Tomato Harvests

Tomato season is finally here! Even with the challenging drought, I'm happy with the harvest. The dry weather has helped keep many of the fungal diseases at bay and I haven't had to worry about splitting - looking on the bright side here.

This orange tomato, "Earl of Edgecomb", is a new one for me this year and I really like it. The plant is robust and the fist-sized fruits started ripening early and very pretty. I prefer my tomatoes on the acidic side and this one is more acidic (tart) and than many orange or yellow tomatoes I've tried. Though to be fair, all my tomatoes taste pretty tart this year because of the drought.

The late-blight resistant hybrids (Defiant, Mountain Magic, Iron Lady) have put out a lot of fruits this year but they are not my favorite for fresh eating. I've been cooking them into a quick marinara but they'll be fine for salsa as well. Better safe than sorry, I'd rather grow these plants than skip them and have no tomatoes left standing when the late-blight hits.

"Carbon" has great flavor this year, but there are some issues with cracking and catfacing and I had to remove a number of fruit early because there were nasty fissures, possible caused by fused blossoms. Also, chipmunks bit holes in a lot of the fruits. I'm still probably going to grow it next year.

"Opalka" has been a surprise success this season. I grow it because I tasted a great one from a farmer's market years ago but have had trouble with my plants in previous years. They can be a little disease prone and seem to get blossom end rot before my other varieties. The shoulders often stay yellow or crack and the wispy foliage isn't much to look at either.

But, look at those slices! "Opalka" has the density of a paste tomato without being bland or mealy. It is juicy without being sloppy and has a good acidity. At least this year, "Opalka" is my perfect sandwich tomato.

I'm still waiting on "Mrs Schlumbaugh's Giant Strawberry" and "Stump of the World" to ripen and they look really similar so I may have trouble providing an accurate review.