Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tomatoes, in March?

     This experiment with storing tomatoes was totally unplanned, a result of sloppiness and laziness.  I had pulled all of the last of the Chocolate Cherry tomatoes off of the plants in the fall, and put them on the porch to see if the green tomatoes would ripen.  Well they did, into November, and into December, and even later.  They don't look great now, but what can be expected for March?

Chocolate Cherry tomatoes, 3/27/11

     I have actually snitched many, and I live to write this blog.  The one a couple of days ago actually tasted pretty darn good for a March tomato.  I got to thinking about the shriveled up tomatoes, and figure they are just like tomatoes that drop from the plants in the garden and then sprout as volunteers.  Maybe these raisin tomatoes have viable seed without going through the soaking and fermenting process usually suggested to keep tomato seeds.

Chocolate Cherry tomato seeds, 3/27/11

      The above picture is of four shriveled tomatoes, the bottom one of which has been picked apart for the seeds shown in the picture.  The seeds were planted on 3/27, and I figure within a week I should know whether dried tomatoes make viable seed.  Will report back.
      In any case, I have found the Chocolate Cherry to be an absolutely delicious tomato.  It produces early in the season, but also produces wonderfully throughout the summer.  The tomatoes keep extremely well when summer and fall have left for the year.  This fall I will actually try to store the late fruit under more favorable conditions.  My starter seeds were from Territorial Seed Co. for the year 2008.  Those seeds are still viable.
      Most of my many different varieties of tomato seeds started 3/20 are up about an inch.  Another flat was planted 3/27, but those have not yet broken ground.

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