Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Welcome, Tomatoes!

I look forward to this time of year like you would not believe.   I love tomatoes.  And, after a few disappointments in the garden this year, I have really been looking forward to a stellar tomato crop.  My fingers are crossed.  The tomatoes are just starting to come and while some of them are lovely, some of them look like this:


It appears to be Blossom End Rot.  Thankfully, it's not contagious.  From what I've read, it occurs when the calcium levels in the soil are too low and/or watering is too inconsistent.  I don't know about our calcium levels.  Inconsistent watering?  Yep.  That sounds like our poor tomatoes' plight.  Between drought conditions and our attempts to douse them to keep them alive, I'm sure their water levels have not been consistent.  They've been anything but.

Our hope is that since it's begun to rain regularly again that things will even out a bit. Here's to hoping that we won't lose many more and to not having rotten bottoms ourselves.

Assuming we get that stellar crop (eventually), I have a whole list of things I want to do with my tomatoes.   Last summer I wrote this series of posts on what you can do with your tomatoes- there are eight recommendations in all.  I'm going to be taking my own advice and work my way through that list.

Last night I made Tomato Pie.  It's recommendation #7.  I had really missed it.


Also, pop over here to make this easy and delicious recipe.  Everyone loved it at our house.


What are your favorite ways to eat or preserve tomatoes?  I don't want to be missing anything.

I've waited a long time for these beauties, rotten bottoms and all. Pin It

9 comments:

  1. Calcium can be easily given to your plants via the leaves, you spray it as a mix onto the foilage.

    Dont forget they are hungry little critters too and a good dose of seaweed juice or worm tea once a week will see them go crazy..
    Now comming from Australia where we have been in adroght for the better part of what seems like forever...

    You can try a tick of burying unglazed terrracotta pots in between your rows(just use regular water and pop a lid on the top of each one) and the water will leach out to the plants when needed, inbetween you getting out there and doing it yourself with a hose or can.

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  2. Our tomatoes looked like that last year, and this year, too. Some are bad (I have the kids go through the patch, plucking and tossing), but many are good. I planted 28 plants, so I have plenty to spare.

    I'm glad you liked the pasta dish!

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  3. I love tomato season. Simply the best time of year...well, next to apples in October. I have always bought local tomatoes to preserve but this year we tried growing our own. No luck there, they all got some sort of contagious wilt and died. Good luck with your tomatoes and thanks for the yummy recipes.

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  4. Awesome! We get tons of tomatoes around here, pretty much the one thing that grows WELL in our soil... :) I read back to all your suggestions and will be trying your salsa (I have tried several kinds and none were exactly what I was looking for..) and also the soup. I also read the comments on peeling tomatoes, and I would just like to say that I boil mine for THREE minutes... :D Also, the peeling all depends on the variety of tomatoe. I've used different kinds and they all peel differently...

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  5. Oh yes, I also forgot to ask, have you ever had fried green tomatoes? These are a staple in our house during the summer! :)

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  6. Randi, Jamey would love it if I made fried anything, but fried foods send my stomach into a fit. You'll just have to enjoy them for me:-).

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  7. I just can whole tomatoes and occasionally freeze pizza sauce. I could really branch out.

    We love caprese salad (blogged here http://thriftathome.blogspot.com/2010/07/our-favorite-summer-dish.html)
    and also Summer Tomato Sauce (in Simply in Season) - it's an uncooked tomato sauce you eat with hot pasta.
    I'm looking forward to trying some of your recipes.

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  8. I love tomatoes, too! Can't wait for ours to ripen. I like to make fresh salsa, tomato bruschetta and I can a tomato juice similar to V-8, among other things! YUMMY!

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  9. I love tomatoes! We had issues with Blossom End Rot the last two summers we've grown tomatoes...it was so bad last year, we probably only were able to eat 1 or 2 at all! This year, I tried something that our local gardening expert (Walter Reeves in Georgia) recommended on his radio show:

    Take a scrap piece of standard drywall (we had some leftover from a renovation project)and peel the paper off of both side until you're left with the gypsum exposed. Take a mallet or hammer and pound the gypsum into a powder. Mix it in around the base of your tomato plants either at time of planting or after planting (we did this after planting) using a fork or hands.

    I'm thrilled to say, we have enjoyed a "Blossom End Rot-Free" tomato harvest this year!

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