Summer is a time for tomatoes but this summer, and last summer as well come to think of it, the tomatoes were rather thrown by the weather. This year everything started out running a few weeks early and the mild weather was maintained through the end of May which was great for getting tomatoes into the ground. The plants grew well until late June/early July when the temperatures soared into the 90s and those triple digits are not conducive to putting out flowers and getting them pollinated by bugs – at 95 and above not even bees want to be out working! The result was that the tomatoes kept growing some, but didn’t develop flowers and start growing fruit until the end of July which is weeks later than most years. The little cherry tomatoes were fine, they have been ripening quickly and maybe were set before the hot weather hit, or maybe they can deal with heat better than the main crop.
Then about two weeks ago the onslaught of tomatoes arrived! I have basins filled with tomatoes and have dropped off bags to the only two neighbors we have – they were out so I could sneak the tomatoes onto the back door step!! Here are two of my favorites this year. The little yellow one is a fuzzy peach tomato and it really does have fuzz on the skin! The big guy is the fruit from the Japanese Black Trifele. This is the first time I have grown these and they were a grafted tomato from Territorial Seed Company.
Now I hear you saying – why not preserve them? In a normal year I would boil/simmer the tomatoes until they were thick, then strain, add some fresh herbs and freeze in ice cubes, or even make a spaghetti-type sauce to freeze, but we are moving soon and I need to run down the freezer not load it up with goodies, hence giving them away. I am thinking that maybe there is a food bank somewhere but I am not sure where the nearest one is and I have way too much cleaning to do so don’t have time to run into the city to find one.
Over the next few weeks we will be trying to find somewhere rural, quiet and not built up, but within half an hour of the new work location – in New Jersey. Yes the garden state, but is there still some rural garden space there???? I will find out this coming weekend.