Friday, August 15

Oh She Grows: Tomato Update...and why we are doing this

Today's garden update is focusing on my Tom's. As a general rule in life, I do not eat tomatoes. I do eat tomato-based products: sauces, salsas and so on. But raw or 'chunky' tomatoes - no thank you! So knowing this, some may be wondering why I have grown so many tomatoes; let alone been obsessed with them producing. Easy-peasy: I want to make our own sauces and salsas - sort of try to get away from some processed items in our lives, and introduce more healthy and cleaner food. I don't kid myself - having to buy all the jars, the hot bath processor - never mind building and putting in three large raised beds (Thanks James!) - this will not really be a money saving process this year, and probably not next year either. Might never be. The big 'goal' is that we are eating what we grow. It gives me a warm feeling inside that we know exactly where everything came from, and exactly what is in everything. Knowing all the love and care we gave each plant, makes things taste so much better. Yes, my zucchini relish may have a little more sugar in it. It's not something you're going to eat a whole jar at a time. And trading all those preservatives, and unpronounceable ingredients for a little more sugar. I'll take that trade.

 I am grateful that I have not really purchased any vegetables this summer once things got going - and having to be creative with all our produce - uhm, hello zucchini! - has introduced us to some new, healthy recipes. Having to plan our meals based on what is coming out of the garden has sometimes been a challenge - but what we get, we eat. We have ate so healthy this summer, because we have been graced with so many vegetables! We have lots of produce frozen in our freezer, and some pickles and relishes in our 'cold room'. Soon, I'm hoping, we will have some sauces and salsas to add to that cold room.

Anyways, rant over - now to the tomato progress! :)

Below is my tomato jungle as it stands. And as it stands, is taller than me :) It's a jumbled mess of goodness. The cherry tomatoes are growing the tallest, and unfortunately, I don't have any stakes tall enough for their growth. I can only be grateful that I at least put them in cages when they were smaller. It's thrilling to know I grew them (almost all) from single seeds back in April.

First glance into the patch, you see a lot of cherry tomatoes, everywhere. Despite where I planted them, because they are not staked, they are travelling all over the tops.

A peak underneath reveals a huge growth of paste tomatoes - these are the ones that I did not start from seed, but supplemented my patch with. They have been producing very heavy. I will be using these for my sauce / salsa mostly.

Looking around some more, we see some of my beefsteak and cherry tomatoes. These guys are what I've started from seen.

Now, all of them are still green. I'm hoping they start turning soon, some have been turning more green from light green which is good. But there is a little fleck of red among the patch...

My first cherry tomatoes are turning. I check every day now to be ready to pick at an optimal time, and hand deliver them - excitedly - to James, since I won't eat them. It will honestly probably be a mad dash to find him hahaha.

There's also been another surprise this past while. Although I was concerned about pollination in the beginning - having not seen any bees, and blossoms dropping from failed pollination. I have now seen bees in and about getting everything. Very happy to see them there! Once less job for me, and they are so much better at it!

Tomorrow I'll share the rest of my garden updates :)

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