I have a confession to make.
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Some women have a thing about shoes or handbags or kitchen gadgets but me? Mine is tomatoes. This weekend I planted twenty-five (representing 21 varieties), twenty-seven if you count two tomatillos.
Did you know that tomatillos are not a variety of tomato, but they are part of the tomato family?
Anyway, twenty-five wouldn’t be so much if I lived on a farm, or had a large family, or a restaurant, or a friend with a restaurant. But I dont. I live in a subdivision and we are a family of 4 (one of which is a picky no-tomato-unless-it’s-in-salsa-form eater.)
My husband thinks I have issues. I think he doth protest too much. A little history…
Last year I decided to start much of our garden from seed. I was wanting to grow a variety of tomatoes, mostly heirlooms, some of which are hard to find at local garden centers.
After visiting a seed company, I came home with 5 or 6 varieties, not too bad. If I planted 2 plants of each type that would be a gracious plenty. Each packet contained 15+ seeds. Since I’d never started anything from seed indoors (other than some butter beans for a science project), I thought I should go ahead and plant all of the seeds in hopes that at least a few would germinate.
Within 2 weeks I had almost 100 baby tomato plants. And they grew, and they grew, and they grew some more, with only a handful of them biting the dust. They were my precious seedlings, and as planting time approached, I began to get a tad bit concerned that they would have no home.
And they needed a home. They had to be planted. Someone had to use them. They were my babies.
A final count totaled 86 tomato plants. To make a long story short, everyone who stopped by left with a few tomato plants in hand, friends, family, the UPS man. I even took some to a family reunion a state away to spread the love. I still ended up planting around 20.
Thank goodness we like salsa.
And tomato sandwiches. Sakes alive, I can’t wait for that first tomato sandwich.
Anyway, this year with no plans to start anything from seed, I had good intentions of scaling back.
Really I did.
We headed toward the garden center with my garden plan in hand. Maybe 10 to 12 tomatoes would be good? But they had so many varieties. So many heirlooms with different colors and shapes. And have you ever smelled a tomato plant? Oh my. For me (I know, I’m freaky) it’s an intoxicating smell.
Just give me some tomato plants and a gardenia and I’m good to go. I felt like I was in some kind of state of hoarding, grabbing almost one of every variety I saw.
When I met up with my husband to checkout I had to confess. Oh the look, followed by “I think I need to put a call in to our accountant to see if we will qualify as a farm for tax purposes.”
It’s not as if I’m doing something illegal.
How are these sweet little tomato plants imposing on you?
Do you think I love them more than you?
And at $.99 to $1.29 per plant they’re cheaper than a pair of shoes. I could get a few more and still come in under a shoe budget.
And this attitude from a farmer’s son? I know he means well, he doesn’t want to waste good food. But leave me alone. And leave my tomatoes alone. They’re just innocent tomatoes looking for a good home.
I know it’ll be difficult to keep up with the yields from 25+ plants. Even with canning and freezing, I’ll be passing them off to friends and family by the basketful. That’s OK. I can spread the love.
And the salsa.
Are you gardening this year? What is your favorite plant to grow? Are you like me and have a tomato addiction?
I am TOTALLY A tomato freak!!! My grandmother used to grow them and every year we ate tomatoes all summer. We had tomatoes as a side with every dish, we had quiches, sandwiches, salads (oh, the salads), fried green tomatoes and of course tomato pie which it by far was one of my favorites! It has basil, garlic, tomatoes, cheese, bread crumbs…need I say more? I usually start heading out towards Beechwood farm at the end of this month and the love feast begins with tomatoes, strawberries, squash, butter beans, crowder peas and on and on. I could definitely be a vegetarian! Feel free to share any of your left overs they will be loved :)))
Are you sitting down? We farm for a living. My job is runing the greenhouse. I have trouble germinating a seed and then wasting the plant. Two years ago we planted 1500 and last year we cut back to 1200. You could smell them from quite a distance away. Our customers loved the different varieties.(20+)Tomatoes are good, but I’m crazy about red and yellow peppers. As far as addictions go, for me it’s shoes. If only I could grow them from seed! I’d save some money!
