Greengirls Helen Yarmoska, Nicole Hvidsten, Martha Buns, Connie Nelson, Kim Palmer and Mary Jane Smetanka are dishin' the dirt from the back-yard garden and beyond. Whether you're a greenthumb or greenhorn, they're eager to learn from your mishaps, mistakes - and most importantly, your sweet successes - all growing season long.
It's finally here.That moment I blogged about back in April, the time when all the anticipation of seedlings culminates at long last in a plateful of summer. www.startribune.com/lifestyle/homegarden/blogs/120355654.html After weeks of heat blast, it's hard to remember a time that we were avoiding looking at snow falling outside the window (in April!) and hoping for warmer days. And after weeks of staring hopefully at tomatoes that were, nope, still green, it seemed like maybe this was the year there wouldn't be ripe tomatoes, just as in early spring it seemed like it would be the year winter didn't end.
I've been harvesting the occasional tomatoes for a few weeks, but realized last night that we've achieved summer, that time when sweet corn and tomatoes make a supper, you get your first home-grown BLT and tomatoes show up randomly in nearly every conceivable food combination as we rush to savor the sweet tangy jewels of summer while they last. Ruddy reds, deep golds and pale yellows jostle on the plate, like bling for your kitchen counter.
I'm still not going to have nearly as bountiful a tomato crop this year, partly due to a late spring and partly due to far fewer plants in the ground because my usual tomato bed is "temporarily" unusable as part of a yard project that is clearly going to take longer than the garden season. So I'm going to need to supplement my own tomatoes with ones from the farmers market in order to put up my usual number of soups and sauces. But I guess the plus side will come in late fall, when I have fewer tomato vines to pull up in cold weather, and fewer green tomatoes to overflow my counter the evening before the first frost is forecast.
It hasn't been my greatest tomato year number-wise, but everyone I've picked has been nicely filled out, not many blemishes and darned tasty. Last year I had far more ripe tomatoes, but not all of them lived up to their promise. How about you? Are your tomatoes worth the long wait? Or won't you tell, in case the neighbors and squirrels find out?
Now if my cucumbers would just get in gear...
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