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Tomato Tuesday Thread (N&C Midwest)..

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Re: Tomato Tuesday Thread (N&C Midwest)..

Post  laurainwinona on 8/29/2011, 11:08 pm

Last week one of my tomatoes finally ripened, and I had my first tomato! Delicious!! the second will be ready in the next day or so. There are lots of green ones of various sizes on the vine, and I'm wondering if they will ripen before we get frost, which could be soon here in SE MN!

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Re: Tomato Tuesday Thread (N&C Midwest)..

Post  Denese on 8/30/2011, 8:48 am

My first 9 pints of tomato sauce!!


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Re: Tomato Tuesday Thread (N&C Midwest)..

Post  FarmerValerie on 8/30/2011, 8:59 am

WHOOHOO!!!

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Re: Tomato Tuesday Thread (N&C Midwest)..

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/30/2011, 9:57 am

Awesome, Denese! I haven't had enough for one pint yet. That summer just got so hot for us, ours stopped setting fruit for over a month.

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Re: Tomato Tuesday Thread (N&C Midwest)..

Post  Denese on 8/30/2011, 3:14 pm

Thank you, FarmerValerie and BBG. I just realized the ninth jar wasn't in the pic. I really can count, I promise. Embarassed It's in the fridge. Didn't seal for some reason, so we're having spaghetti for dinner. Very Happy

I have a dining table covered in Romas. Some just blushing, others red and ready. I've been picking them just as they blush to make sure the raccoons don't get them like they did my corn (even though I had squash planted in the same bed around them). I didn't get a single ear. Sad But I found a fabulous farmer's market that was selling corn $2 a bag for as many as you could stuff in a bag (large supermarket style plastic produce bags) or 2 bags for $5. Was able to freeze 8 pints of whole kernel, 8 pints of creamed corn, and 16 ears on the cob. It's gonna taste fabulous this winter when fresh isn't available.

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Re: Tomato Tuesday Thread (N&C Midwest)..

Post  westie42 on 8/31/2011, 3:13 am

The Tulias or Black From have been my favorite tomatoes this season. Since last Sat. I have canned 21 Qt of tomato juice, 12 pt of salsa just the Mrs Wages medium mix, 18 pt of bread and butter pickles, 9 qt of garlic dills, froze 31 bags of green beans so far, 6 half pt of jalapeno jelly, froze a batch of halved jalapeno's and a batch of halved serrano’s and dehydrated several batches of different herbs. That includes Nettles for tea but find out that was a waste because after they flower you should not harvest. The formic acid crystals get too large and are then hard on your kidneys, oh well. Tomorrow it’s probably gonna be a dozen pt of beet pickles. Then back to a lot more toms to do something with real soon. Two arbors of grapes are near ready to juice in a week or two, they seem to be sweetening early this year. I sure hope it’s not 99 qt of grape juice like two years ago, enough for one jar a week would make me more than happy. Okra has just been a slow steady producer and I have tried most of the recipes you all posted for me and to my surprise the boiled okra has been most outstanding. It is so tender, mild and sweet something close to sweet peas, asparagus or green beans but was absolutely delightful. I made sure to harvest it at less than 2” length.

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Re: Tomato Tuesday Thread (N&C Midwest)..

Post  Denese on 8/31/2011, 9:28 am

WOW, Westie42!! How many boxes do you have? You could put my mom to shame, and I always thought she was the "queen of canning". Laughing Congrats on your hard work! My daughter told me yesterday that her grapes are ready, so I've gotta get down there and pick them. She doesn't use them at all. Such a waste. No

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Re: Tomato Tuesday Thread (N&C Midwest)..

