Don’t forget to leave out your bag of non-perishable food for the U.S. Postal Service food drive tomorrow, Saturday, May 9. High protein and heat-and-eat items (e.g., chili, tuna, beef stew) are most appreciated. These foods greatly supplement the commodity goods provided by the federal government (hunger basics like dried beans and rice). Individual donations for this major drive diversify the diet of those who visit the food banks. Just like the rest of us, this population includes vegetarians, diabetics, picky kids, ethnic food lovers, great cooks, gluten-free eaters, etc., so a wide range of products is very much appreciated.
I’ve been sneaking in trips to garden shops this week between readin’ and writin’. Tomatoes ensued. It’s always so difficult to choose. I aim for six plants, plenty for our small family of two and my canning and drying activities. Aim, I said. I always feel this deep dissatisfaction when buying tomatoes. It’s greed, plain and simple. I want it all. It’s so hard to balance the days to ripening, types of tomatoes, the size of the plants, and deliciousness.
So I add another row.
And thus, I present to you the contestants for Miss Tomato 2009. They all support gay marriage, because they were raised that way in their country. They will appear in green ruffled evening gowns with yellow sequins in the order in which they ripen:
- Silvery Fir Tree (58 days! to ripe, determinant, little slicer) – lacy foliage, heavy producer, early.
- Sungold (65 days, indeterminant, cherry) – sweet, orange, cracks on the vine but worth it.
- Chocolate Cherry (70 , ind, cherry) – haven’t tried. I’m a big fan of the deep, bloody, burgundy tomatoes.
- Principe Borghese (x 3) (80 days, det, paste) – I’ll blame Amy of Our Home Works if these go wrong. ;)
- Aunt Ruby’s German Green (80 days, ind, slicer) (pictured) – husband has a thing for green tomatoes, largely based on the movie Fried Green Tomatoes. Don’t ask. And yeah, I know.
- Black (85 days, ind, slicer) – Nom nom nom.
- Brandywine (85 days, ind, slicer) – Every single year. Very poor yield. But I. Just. Can’t. Stop. At least I resisted a Purple Cherokee this time.
- Best neighbors in the world gave me not one, not two, not three, but FOUR Cherokee Purple starts. I would have resisted, but they were from my own damn tomatoes — seeds saved from last year. They’re tiny and I am out of room, so we’ll see what happens.
- I bought a large Early Girl on sale at Fred Meyer’s. I haven’t had much luck with FM’s tomatoes. Call me a sucker. Territorial still doesn’t have the Oregon Stars in, and I can’t find any viable ones elsewhere in town.
I think I ‘m going to devote the new row only to paste tomatoes. I still have one more to buy, but Territorial is plumb out, and I can’t find it anywhere else. My husband would be happy with exclusively cherry tomatoes, but I rather like fussing over the big ones, watching them fruit, grow, and ripen. We lose a few to disease, malformation, and critters. And when they’re ready, all warm and musky and juicy….ah. The agony, the joys. The soap opera in the garden.
Now if you please, maestro, warm this mOth@f&ck@ up.