CSA2015 Week 12: Time for Tomatoes

IMG_20150826_141405046If there is one crop that is the queen of the garden, it is the tomato. These are the fruits you wait so long for, care for, pamper, boast about or get anxious about.  How you are as a gardener often is reflected on your tomatoes.  Gardeners strive to have the biggest, prettiest, sweetest, and most productive tomatoes.  All this enthusiasm is well justified.  These versatile red globes find their way into family secret sauce, flaming salsa and mouth watering BLTs.  So when it becomes tomato time, there are usually quire a few happy people.

I love the varieties of tomatoes that available today.  Hybrids, Heirlooms, open pollinated, determinate, indeterminate, cheery, pear, beefsteak, heart shaped, red, pink, yellow, orange, white, ribbed smooth, paste and the list goes on an on.  It can be daunting picking out varieties to try each year.

This weeks share has tomatoes.  Both small snacking cherry and some larger beefsteak plus extras if you desire.  The cherries are a mix of brown berry, bumble bee, and Juliet.  In addition there are a couple garden peach and Japanese Trifle Black in the bag.  For the larger ones, there is a mix.  The beautiful orange ones are Kellogg’s Breakfast.  There might be a pink Soldacki, brownish Chocolate Striped, an Aunt Ruby’s Green or some purple ones named Carbon.  While some varieties tent to be more flavorful than others, I really think each year a different tomato comes out on top.   Years ago my Yellow Mortgage lifter were the best tasting tomato ever, last year, not so much.  Usually Kellogg’s breakfast is good and this year is no exception.  The Japanese Black  are excellent this year but two years ago they never developed any flavor.  I guess that is why I plant so many.  You never know what is going to be better on any particular year so I always try to have a variety.

Also included into the box is a bundle of kale, flat leaf parsley, beets, carrots, garlic, onions, a bell pepper, fennel bulbs, watermelon radishes, potatoes, cucumbers (Marketmore 76 and Russian Sikkim).

The next few days will filled with the start of the State Fair the start of the Fair.  While it is a busy time it is a fun time and I always enjoy the change of pace and the the opportunity to tour around the Horticulture building.

CSA2015 Week 11: Rain Makes Grain… and Weeds.

CSA2015 week 11Ample rain and two weeks away bring on quite the changes.  Tomatoes overgrow their cages, beans grow feet, carrots thicken, potatoes dry off, corn goes from 0 to 60 and the weeds, well, they have been running amok.  It is not all bad, yes they can put down some crazy number of seeds for the next years but I suppose if mowed and mulched they should add some good organic matter for the following years.

The tomatoes have begun to roll in.  Always a welcomed sight.  However the rain has been a little hard on the quality but as things dry out they should get better.  Eggplants and peppers are also getting into the groove of things.

Also included are some red gold potatoes,  – good for pretty much everything, a mix of carrots, some beets, a few slicer cucumbers, purple beans, and some garlic.

New this week is a bundle of parsnips, celery, a rutabaga, few little pears, corn and zucchini if you so desire, and eggplant. You might find the onions a little soft in the neck.  I should have pulled them before I left but I thought they would make it. However the wet conditions were not anticipated.  Only the yellow Alisa Craig bulbs were affected and the other varieties should dry off well for storage.

In the coming week it is off with the heads of cabbage as another frenzy of kraut making takes place.   Hopefully some potatoes will be unearthed and some clean up of the spend plants and weeds will take place.

Hope the week of eating is great!