totally tomato!

Tomato season is finally here, about half-a-month late because of prolonged spring and strangely cool summer in the East Bay.

This is the year of the Great Tomato Experiment: I saved 20+ varieties of heirloom tomato seeds from tomatoes I ate last year from our local farmer’s market and grew 15 varieties of tomatoes in our garden. (Props to Happy Boy, Lucero, Tomatero and Surly Girl farms – sorry, didn’t know that last farm’s name so I made a name up in honor of the slightly cantankerous woman who works the market.) People tend to be mighty impressed when they find out our tomato jungle originated from tiny seeds from last year’s salads, but lemme tell ya – it’s a lot easier than it looks. See my next post for instructions.

I tried to choose tomatoes with lots of color diversity… it’s my way of being a graphic-artist-garden-nerd. I’ve also decided that cherry tomatoes do especially well in our short growing season, plus they pack a flavor punch in a small package. What you see in the photo here includes pretty much what we’re harvesting every day now in early September:

-currant tomatoes: tiny orange-red bright sweet little thangs
-super snow white: lemon-white sweet cherries
-green grape: yellow-green when mature, a very gourmet umame, almost porcini mushroom taste to it!
-black cherry: a deep purple cherry with a mellow sweet taste
-isis candy: a very deeply sweet cherry tomato
-sun golds: bright orange hybrid with a complex but still clean flavor, and an amazingly productive plant – we’re getting hundreds of these tomatoes!
-sweet million: bright, clean red cherry tomato flavor, also a worthy hybrid (that means you have to buy seeds from people who especially hybridize two parent tomatoes to create the sun gold and sweet million seeds)
-moskovich heirloom: a regular-sized red tomato on the smallish side, but with an amazingly bright and complex umame. This is our favorite regular-sized heirloom tomato.