Tuesday, August 21, 2007

City Farmer

Beefmaster Tomatoes - about 5 pounds all from one plant

One of my hobbies, especially in the summer months, is vegetable gardening. Although we don't have a great deal of open yard space, I think I have made the most of what I have and pretty proud of this years results thus far. I might even try to do some winter crops this year. Southern California is one of those places that you can do a certain amount. The area I live in (a few miles from the Pacific Ocean) never gets to freezing, and seldom gets below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, 10 degrees Celsius, during daylight hours.

Besides our trees - fig, avocado, apricot, orange, lemon and loquat - I have a decent little veggie patch. This year I have bell peppers, corn, green onions, broccoli, okra, peas and 6 varieties of tomatoes (15 total tomato plants). I really like tomatoes, as you can see by how many I have planted. We eat them with every meal. This morning I made fried eggs with thick slices of "Better Boy" tomatoes and toast. We make salsa and also tomato juice. If you have only eaten tomatoes purchased from a market, I pity you! Seriously, there is no store-bought tomato that compares to one picked ripe from your garden, washed off and eaten. Once you have tried it, you know and will never look at market tomatoes quite the same.

I've been bringing in 3-7 pounds of tomatoes daily. The ones above were half of what I harvested today and all come off a single tomato plant of the variety "Beef Master". The site I linked says that they can get as large as 2 lbs! I haven't had any that big, but the one on the back right with a smaller tomato sitting atop of it weighed close to a pound. All of them are about twice the size of most regular store tomatoes. But, once again, it's not the size that counts!


Renegade said...

Those are really big Tomatoes. My grandparents are into farming, and its their chronic profession & yet I haven't seen such a big tomato in their fields.

John - Evolutionary Middleman said...

Yes, but I'd love to land one of those TWO POUND PUPPIES! I saw one this evening that I hadn't noticed before which will probably turn out to be my biggest yet. It could end up over a pound.

As for your grandparents, well, I wouldn't be too hard on them. It's nothing magical I'm doing. If you plant a variety that grows big and take care of it properly, it will be big. They probably specialize in a smaller variety.

Some of the best tasting tomatoes are smaller anyway (like I said, size isn't everything). One is a variety called "Lemon Boy". They aren't red. You can probably guess what color they are - and they are De-Lic-Ious!

Anonymous said...

I used to live in California and growing food there is truly a joy (compared to Connecticut) where I wrestle with the seasons. 5 lbs from one tomato plant is an extremely good yield.