23 May 2009

Heirlooms

I suppose that if I were a real gardener, I'd grow my tomatoes from seed. But I'm not, and we get lots of great tomatoes from our CSA, and can get lots more tomatoes at farmstands and the like.

But I do like to put in a couple of plants, just because. And if you only want two plants, it doesn't make any sense at all to buy a package of seed, most of which will go to waste. Furthermore, most of what we'll get from the CSA will be plain red tomatoes - great, but not unusual. So, I want to grow something different, off the beaten track.

I picked up my two tomato plants the other day, from Silver Heights Farm, a vendor at the Union Square Greenmarket who sells nothing but seedlings, almost all of which are heirloom varieties of herbs and flowers and vegetables that you've never heard of.

  • Black Krim, 75 days, I. This heirloom has become quite popular in the farmers’ marketplace, but is a bit tricky to harvest. Pick before it appears to have developed full color and ripeness, when the fruit is still somewhat firm. 10-12 oz., dark brown-red is darker in hot weather. Interior is a deep reddish green. A hint of saltiness, unusually juicy, with plenty of meaty texture. This heavy producer is prone to cracking and catfacing. From Krymsk on the Black Sea of Russia.

  • Dagma’s Perfection, 73 days, I. This elegant fruit is bi-colored, pale yellow with delicate, light red striping. Slightly flattened, 12 ounces, with 3” diameter. Flesh is firm and juicy with hints of tropical fruit and lime. 

I can't wait to slice one of each, and lay them on a plate, and drizzle them with olive oil, and sprinkle them with kosher salt, and bedeck them with chopped basil.  Two and a half months to heaven.

14 comments:

Vodka Mom said...

There is NOTHING like a tomato fresh from the garden.


NOTHING.

(We are planting Monday. )

heidi said...

the thing i love most about a garden tomato, is that you can eat while it's still warm from the sun. There is nothing like a sunwarmed thing... tomatoes, wood floors, a dock, grass, a cat in the window seat...
nothing.

Ms. N said...

mmmm, tomatoes (have you tried them with watermelon, shallots, olive oil and goat cheese?)

Now you have me thinking I need to figure out a way to grow a plant or two on my fire-escape...

Gotta Knit! said...

well I'm not a real Gardner either but totally on a whim did decide to try to grow our tomatoes from seeds. We shall see.


Fear I might have to do a strange dance at 11:59 p.m. on the full moon to make it all happen.

flutter said...

tomato skewers with watermelon, basil, and a light lemon vinaigrette? Yum.

Woman in a Window said...

I just salt and pepper them. Your way sounds better.

No common beefeaters? Oh, you said heirloom.

The LIbrary Lady said...

I am ticked because the wonderful herb farm where I get my plants didn't have the small, egg shaped ones we adore--Dona and the justly named "Enchantment".

But we have Brandywine and Celebrity and the delectable little Sun Gold and Sun Cherry and "Juliet"--which is a two bite sized egg tomato and goes on and on and on.

I can buy tomatoes from the farmer's market but they're expensive. And nothing IS better than picking one (or two or three) right off the vine and popping them in my mouth!
Though a fresh mozzarella, tomato and pesto sandwich comes close. Especially if the pesto comes from my garden basil!!Now if I can just get them all in the ground tomorrow....

Ree said...

We have 7 plants - 5 slicing and 2 cherry tomato plants. They smell wonderful just in the planting.

phd in yogurtry said...

Oh, I can't wait, either. There is nothing so wonderful as homegrown tomatoes (who sang that?).

My husband grows them, always from plants. He buys seeds for other things: cukes, zuchhini, beans. But tomato, jap pepper and onion sets.

He planted Celebrity, Big Boy, Heatwave (keep producing in this heat). We've got a ton of small green tomatoes. It's just a matter of weeks here. Yum Yum.

RuthWells said...

Next year, try Kellogg's Breakfast. It's a large orange beefsteak type, more on the sweet side than the acid side of the flavor spectrum. It is one of my two must-haves every year.

(And I grow from seed, so if you're ever in the Philly area, I can lay a plant on you. I always have extras.)

Rootietoot said...

mmm. Culinary perfection is a warm sliced tomato, nice and thick, on fresh baked bread with a schmear of homemade black pepper mayonnaise (aioli, I guess, if you're that sort). Mom used to make them when I was a kid, now I make them for mine. My favorite is Brandywine, it does well in this very humid and hot climate of South Georgia.

Debbie said...

My dad and I have a sort of contest each year to see who gets the first ripe tomato. I can't wait!

niobe said...

I like to grow lots of tomatoes because they're the only thing (except herbs of various kinds) that the skunks/squirrels/other ravenous critters don't seem to eat before I do.

Life As I Know It said...

I just planted tomatoes from seed for the first time evah this year. Hoping they survive.
Nothing better than fresh veggies...they taste SO MUCH different than what you get in the grocery store.