Monday, June 29, 2009
Cherokee Purples, sungold cherries, soyu cucumbers, one jalapeno, and two volunteer Little Porters (above the jalapeno)
Although I’ve hand-watered some (even established drought-tolerant!) plants in the super-sunny front yard and a few potted plants all over the place, I’ve tried to conserve most of my water for the vegetable garden. The tall old elms and sycamore have provided shade enough to help protect the tomatoes from our continued triple-digit heat.
My friend, farmer Larry Butler of Boggy Creek organic farm stand, told me to go ahead and bring inside any tomatoes the minute they showed any hint of blush color, because that first turn of color indicates an enzyme’s working that means it won’t make any difference if the tomato’s on the vine subject to critters or inside, safe. It’s going to ripen, just the same.
I followed his advice but also brought in a few greener tomatoes that had cracks, because I thought the cracks were probably invitations for insects or disease and would rather sacrifice a bit of flavor than the whole tomato.
The squirrels and birds aren't going for these sungold cherry tomatoes.
I still have at least ten decent-sized Cherokee Purples on the vine, under the bird netting.
My first Black Krims, the only tomato I planted from seed to set fruit.
Soyu cucumbers are still producing.
Slow but steady jalapenos
I just recently learned the procedure (thanks Renee and Carl) for saving tomato seeds from the yummiest ones you eat: put the seeds with their juices (e.g., from your cutting board) etc in a container with a little filtered water, and stir the mixture up with your finger.
After repeating this for two or three days, drain and rinse the seeds clean (again, with filtered water) through a fine strainer. Then let them dry out in the strainer.
This seed-saving procedure seems to work fine if your cat doesn't sip the tomato seed water and/or drag her tail through it.
Don't leave your tomato seed juice on the table if it's so precious.