New Heirloom Tomato Varieties

life_in_maine_tomato_amish_black_russianThis year, we are growing two heirloom varieties that are new to us. The red fruit on the left are Amish Paste Tomatoes. As the name suggests, they are a great tomato for cooking and canning. Fresh, they are soft and sweet. The Black Prince is a rich tomato, great for salads. They are not large, but the plant yields a good crop. Click on the image for a larger view.

Tomato Glut

life_in_maine_summer_tomatoesOur tomato harvest is starting to reached the late summer glut. It is wonderful thing to see the garden so productive, especially since we were starting these plants indoors in early spring.

The yellows are Yellow Pear (smaller) and Yellow Banana Leg (the three long fruit). The top right red tomatoes are Juliet. The bottom left reds are Heather. And the bottom right is our favorite: Black Cherry. The yellow tomatoes and the Black Cherry are heirloom varieties. Click on the image for a larger view.

Dreaming of Summer

The snows this winter have been taking their toll. We have had over twice the average snowfall so far this year. It is hard to remember our garden being anything but white.life_in_maine_dreaming_of_summerThis is not a small pumpkin, but one of our heirloom tomatoes. We still have tomatoes in our freezer from last summer, but bringing in one of these fruit straight from the vine is very different—the rich smell and the sun-warmed flesh can only be experienced in the summer. A thick slice on a piece of freshly baked bread with a little ground pepper makes the perfect meal. Click on the image for a larger view.


Purple Russian—Tomatoes

tomatoes_purple_russianAfter our blizzard on November 2nd this year, my mind is on our (short) summer. We love heirloom tomatoes. The Purple Russian is one of our favorite—a juicy and flavorful fruit. Not a large tomato, about 2″ or 5cm in length, but very productive. Click on the image for a larger view.

Yellow Brandywine—Tomatoes

tomatoes_yellow_brandywineThis is a big fruit, but not quite as large as its red cousin, the brandwine. The tomato is not juicy, but has a soft flesh that melts in your mouth like firm tofu, only sweeter. A thick slice on handmade bread and covered with freshly ground black pepper makes an excellent sandwich. Click on the image for a larger view.

Green Zebra—Tomatoes

tomatoes_green_zebraEvery year we plant several varieties of tomatoes. This is a green zebra, which develops a slight yellow blush just as it ripens, but is predominantly green. The fruit has a tangy flavor, firm flesh, and juicy interior. It is great in salads. The plants are productive, but the tomato is on the small side, 3–4 oz. or 80–100 grams. Click on the image for a larger view.

This Year’s Tomatoes

life_in_maine_tomato_plant_2014We are going through the annual ritual of starting the garden. With the short Maine summer and unpredictable spring, many plants need a little help. With about one hundred tomato plants, it gets crowded in the house as they grow and need replanting. However, it is well worth the effort as they give us a year’s supply of their wonderful fruit. Click on the image for a larger view.