Random Tomatoes

Oh, the seduction of ripe, juicy tomatoes! Unfortunately, this year's plants have been stunted by the cooler-than-usual weather and the fruits refuse to ripen. Even the Red Siberian plant, which is supposed to be suited to cooler climes, is dinky and only bore a handful of wimpy-looking fruits. The Amish paste plant did grow, but there are white spots on a lot of the fruits which seem to rot before they have a chance to ripen.

Although meager, the tomatoes have been interesting. I grew Stupice for the first time this year, and a significant number either look like two smooshed together or they have a nose. They average about an inch in diameter, but have a "tomatoey" paste tomato taste.

For years, I only grew Little Yellow Pear (yellow, pear-shaped cherry tomato) and San Marzano (paste tomato), saving the seeds from year to year. This year, San Marzano refused to germinate, but two 'Pears survived, yielding fruits about twice as large as usual. One day, I noticed the tops looked like they were turning pinkish instead of their typical yellow. Thinking it was just dirt, I forgot about them. Several days later, it was obvious they were turning red, but were still half yellow-ish green and I picked two to photograph! Since the photograph, they have ripened to full-on red and taste like paste tomatoes. I saved the seeds to see how they turn out next year if I can get them to sprout.

The volunteer tomato turned out to be a cluster tomato, and I had another two spring out of the ground in random places this summer. I'm hoping the weather will stay warm late in the year so I can see what kind of tomatoes they are!

Other than tomatoes, I collected some seeds from the chard and planted seeds of great northern beans, fennel, onion and random salad greens in random places around the garden and promptly forgot where I planted things. Amidst a patch of mâche, I tugged on what I thought was a blade of grass and accidentally pulled out a little garlic bulblet I'd planted for chives. I tried to stick it back into the ground, but I mangled it in the process. Luckily, I have more.