Bye-bye tomato plants.
So, last evening the four of us went out and picked all the green tomatoes. As we were looking through the 5 plants, I came across this ...
... a tomato horn worm. EEEEWWWWWW. Now we know what was eating the leaves, and nibbling at the fruit.
After about an hour's work, the plants were emptied and disposed of, and we were left with this ...
274 final little bundles of Vitamin C and Lycopene. This puts the grand total of our 5 tomato plants well over 1000 tomatoes! Not bad for our first year! *grin* The "tricks" to getting this bountiful harvest were taught to me by my girlfriend, Jess. Make sure it's a raised bed, and mix mushroom compost (that I purchased at Home Depot) in with the topsoil.
I've diced and frozen tons of tomatoes, and canned a bunch too! We ate sandwiches and salads to our hearts content this summer. Made soup and bruschetta. Yummy! I'm looking forward to our first chili of the season, and adding fresh (frozen) tomatoes to our spaghetti sauce all winter!
(Next week we're digging up the leeks, and making potato leek soup to eat and freeze with my sister - her recipe is KILLER!)
We'll see how long it takes me to use what we've stored, but I think that next year I'm gonna put in double the plants. I want to learn how to make canned salsa (which is much more particular than fresh salsa) and spaghetti sauce next summer.
So, now it's time to ripen these green beauties. I took off the stems - and separated out the ones that have "bug nibbles". They went into boxes (in a single layer) on newspaper.
They'll get covered with another layer of newspaper, and I'll put in an apple or banana (which will release gasses that will help to ripen them). Then I'll shut the boxes and put them in the garage. Every day or two I'll check on them, and take out any "yucky" ones, and any ripe ones too! I'm looking forward to canning / freezing / eating these final summer beauties!
Bye-bye tomatoes ... and hello PUMPKINS!