The Last Tomato Harvest

Rachel, Lucy, and I did one final tomato picking before the freeze and gathered four boxes of tomatoes. Steve told me they were not "restaurant quality" so that means I might finally make some marinara sauce this year.

It was some serious work to pull the tomatoes out of the ground and untangle them from the cages. Some of the plants had grown up and over the cages and back down to the ground. . . a good ten feet long. And they had some massive roots like this:

My stomach muscles were sore for two days.

It should be noted that the strongest roots were on Aunt Lucy's Heirloom Tomato plant. It took me a good five or ten minutes whacking away at the root with a hoe before I could pull it out. Much to Lucy's dismay, we will not be planting Aunt Lucy's Tomatoes again next year.

This was an odd year for tomatoes. (Or is every year an odd year?) We had a late start and dealt with some difficulties with insects and diseases. (I am voting on giving up being "organic" and using pesticides and fungicides next year.) We lost seven or eight of our fifty-four plants, but we still yielded about 1600 pounds of tomatoes.

And we settled on a few things:

Brandywine and Early Girl tomatoes, we are so over you. You will never grow in our garden again.

On the other hand, we couldn't get enough of our Sun Sugar and Golden Jubilee tomatoes.

Next July feels like so far away, so we are savoring these last tomatoes of the season. Rachel has fallen in love with Caprese Salad. . . she asks me to make it every day and even requested to take it to school as her home lunch.

After clearing out all of the tomato plants and tilling the soil, Steve planted winter rye. Since we can't rotate our tomato crop, we are going to try using this winter cover crop to improve our soil. I think my husband's level of happiness over the last few months has been directly related to how the garden is doing, so let's hope it works.


Ryanne said...

Next year that what I need to do for Senneca's hair. I thought of Lucy on crazy hair day but was too lazy to scroll through old posts or look online for how to do it. I bet she was a big hit, its awesome!

The Clawson"s said...

Yum! I just had to run and make a caprese salad. I had some homemade mozzarella in the fridge. It was delish!! Thanks for spurring my mind.