Garden Update — Tomato Season

I’ve got tomatoes. A buttload of tomatoes. Every day that I walk behind the house to the garden, I discover at least a dozen tomatoes ready for picking. After popping a couple of cherry tomatoes in my mouth, straight off the vine, I take the rest inside and wonder how lucky I am. My friend who gave me these plants suffered some sort of blight, and he ended up with nearly no tomatoes.  I’m not really doing much at all, and I’m eating the best tasting tomatoes I’ve ever had.

All seven of the plants are producing fruit, but two of them have not yet had the tomatoes ripen sufficiently. This is what I’ve eaten so far:

Bloody Butchers. These are bright red tomatoes that are fairly small, about the size of a billiard ball. That might be because I allowed the plant to branch off in so many directions that the fruit won’t grow very large, but these are great tomatoes. They were the first to ripen, and I usually have 2-5 tomatoes to harvest each day.  And how can you not love a tomato with that name??

Green Doctors. These greenish-yellow cherry tomatoes might be my favorite. They’re loaded with sweet flavor and have a fairly high level of acid. I’m getting about 5-10 of these each day, and a fair number of them get eaten immediately after picking.

Black Cherry. This is another extremely flavorful cherry tomato that I also love. They are ripening just a bit more slowly than the Green Doctors, but I also find myself eating these suckers in the garden.  I love mixing these with the Green Doctors, as the colors are fantastic.

Purple Cherokee. I’ve had this tomato variety many times, and it’s always been a favorite. What I didn’t realize was how big these suckers get. I actually made a pasta sauce for 4 people with a single Purple Cherokee tomato. I am looking forward to this weekend, when I will have two of these tomatoes for BLT sandwiches.

The other tomato variety we’ve eaten (but no photos) is the Pearly Pink, which is a milder-flavored, smallish, pear-shaped tomato. We’ll have lots of these shortly, but so far, these appear to be the tomato that isn’t packed with flavor. I need to try a few more.

I also know we have Missouri Pink Love Apples, which are larger, pink slicing tomatoes. I’m really looking forward to trying this variety. My seventh plant remains a mystery — we have no idea what it is.

Last night I had to cook for the family, and we were getting just a bit tired of raw tomatoes, so I used everything in the picture above to make a sauce with boneless chicken thighs, one of my family’s favorites. I don’t have a picture of the finished dish, but get a load of the colors!

Finally, news on the rest of the garden: the cucumbers are starting to fade. The leaves are turning yellow, and the fruit just doesn’t have enough time to mature before the heat gets to them.  The zucchini continues to surprise me. Just when I think it’s produced all it will, I find two or three more zucchini out there. My pepper plant is just doing so-so, but it does have a pepper on it now!  The cantaloupe is doing very well. I should have one melon ready to pick this weekend, and there are at least 5 others growing. The watermelon needs a bit more time. We harvested one of the melons after it had stopped growing, and it still wasn’t ready. The flesh was very pale and although there was some sugar, I think that it had suffered from overwatering.  I’m still trying to figure out this whole gardening thing!

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