June 11, 2008

Gratuitous Domestic Posting (TM) - Gardening Division

Our old pal Babs drops this report in the Tasty-Bits (TM) Mail Sack:

This year I started about 120 heirloom tomatoes from seed. Unfortunately, I have only 4 takers which account for about 20 tomatoes. Can you imagine that I am going to throw at least 80 tomato plants onto the compost pile, after raising them up as babies? Sniff… Math doesn’t work for you? I will be planting the overflow in every nook and cranny of my garden, including pots on my deck!

I am fascinated with heirloom tomatoes. Not only because they are the absolute best eating fruit on the planet, but also because I have done a bit of research, through growing trials and reading, about where the best tomato varieties come from. It seems that Russia and Pennsylvania produce the best tomatoes! Weird, huh? I wonder if there is a connection.

When we were in Romania and Bulgaria a few years back, I ate the best tomatoes I have ever eaten! And, everyone seemed to have at least a couple of bushes; growing outside apartment buildings, these squat bushes with not that appealing fruit on them. But boy, they were good eating! In fact, this month long tour we were on… the Americans started diving for the tomatoes every time they saw them!

I stand by Caspian Pink, from Russia , with Brandywine a close second, from Penn. And, BTW, Brandywine has now been hybridized with “Brandywine OPV.” I will be doing a side by side taste test this year…

I remind myself of a Jay Leno skit when he was trying to disparage John McCain. “You remind me of a guy that wants to tell me about his tomato plants!” Well, yeah, I do.


I must admit that I happen to dislike tomatoes myself and always have (although I don't mind them as an ingredient in some dishes). The guy you really want to talk to about tomatoes 'round here is Steve-O. Indeed, I believe it is high time that he came out with his annual report on the various salsas, gazpachos and other Lycopersicon-based dishes that he concocts from his own harvest.

Steve? That's your cue......

Posted by Robert at June 11, 2008 11:07 AM | TrackBack

I think it has to do with the quality of the topsoil. I remember in one of Michener's books (I'm tempted to say Centennial), he also makes the Russia/Pennsylvania connection also (part of the book takes place in Amish country, one of the characters is a guy who gets shunned and ends up moving to Colorado), saying that the Ukraine and Pennsylvania Dutch country have some of the thickest topsoil on the planet.

Posted by: The Abbot at June 11, 2008 12:40 PM

My dad HATES tomatoes...every time (and I mean every single time) he sees them on a plate he says "those are from the nightshade family, you know...they're poisonous!"

Posted by: Lynellen at June 11, 2008 03:48 PM

As are potatoes.

Posted by: rbj at June 12, 2008 08:26 AM