Sunday, August 22, 2010

The difference is greater than the pronunciation of tomato

Yesterday a friend came over.  She’s been gardening for over ten years.  We had already left our community allotment. 

I didn’t take pictures but there were a lot of people away on holiday and a lot of rotting on the vine beautiful tomatoes.  There were also a host of vines that had split away from the plant loaded with beautiful (and heavy) fruit.

I brought my friend up to our deck to take a look at what we had going on.  She was surprised that we had so many un-harvested tomatoes.  I do most of the harvesting and I haven’t been well for almost two weeks now with the dreaded summer cold.

She suggested I had plenty of tomatoes to harvest.  I agreed I had a lot of tomatoes but they were green and we leave ours on the vine to ripen.  Then she said she always let hers ripen in a windowsill.

That’s when I realized there were indeed two camps of tomato people.  No it’s not the “Two-mato” versus “Toe-ma-to” pronunciation war but something far more serious… vine-ripened or not.

You are starving for home-grown, vine-ripened tomatoes, stand in line - a very long queue extending along the coast of the Bay Area and then some.
It's the height of summer, yet most gardeners are bereft of the succulent orbs that are usually abundant this time of year. As are seasonal-fruit event organizers. And restaurants specializing in seasonal local fare.
"Because of the crazy weather, they are taking longer to ripen," says Carolyn Villa-Scott of the South Bay. With fog thick until midmorning most days around the Bay Area, the heat needed by warm-weather plants such as tomatoes is at a premium.
 This is our first growing season and so far I can’t see a reason to pull the fruit while it’s green.  I know many tomato growers do pull green fruit at the end of the season to avoid a frost.  I’m sure we will do the same, if we are fortunate.

Which camp do you fall in?

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