  I’ll buy starts for my favorites this week if I can find them — Saucey paste tomatoes and Sungold cherries.  Oregon Star won best paste at Territorial; that’ll be my second choice if I can’t find Saucey.  I’ve had great success with Willamettes, so I’ll probably buy some of those or other Oregon-developed slicers.  And I’m always drawn back to some variety of Brandywine, since those fat, juicy, meaty, sweet heirlooms so delicious and I love their funny leaves, even if they aren’t heavy producers.  But I’d like to try something new. I haven’t had much luck with the Czech and other Eastern European varieties — I heard that they do fine in the cooler part of the season and then can’t handle the heat of our late summers.  Dunno if this is true.

Which tomatoes you putting in?  What are your old favorites and new experiments?  Which cultivars should I try?

All I know is I’m looking forward to this:

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Mmmmmmm.  Let summer begin!

*I’ve got the caneberries, seascape strawberries, artichokes, leeks/shallots/garlic, rhubarb, some leftover favas and overwintered fennel well underway, plus my usual herbs and a hopeful start on cilantro, so I don’t feel as if I’ve neglected the whole thing, but I missed all the tulips and most of the daffodils, which just makes a person feel unsettled, know what I mean?