Well our tomato season is ending soon and I am already depressed. I kill whatever lives… which is why I buy cut flowers.. (basically dead.. just killing time looking nice for me right?) I cant grow anything. So I am thinking that this would be good if I give you my addy you and I can hook up and I can take some of them off your hands! See how easy that is? you call, I haul :)Love heirlooms. We have a cool seed company around here. they have some really cool looking tom’s. Good Luck…. and dont forget! “call me!” … yum…
The pictures are wonderful.
I never have had much luck at growing eatable things as you know and have always been amazed at how well your garden grows. The varities of tomatoes you grow are beautiful and smell so good.
Last year the little garden you and Randy helped me plant unfortunately got flooded with salt water from the marsh (who wun hav thunk it.) This year your Daddy and I decided to make a smaller garden spot away from the marsh, close to the barn which really does not get enough sun exposure and it might end up being called the Deer Garden as they will probably eat whatever comes up. So as a back up I planted some seeds in big pots on our sundeck.
All the seeds were planted the day before I left for a 12 days trip to Georgia and when I returned was amazed at the difference in the size and amount of seedlings. The garden spot has only a few shoots 1 or 2 inches tall but the pots on the sundeck are loaded with 6 or 7 inch tall seedlings/plants. Undoubtedly the amount of sunlight is the key and unless the deer walk up the steps and go through the screen porch to get to the sundeck, I think there will be cucumbers, squash and tomatoes to pick. But looking forward to the varities you grow and share.
The importance of sunlight is proven again not only in the plant world but in our lives as well.
May the light of the Son shine in all our lives.
That is the sweetest comment I ever read. So cool to have that relationship and admiration for each other. I came on board to learn about the tomatillo I bought by mistake and here at the jersey shore it’s loaded with blossoms and little fruit. I have have faith if you plant they will come, but it is September. Yellow purple stripped I’ve planted all and love em all. Of course the jersey beefsteak is the best (weaned on them) ! Let the debate begin. Lol.
There is nothing at all as good as a tomato fresh off the vine. Wish I were your neighbor now I’d definitely help eat some of these babies!
I am FULL of envy, cause I just LOVE tomatos! I have tomato cheese and mayo sandwhiches for breakfast sometimes! now you must get the wusthof tomato knife,mine is the crown jewel of my knife collection. great photos.
My husband and I planted a vegetable garden this year. Because of the clay here in Texas, we planted a raised bed garden. We have three different varieties of tomatoes, two bell peppers, one yellow banana pepper and one cucumber. Small, but there are only two of us. I already have good size tomatoes. Can’t wait to pick the first one!
I am with you on the tomatoes. There is nothing better than the first great big juicy tomato, fresh from the garden in a tomato sandwich. Yum!
I see lots of salsa in your future. And tomato sandwiches. I bought 10 this year. Way too many for us. Only two of us like tomatoes. My plans are to can a few jars. My friend planted so many last year they ended up renting a booth at the local farmer’s market and made money selling those babies! That’s always an option.
I’m laughing at your post because I’m in the same boat! I have never really done a garden before. I bought seed packets, planted 3 per container (about 20 containers) and now they are all surviving! I was reading a book that said you had to be ruthless when it came to plucking out some of your plants as they come in. I just can’t do it! Like you said, “They’re my babies!” So I’ve been finding friends to give them to. I hope they treat them with the same love I would have 😛
I do have a garden, um, well, don’t laugh, it’s in my front yard. I know! It sounds so hillbilly! But seriously, I think it’s pretty. I love the smell of tomato plants too, I planted 8 but thinking I need to add tomatillo after reading your post.I also did squash/beans/okra/cucumbers/carrots/and all sorts of herbs (LOTS of basil, my fave!). *note – The garden can not be seen from the street…you actually have to pull into the drive to figure out how country I’ve become in my life of leisure! Enjoy your tomatoes girl!
There is NOTHING better than a ripe, juicy heirloom tomato – fresh from the garden, warm from the sun. Mmmmm, I love growing yummy food. I’m crazy about zucchini too. I WANT to be one of those ladies pushing zucchini on hapless strangers because I have more than I could ever use and then some! I can’t wait!
Oh, yes. Garden, can, freeze to the max. Love tomatoes, so versatile, but I have yet to find an heirloom tomato that pleases my palette. My fav. veggie to grow is probably beans because they just keep producing. Then you let them set after they look like they’re ready to die and go back in the fall (like right during our county fair) and poof–a whole new crop of beans! At least that’s the way it works in our climate zone!
Isn’t the 1st commenter telling the real truth or what??