Saturday, August 23, 2008

It's A (tomato) Jungle Out There

This weeks' quote from Boy, aka the tomato hater:

"Those tomato plants are trying to come in the house"

I think he's a little afraid. And he's right. These suckers accost us whenever we open the slider to enter or exit the patio, and they're showing no signs of stopping anytime soon. They're taller than me and about six feet in diameter not counting the three or so feet of branches that are smushed up against the side of the house.

And it's only TWO plants.

They started out just spindly little things, gifted to us by friends who lovingly started and raised them from heirloom seeds. I have no idea the variety of tomatoes, and to be honest, I didn't have much hope for them at first because they just sat there and did nothing for the longest time after I plopped them into the closest available patch of dirt (the cutout where our spiral stair to the roof deck is supposed to go). Plus I was a bit tardy in getting them into the ground in the first place. But then, after their slow and slightly depressing start, I guess they finally got bored and decided to grow, and now I have Tomato Jungle.
These two plants are so dense and huge, despite being tied to a now invisible bamboo tepee, that I can't even see the tomatoes to pick them without getting down on my hands and knees and trying to wedge myself into their thicket. I come out covered with yellow tomato plant sap, but what I retrieve are these extra cute and tiny little things, kind of micro-grape-sized and reminiscent of Buddah Bombs although much, much tastier:

There's like eight bajillion sprigs of these on one plant and they're just now starting to ripen. I've been eating them by the handfull but I suspect that I'm going to need to start treating them like cereal pretty soon here. The other plant has some variety of larger fruit on it and there seem to be only a couple.
Go figure.
But between the two they're doing a stellar job of making sure the herb plants from the CSA that I'm supposed to be caretaker of for us and Knit-Whit and that I thought would have an easy and glorious life by being so close to the house, have no chance.
Tomato plants, 1, herbs 0.

Glad the tomatoes finally took off! The little guys are "Matt's Wild Cherry" and I think the poor producer is a Marmande. When I got the seeds, I didn't know what an "indeterminate" tomato was. I do now. It apparently means the vines keep growing like that. We gave away a lot of tomatoes, and I think yours were the most productive of all, congrats!

-- S & M
I just heard on a Splendid Table podcast that most heirloom tomatoes are indeterminate growers, and that that is one way they produce a superior fruit?
So there you go.
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