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let's Discuss Tomatillos

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/22/2013, 5:24 pm

I don't water mine, and they now have big lanterns.  I'm waiting for the lanterns to fall off so I can open one.  Then I'm not sure what I'll do with them.

The folks here are eating & raving about ground cherries/goosberries and that's my next purchase!

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  donnainzone5 on 8/22/2013, 5:41 pm

Here's an idea for tomatillos, assuming that you like Mexican food:

In a blender, put 3-4 tomatillos per person, serrano chiles (about 1/2 each per person), garlic cloves accordingly, fresh cilantro, and chopped onion. A bit of lemon juice is an enhancement.

After browning some chicken (usually with a dash of paprika and cayenne pepper), I add the green salsa and braise until done, turning and ladeling the salsa over the chicken from time to time.

I like this dish over brown rice, with either steamed carrots or corn. Generally, I add a dash of sesame oil to the rice.

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  camprn on 8/22/2013, 5:46 pm

donnainzone10 wrote:Here's an idea for tomatillos, assuming that you like Mexican food:

In a blender, put 3-4 tomatillos per person, serrano chiles (about 1/2 each per person), garlic cloves accordingly, fresh cilantro, and chopped onion. A bit of lemon juice is an enhancement.

After browning some chicken (usually with a dash of paprika and cayenne pepper), I add the green salsa and braise until done, turning and ladeling the salsa over the chicken from time to time.

I like this dish over brown rice, with either steamed carrots or corn.  Generally, I add a dash of sesame oil to the rice.  
Donna, this sounds delish! Would you please put this in the recipe section for later reference. Thanks.

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  llama momma on 8/22/2013, 6:01 pm

Donna

Your dishes always sound like they are created by a professional chef!

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  donnainzone5 on 8/22/2013, 6:34 pm

Actually, most of my recipes came from other sources, although I do make enhancements from time to time.

My basic, one-dish recipe consists of the following:

Protein (poultry, fish, beef, lamb, pork)

Herbs

Seasonings

Vegetables

Starch (rice, pasta, potato)

Wine and/or lemon juice (sometimes vinegar)

Each time is different! I have a neighbor who cooks the same way.

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  RoOsTeR on 8/23/2013, 7:42 am

@camprn wrote:
donnainzone10 wrote:Here's an idea for tomatillos, assuming that you like Mexican food:

In a blender, put 3-4 tomatillos per person, serrano chiles (about 1/2 each per person), garlic cloves accordingly, fresh cilantro, and chopped onion. A bit of lemon juice is an enhancement.

After browning some chicken (usually with a dash of paprika and cayenne pepper), I add the green salsa and braise until done, turning and ladeling the salsa over the chicken from time to time.

I like this dish over brown rice, with either steamed carrots or corn.  Generally, I add a dash of sesame oil to the rice.  
Donna, this sounds delish! Would you please put this in the recipe section for later reference. Thanks.
+1 Sounds delicious!

My ground cherries were what I was looking forward to the most this season. I'll echo Llama Momma's previous post. I am a little disappointed as well. The flavor is decent, but not as stellar as I was hoping for. Growth has been mediocre. Several of my plants just up and died. I think it was grasshoppers that got them. I don't have an issue with grasshoppers anyplace else in my garden, but I go over to the ground cherries and shake them, and grasshoppers jump out like mad! I will plant more next year, mostly because I've still got lots of seeds, and also to give them a second chance Smile 
I'll focus more on tomatillos next year Wink 

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  llama momma on 8/23/2013, 8:55 am

Rooster when you said grasshoppers on the ground cherries I realized I've seen them too around the plant though haven't seen them on it.   Also, the flavor of the ground cherries imho might be more hype than truth. Too bad you were disappointed like myself.  I downloaded an article and picture where people make pies out of these. Somewhere people are enjoying ground cherries!
 
I will say the cherries that naturally fall off the branches are sweeter than the ones that fall from me lightly tapping the bush.  I decided the sweetest ones come from paper wrappers that are light tan in color. Still yellowish then its hit or miss, strong yellow or green not ripe.
 
I'll be growing these again like you because I have seeds left over. There are recipes for jam, pie, salsa, chutney, or can freeze them like grapes too.  They are rich in vitamin C, B1 and B3, and only 52 calories in  3/4 cup.  So I'll be growing them again mostly for my friend that loves them and save a few for myself.

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  donnainzone5 on 8/23/2013, 12:36 pm

If ground cherries are similar to tomatillos in habit, you'll probably have plenty of volunteers next spring. Just plant a seed or two to be safe.

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/23/2013, 3:29 pm

I have 3 tomatillos and 2 are producing nicely because they are holding hands.  One is off by itself, so I pulled it out today and transplanted it to the office community garden next to one that was all alone, too.  I hope it survives and they are happy together.

Has anyone transplanted full grown tomatillo plants with success?

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/24/2013, 12:49 am

I imagine saving seeds from tomatillos is pretty much like saving seeds from tomatoes ... anyone can confirm or has ideas on that?

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  CapeCoddess on 9/20/2013, 11:54 am

So I went around touching all the lanterns and to my surprise every other one has a marble sized fruit in it:

The others grow right out to the paper and are very hard:

I'm keeping an eye on them so I can grab them when they fall off before the bugs do.  Then I think I'll use Donnas blender salsa recipe. good job!

I have lots of seeds from ground cherries from the farmers market.  They were really really yummy so maybe it's the variety that makes the flavor diff...?  Or the location where they are grown? 

