I don’t buy tomatoes at all (because shop-bought tomatoes should really be called ‘imitation’ tomatoes), so the first ripe, home-grown (‘real’) tomato of the season is eagerly awaited.
This year, the new type I’ve grown, Silvery Fir Tree, has proven to be an early variety. I picked the first one in the final week of last year and they’ve been coming thick and fast since then. I’ve picked 3 kg so far. The taste is not too bad. I’ll definitely be growing these again next year, if not for taste then for their early ripening.
Black Russian have been the next to ripen, but the plants have had a problem with leaves browning and dying. Normally I get a bit of early blight, but this browning off is something I’ve never seen before. The other varieties haven’t been affected as badly. It’s probably a fungal thing.
The cherry tomatoes are starting to ripen, too. This year I grew Black Cherry after a couple of years break and the one I always grow, Red Pear Cherry. All the cherry tomatoes are being dried. I’m really appreciating the Excalibur dryer this year, because although we’ve had a few good sun drying days, I find I’m often having to finish them off in the dryer to avoid them going mouldy.
I’m picking them all slightly under-ripe and letting them ripen inside. I’ve never had any real problems with birds, but you can’t be too careful, not where tomatoes are concerned!
The first Green Zebra. These are nice fried:
Still to come are Burnley, Grosse Lisse, Cherokee Purple and San Marzano.
It’s always sad when tomato season is over for another year, but there will be plenty in the freezer for cooking with over the winter and jars of pasta sauce (Thermomix style now!) in the fridge to keep me going.