Heirloom, indeterminate, 85 days
Very meaty, rich, sweet flavor intensifies in sauces. Consistent taste test winner, fresh or cooked into sauce/paste. Makes “tomato candy” when dried! Droopy foliage is normal.
Heirloom, indeterminate, 85 days
This year’s tomato tasting was a great success, with a total of 41 tomato varieties present over the 3-hour event!
Participants brought in some wonderful new varieties this year, including Pink Bumble Bee Cherry, Gajo de Melon, and Blue Cream Berries. We always take people’s votes into account when deciding which tomato varieties to carry, so look for the most popular varieties from this year and previous years when you come to buy your organic tomato starts next spring at Harlequin’s Gardens. Every year we grow 80+ great varieties for all kinds of uses and growing conditions! A huge thank-you to Growing Gardens for providing our the location, helping us publicize the event, and for bringing us some fabulous volunteers. Thank you also to the volunteers of Slow Food Boulder County. We couldn’t have done it without you!
2019 Taste of Tomato Vote Tally
This year’s Taste of Tomato was a blast! We love the new location at Growing Gardens’ Barn, with its’ beautiful view of the Flatirons, easy access, and wonderful staff. The tasting featured 44 different varieties of tomatoes, with Aunt Ruby’s German Green winning the greatest number of votes. Participants brought in some wonderful new varieties this year, including Brad’s Atomic Grape, Thornburn’s Terracotta, and Indigo Cherry. Look for the most popular varieties from this year and previous years when you come to buy your organic tomato starts next spring at Harlequin’s Gardens. Every year we grow 80+ great varieties for all kinds of uses and growing conditions!
Here are a few harvest guidelines for summer crops:
Eggplants should be picked while they are still firm and glossy. Once their skins have become dull, they will be softer and have dark seeds, which can spoil the flavor. Eggplants don’t keep long, so use them soon after harvest.
Bell peppers and sweet frying peppers are sweetest when allowed to ripen fully to their mature color, yellow, orange, red, purple or mahogany. Bell peppers are often picked green, but their flavor will be a lot more pungent and they may be more challenging to digest.
Some of the hot peppers are traditionally enjoyed green – poblano, mulatto, jalapeno, Anaheim-type, while most of the rest are allowed to ripen to red (cherry, habanero, cayenne, lanterna, any chile dried for a ristra, etc.) orange (Bulgarian Carrot), or dark brown (Pasilla).
Food safety is one of the most critical issues of our time. What we eat is directly related to our health, and health care has a direct impact on our personal and national economies. Major chemical companies like Monsanto, Bayer, Dow and Dupont have introduced 86,000 synthetic chemicals into our environment, food, drugs, cosmetics etc and most of them have never been tested for toxic effects on human health and the environment. Since the mid 1990s, some of these same companies have been filling our grocery stores and feed stores with genetically engineered food products which may be causing serious health problems but are being approved by our government without safety testing.
What is the big deal about heirloom tomatoes? Hasn’t modern science brought us big improvements with hybrids that are bigger fruiting, higher yielding, resistant to many diseases and low in acid and high in vitamins? Yes, there are many hybrids that do boast these benefits. However the varieties that have earned the designation of “heirloom” have been treasured and saved through many years of growing and eating. Presumably they have endured for two main reasons: the success of the plants through many varying seasons and locations, and the big reason, FLAVOR. It was probably in reference to heirloom tomatoes that the song was written “Only two things that money can’t buy: true love and home-grown tomatoes.” There is something about that genuine tomato flavor that has made the tomato America’s most popular vegetable, and the tomatoes in the supermarkets don’t even come close.
Even if the economy doesn’t drive us to foraging in the wild, there are some native fruits that are good to know, to eat and to grow at home.
Wild Plum, Prunus americana, is blooming all over Boulder and much of the Front Range as I write. It is easy to identify with its early spring clouds of white blossoms and waves of sweet perfume that carry across the yard or the ditch. It is quite happy in a ditch where it gets a little extra water, and is not at its best in very dry conditions where it will grow more as a shrub than a tree.
Parsley is not merely a garnish. Besides its wide-ranging multicultural culinary uses, it has, like many culinary herbs, significant nutritional and medicinal values and important roles in the garden. And in Ancient Greece, parsley was used to crown heroes. Every part of the plant is useful.
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is an attractive, very cold-hardy biennial herb in the Apiaceae (bee-flower) family. It is available in flat-leaf and curled-leaf forms, both of which have rich, glossy green serrated leaves on slender stalks. In the first year, parsley continually produces a mass of foliage, which can be freely harvested as needed.
WATER: Most vegetables need a consistent, generous supply of water. Use drip irrigation, or use overhead sprinkler early in the day.
SOIL: Organic matter (humus) feeds vital soil organisms that feed plants, improves soil texture, moisture-retention, & aeration. We recommend incorporating compost to a depth of ~8”. Note: Almost all of our soil amendments are produced locally.