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  donnainzone5 on 9/20/2013, 12:16 pm

Tomatillos are pretty much self-seeding. If you save just a tiny pinch of seeds, you should be covered.

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  Turan on 9/20/2013, 12:45 pm

The tomatillos that self seeded in the corn and compost are HUGE! Baseball size. I left one in a very protected niche to ripen fully on the vine to collect the seeds from. I guess these are so large (versus their parents I grew last year) because that is what my microclimate selected. Or maybe they actually hate to be transplanted, because these are the first self seeding ones I have had. The plants have been rivaling the sunflowers and corn for height and are covered with these huge lanterns. They are a little behind in ripening though, just starting now. They have one more week, a frost down to 30 is predicted next week.

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/20/2013, 12:59 pm

Well, a bunch of mine finally ripened, and I hope the rest will before our typical late-September frost. I had previously had a bunch of lanterns on the ground or on the plant that went yellow as if fully ripe, but there was nothing inside. Now even in my unripe lanterns, there's usually something growing.

Mine aren't very big at all, despite good watering and compost tea. I think the soil in the neighbor's beds I'm growing them in is just too tired; it's also shaded in the mid to late afternoon. Still, it's fun to get whatever I get, and I'm glad they didn't just stop producing entirely after that first flush of early summer productivity.

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  Turan on 9/20/2013, 1:10 pm

Marc, I have been told that the small ones are the tastier. Certainly the small fruited variety I grew one year were much sweeter than the big green variety I grew next to them.

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  sanderson on 9/20/2013, 2:07 pm

My single lantern!  Embarassed Two months to frost so it should make it!

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/20/2013, 2:23 pm

They like the heat, which Fresno has plenty of (I didn't even know you guys got snow there), so I'm surprised you only got one lantern. Maybe too much heat? I lost hundreds of tomato, cucumber, pepper, tomatillo, and bean flowers during our heat wave(s).

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  sanderson on 9/20/2013, 2:30 pm

Marc, No bees.  I've seen 4 this summer. I did a little half-hearted hair paint-brush pollinating.  Next year I will set two plants a little further apart so I can tell which flower is on which plant.  They really sprawl out and up!

Yep, a tiny snow fall every 10 years whether we need it or not!

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/20/2013, 5:47 pm

Ah, we had too few bees too. Oh well, better luck next year! I'll be planting tons of flowers everywhere.

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  sanderson on 9/20/2013, 9:18 pm

Me too, as long as they are PURPLE! (or pink)

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/21/2013, 12:01 am

Lavender, borage, and veronicas for me. Plus marigolds and nasturtiums, and plenty.

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  donnainzone5 on 9/21/2013, 11:02 am

If you don't mind clover in your lawn, it's an absolute winner when it comes to attracting bees.  Or--just a thought, you could grow some from seed in containers. Other possibilities include flowering herbs, such as thyme. Bees also like foxglove (digitalis), which often sports gorgeous pink flowers. However, many of these are biannual, meaning that they flower every other year.

One of my own tomatillos is nearly ready, and there are several others in earlier stages of development. Not a bumper crop, but then I purchased some sickly plants and planted them late in the season. Now, if I can just keep them warm enough to mature....


Last edited by donnainzone10 on 9/21/2013, 11:07 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added information)

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/21/2013, 11:51 am

We do have foxgloves. Re thyme, it took until the last week or two to flower just a little bit. Around here, anyway, they flowered less than anything.

I will put in a good word for my apple mint. I let it go to seed and it had many bee visits, even though there weren't many bees.

What I would really love is for some of my tomatillos to get bigger. They're mostly strawberry size, and not like those giant strawberries you sometimes see.

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  jmsieglaff on 9/29/2013, 9:17 am

This was the second year I've grown Toma Verde Tomatillo from seed.  Both years I've grown 2 plants and have had tremendous yields.  In 2012 we harvested 18-20 lbs of tomatillos from the two plants.  So far this year we've harvested 17 pounds (the bulk of those coming from late August - late September).  We stored them in the fridge and yesterday processed 12 pounds, along with onions, garlic, cilantro, serranos, lime juice, salt and cumin to yield just over 2 gallons of roasted tomatillo salsa.  (Made a batch earlier in August with the other 5 lbs.) We put the salsa in 4 cup containers and freeze it in our chest freezer.  

The tomatillo stems were largely bent over in a high wind event this year, while we lost a branch or two, it was amazing how well they continued to produce despite being kinked at the top of the tomato cages (and supported by some twine and rope).  I figure we'll get a another couple pounds before frost in the next couple of weeks.  I was thinking about trying a different variety, but with the results the past two years I see no reason to mess with it.

Fall lettuce and spinach this year is another story.....

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/29/2013, 12:54 pm

Wow, what a nice yield! My plants flowered like crazy, grew to about four feet high and stopped, and after producing a first small flush of fruits, built nothing but empty lanterns for the majority of the season. Now most of them appear to be filling in. But I won't have anywhere near your yields. The problem with our local microclimate is that we get not only days too hot for flowers to set, but nights too cold for them to set -- and often on the same day ... and even on the same day for weeks in a row. It's tough for them to make fruits!

One of my tomatillos was supposedly a purple tomatillo. I didn't get a single purple fruit from it. Sad Bah! Oh well, at least I got green ones.

Funny, though ... it was super vigorous at the start of the summer, then got eclipsed and in comparison almost dwarfed by the green tomatillo. They were right next to each other, so the soil was the same.

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