Post  westie42 on 8/31/2011, 11:27 am

I have 104 squares or 6.5 boxes for this first SFG season. They only make up barely 1/3 of my garden operation. For the toms few are in them and unfortunately those have sparse production of 3-4 tomatoes per plant. The main crop tomatoes in the ground next to the boxes are producing 20-50 per plant according to type. Sadly the same results seems to go for most everything else grown both ways. The good news is that greens are growing well in the SFG boxes. In my garden each different method will be used where it proves itself to be best. I do plan on building one new 4X12 SFG box this fall for onions that did best in SFG/MM and am hoping my $85 garlic seed crop does better in it than the pea sized ones I got in the mixed SFG boxes this summer. I was at Seed Savers Exchange (only 30 miles form here) last week and their garlic was impressive sitting in steel drying cages under heavy fan air circulation. I got the book “The Complete Book of Garlic “ by Ted J Meredith while there. It looks to be a fabulous resource at 330 pages. The author is a writer,photographer, chef and gardener and the book is loaded with beautiful large clear color photos and seems to be an encyclopedia of garlic knowledge from every angle but aimed directly at the smaller gardener. I would recommend garlic growers see if their library has it then decide on buying it. Now the grape juice I make is the easy recipe juice 2 from the Ball Blue Book. Other recipes mite be stronger grape flavored but this makes a lot and what I want is just that to last all year long at least this encourages me to drink more liquids and avoid soda pop. It does use too much sugar for me so I have cut way back. You mite consider splenda or some honey to reduce the granular sugar I have not yet considered using stevia instead but may experiment with it this fall..

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Re: Tomato Tuesday Thread (N&C Midwest)..

Post  nancy on 9/5/2011, 8:18 pm

Thank goodness for cooler weather today - I made my first spaghetti sauce! Tomatoes, onions, garlic, and carrots from my garden. The jars aren't quite full enough, but the lids seem secure. What a satisfying experience! I used the Ball recipe "Italian-Style Spaghetti Sauce".


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Re: Tomato Tuesday Thread (N&C Midwest)..

Post  Furbalsmom on 9/5/2011, 8:56 pm

Pretty stuff, Nancy Very Happy

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Re: Tomato Tuesday Thread (N&C Midwest)..

Post  laurainwinona on 9/9/2011, 10:47 am

Since my last post, I have enjoyed the second tomato to ripen, and two more are ripening. There are about 20 more on the vine, and I hope they ripen before the frost comes! If not, I'll have lots of fried green tomatoes. Laughing Too bad I'm the only one in the family who likes them. Next year my goal is to learn to make and can tomato sauce. Anyway, is it normal for a tomato plant to take all summer to grow and set fruit and then ripen one or two at a time a few weeks before frost? I find this frustrating, as I was hoping to have one or two a week well before now.

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Re: Tomato Tuesday Thread (N&C Midwest)..

Post  unmadecastle on 9/9/2011, 5:03 pm

@laurainwinona wrote:Since my last post, I have enjoyed the second tomato to ripen, and two more are ripening. There are about 20 more on the vine, and I hope they ripen before the frost comes! If not, I'll have lots of fried green tomatoes. Laughing Too bad I'm the only one in the family who likes them. Next year my goal is to learn to make and can tomato sauce. Anyway, is it normal for a tomato plant to take all summer to grow and set fruit and then ripen one or two at a time a few weeks before frost? I find this frustrating, as I was hoping to have one or two a week well before now.



Have you tried stressing your tomato plants out so that they think they are going to die? One way is to cut the top of the plants off and cut all small tomatoes and all flowers off. This sends the message to the plant that they need to reproduce and they do that by ripening the tomatoes for the seeds. Another way to stress your plant is to cut the roots about 8 inches away from the plant. Only cut the roots on 3 sides not 4. Just use a shovel. I just did this earlier this week.

I live in SD and our first frost can be as early as next Tueday. My tomatoes were not ripening fast enough (I had cut the tops off about 2 weeks ago ) so I cut the roots 3 days ago and it seems to be working. I know not all of them will ripen on the vine. Some of them I will put in a box with newspaper to ripen.

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Re: Tomato Tuesday Thread (N&C Midwest)..

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 9/9/2011, 5:35 pm

You might get your early frost up there, too. I was just looking at our temps for next week down here and they are set to get pretty chilly again on about Wednesday.

That likely means Tuesday for you guys. Down here, they are forecasting highs in the mid-60s and lows in the 40s. That may just put a frost on y'all up there in the GWN!

I will try and get my hoops topic up this weekend.

I also have a ton of toms fruiting again myself. I am waiting for them to ripen, but am likely a couple weeks off still.

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Re: Tomato Tuesday Thread (N&C Midwest)..

Post  Goosegirl on 9/9/2011, 7:42 pm

@unmadecastle wrote:I live in SD and our first frost can be as early as next Tueday. My tomatoes were not ripening fast enough (I had cut the tops off about 2 weeks ago ) so I cut the roots 3 days ago and it seems to be working. I know not all of them will ripen on the vine. Some of them I will put in a box with newspaper to ripen.

Hush you! I am not ready for a frost next week! After stressing my toms I am just starting to get a good shirttail full every few days! I made awesome spaghetti sauce last weekend and I have enough from this week to make another batch, but if I want to can anything I need at LEAST another 2-3 weeks!

I have a feeling my basement is going to be decorated with hanging tomato plants pulled up and brought in to ripen.....

GG - Also in the GWN of SD!

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Re: Tomato Tuesday Thread (N&C Midwest)..

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 9/9/2011, 11:50 pm

Haha....you know I love you guys up there. 'Nother movie quote comin'.....

"I ain't got nuttin' but love for ya, Jerry!"

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Re: Tomato Tuesday Thread (N&C Midwest)..

Post  laurainwinona on 9/11/2011, 12:01 am

Thanks, unmadecastle! I'll try that and see what happens. This is why it is so good to have a forum where us tomato-newbies can benefit from others' experience!

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Re: Tomato Tuesday Thread (N&C Midwest)..

Post  laurainwinona on 9/26/2011, 12:29 pm

Hey, it worked!!! I cut the tops and all the flowers and small tomatoes, and now I have about 10 toms ripening at once. ;-)

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Re: Tomato Tuesday Thread (N&C Midwest)..

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 9/27/2011, 8:57 am

I still have some growing season left. So, I am waiting for mine to ripen naturally. I must have 20 on the vine. They have recovered nicely after our summer.

All in 6 inches of MM!!

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Re: Tomato Tuesday Thread (N&C Midwest)..

Post  laurainwinona on 10/9/2011, 4:16 pm

Anybody out there know what makes tomatoes crack? Almost all of my toms have cracks in them. The cracks dry out but the rest of the tomato is fine. Unless it starts growing mold. I just cut off the cracked part and eat the rest. But I'm wondering if there is something I could be doing to avoid this....anybody have some wisdom for me? Smile

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Re: Tomato Tuesday Thread (N&C Midwest)..

Post  Goosegirl on 10/9/2011, 9:59 pm

[quote="laurainwinona"]Anybody out there know what makes tomatoes crack? Almost all of my toms have cracks in them.[quote]
The 2 things that come to mind for me are:
1. The variety - some are just more prone to cracking
2. Uneven watering
I'm sure there are more reasons, but those are the first 2 that popped into my head!
GG

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Re: Tomato Tuesday Thread (N&C Midwest)..

Post  laurainwinona on 10/17/2011, 11:01 am

Thanks, Goosegirl.

Anyway, I have about 5 toms left. I made sauce for the first time, using my own toms and onions and peppers! I'm so excited! It turned out decently, too. Very Happy It's about time to pull that tomato vine out, I guess.

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recipe for green tomatoes

Post  southern gardener on 10/18/2011, 5:47 pm

I just ran across this link for a recipe. thought I'd share since many have green tomatoes and frost approaching. I haven't tried it, but hope it works for someone!! :drunken:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/craig-goldwyn/pickled-green-tomatoes-recipe_b_754850.html?ncid=wsc-huffpost-cards-image

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Re: Tomato Tuesday Thread (N&C Midwest)..

Post  stripesmom on 10/18/2011, 6:02 pm

Thank you for the recipe. I will be trying that out. I covered my tomatoes because it's going to get in the low 30's the next several nights. Then the weather people say it will go back up in to the mid 60's next week for awhile anyway. I hope so, I hate to see my tom's go. I've had a great season this year though.

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Re: Tomato Tuesday Thread (N&C Midwest)..

Post  southern gardener on 10/18/2011, 6:27 pm

great! let us know how they turn out. sounds sorta interesting!! bounce bounce

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Re: Tomato Tuesday Thread (N&C Midwest)..

Post  stripesmom on 10/18/2011, 10:59 pm

I will. I have always hated to try to ripen them, they don't taste that good if you wrap them in newspaper and try to get them red, they just aren't the same.

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Re: Tomato Tuesday Thread (N&C Midwest)..

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