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.

5 Responses to “Tomatoes!!!”

  1. L from 500m2 in Sydney Says:

    Deeelicious! I was was given a dehydrator for Christmas but I’m yet to use it. Are cherry types better for drying than the larger varieties?


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Hi L,

      I’ve never dried the larger tomatoes, only the cherry ones, but I imagine the cherry types would dry faster because they’re smaller and don’t seem to have as much pulp.

      I cut them in half, put a sprinkling of salt on the cut surfaces to help draw out the moisture and put them on the tray with the cut side up.

      Outside, they’ll dry in a couple of days if the temp’s in the 30’s. I prefer sun-drying because it doesn’t use electricity, but the dryer has a place all the same.

      I use them for computer nibbles (something to eat while sitting in front of this thing), and also in rice dishes, omelets and soups. They’re very versatile and I need hundreds!

      I might try slices of the larger varieties just to see how they go.


  2. Scarecrow Says:

    There is an article about tomato wilt here which might explain your tomatoes browning off. I got that link via Stewart’s Blog

    Over here it is usually the tomato russet mite that browns off our tomatoes. The leaves go yellow first in this case. I’m about to pull out some of my tomatoes because of this little pest, luckily it hasn’t hit all the plants…yet!


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Thanks for the links, Scarecrow. I don’t think it’s wilt, but it does look like russet mite damage, however I couldn’t see anything on the leaves with a x10 hand lens.

      It’s sometimes the lower leaves and sometimes the upper ones. I’m getting some good harvests though, so that’s the main thing. I’ve taken some cuttings from the best plants to see if I can extend the season a bit.


  3. Frogdancer Says:

    I think everyone’s having browning off problems with tomatoes this year. Mine are only just starting to ripen… about time too!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: