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RE: What will you grow again next year? (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: bella_trix on 09.13.2008 at 11:34 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

I had a great year, despite my battle with the woodchucks. I tried a bunch of new vegetables and many, many new varieties. These were some of my favorites:

Popcorn - "Cochita Pueblo" from Sandhill Preservation Center. Absolutely beautiful, a variety that is 600-700 years old. It worked great intercropping with beans. It is said to have a nutty taste, but I haven't popped it yet.


Dried Bean - "Afrikanische Rote" from Seed Savers Exchange (from Africa). This bean grew right up the corn, where other pole varieties had trouble. I love the unique square shape.


Tomatoes "Speckled Roman" from SSE. This is the prettiest tomato I've seen, plus it was sweet and delicious, produced well, was great for canning and outlasted the v. wilt. I'll also be growing more of my favorites next year: Amish Paste, Opalka, Cherokee Purple and a new (for me) black variety, Japanese Trifele Black.


Zucchini - "Gialla Nostrala" from SSE: This is a vining variety that grew like mad up the trellis. I love it - the taste is great, it was a high producer and seems to have some resistance to squash vine borers. It made it through the SVB attack and kept producing. Plus, it made it through the powdery mildew wipeout, too.

Kohlrabi "Early Purple Vienna" from Sandhill: This was my first time growing and eating kohlrabi. Im a convert. Delicious! This variety was beautiful and grew super quickly.


Tomatillo - "Green" from Sandhill: Again, my first time growing and eating tomatillos. I will definitely be doing it again. I liked this variety best.

Green Beans "Uncle Steves Italian Pole" from Sandhill. I grew this last year for the first time and my garden will never be without it. IMO, they are the best tasting green beans (and pretty, as an extra). Unfortunately, the woodchucks also loved them and decimated four plantings. I didnt get many this year.


Other favorites: Onion Alisa Craig, Broccoli De Cico and Nutribud, Zucchini Costata Romanesco , Pepper Peach Habanero, Sweet Pepper Wisconsin Lakes, Kale Cavolo Nero



clipped on: 09.21.2008 at 06:05 am    last updated on: 09.21.2008 at 06:06 am

RE: Sun Dried Tomatoes (Follow-Up #29)

posted by: brokenbar on 08.28.2008 at 02:08 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

I wanted to say that you can dry any variety of tomato. The paste varieties are just more meaty and have fewer seeds.
My friend always grows a bunch of Eva Purple Balls and dehydrates those and she swears the flavor excedes all others.

Parmigian Sun-Dried Tomato Bread (Bread Machine)
1 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons oil that tomatoes are in
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups white bread flour
6 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried basil (1/2 tsp fresh)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 Tblsp Parmigiana cheese

Add Water, Salt, Flour, Lemon Juice, Powdered Milk, Oil, yeast. Add remaining ingredients last 3 minutes of final knead cycle. If you are making rolls (which is what I usually do, I take the dough out at end of 2nd knead cycle. Roll into 2" balls and place in Pam sprayed muffin tins. Bake 30 minutes at 350. I just keep checking them.
These freeze beautifully and it is so handy to pull a few out of a vacuum sealed bag or ziplock. This is a dense bread.


clipped on: 08.29.2008 at 06:48 am    last updated on: 08.29.2008 at 06:48 am

RE: Sun Dried Tomatoes (Follow-Up #22)

posted by: brokenbar on 08.26.2008 at 07:10 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum can never have too much red wine!!! Tom, did you leave them in the vinegar? Because I just really quick dip them after they are dried and then add to the oil. I am so happy every likes this recipe. I am not kidding you, my friends and family nag me to death for extras. I thought I would throw in MY FAVORITE Sun-Dried Tomato Recipe! If I go to something where i have to bring a "dish" this is what I take. Buy some of those Kashi sun dried tomato crackers and there you go!
Sun Dried Tomato & Olive Pate (tamponade)
Makes 2 cups

1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup minced black olive (I use Kalamara Olives but I have also used plain black in a pinch)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove of garlic
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine sun-dried tomatoes, cream cheese, butter, Parmesan cheese, garlic, oregano, basil, thyme and salt in a food processor container. Process until mixed, scraping side of container occasionally. Add olives, process just until mixed. I use a small, decorative jello mold sprayed with *Pam CHill for at least 4 hours. Invert onto serving platter.

Chill, covered, for 4 hours or longer.


clipped on: 08.29.2008 at 06:46 am    last updated on: 08.29.2008 at 06:46 am

RE: best red or orange bell pepper varieties (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: farmerdilla on 08.26.2008 at 09:43 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

Red, Orange, and Yellow are ripe colors. Green, purple , black, green, white are the immature colors for bells.
Satsuma is fastest ripening bell I have grown to date. Most, particularly the older cultivars were developed for immature bells and it was desirable for them to remain green as long as possible. Green when ripe cultivars like Staygreen and Evergreen were developed for that purpose.


clipped on: 08.27.2008 at 06:52 am    last updated on: 08.27.2008 at 06:52 am

RE: Going all cherry (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: carolyn137 on 08.25.2008 at 09:08 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

Cherries that I like might include:

Black Cherry, a must, you already have it
Galina's Yellow, a deep gold PL variety, a must
Green Doctors, better than Green Grape, I think, a must
Camp Joy, aka Chadwick's Cherry, red
Risentraube, red, multiflora, mentioned above
Sara's Galapagos, a stable interspecies variety, size and shape like a currant tomato, huge burst of flavor
Gardeners Delight

.....for starters and not in any particular order.



clipped on: 08.26.2008 at 07:42 pm    last updated on: 08.26.2008 at 07:43 pm

RE: Going all cherry (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: eylee on 08.25.2008 at 07:34 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

I highly suggest Reisentraube or Riesentraube (literally translated in German as bunches of grapes). The plant is very prolific and the taste is like a meaty beefsteak tomato. Its a winner.


clipped on: 08.26.2008 at 07:41 pm    last updated on: 08.26.2008 at 07:41 pm

RE: If You Could Only Have Four (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: digdirt on 08.22.2008 at 10:15 am in Growing Tomatoes Forum

Well I tried that here a couple of years back only to discover after the fact that few were interested in buying the heirlooms because of appearance. They were only interested in "classic" looking fruits - red, round, medium sized, and unblemished. Absolutely no interest in any different colors nor any cherry variety and not a gourmet in the bunch! ;)

So first I'd find out what varieties the locals were interested in. Gary Ibsen at has good info on what sells and doesn't sell so be sure to check out that site.

If I lived in a more cosmopolitan area I'd try to sell them on Cherokee Purple, Pineapple, and one of the many great pink varieties like Florida Pink or Arkansas Traveler (figure the name would sell it here ;), and Gardener's Delight for the cherry.



clipped on: 08.22.2008 at 11:58 am    last updated on: 08.22.2008 at 11:58 am

Another fungicide

posted by: sneezer2 on 08.21.2008 at 10:53 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

There is another "organic" fungicide available besides
Serenade Max. I've spent a few minutes researching this and
am posting it now for those of you who may wish to follow up
for next year.

I've been using a copper soap along with Serenade Max and
find the combination quite effective. The one I have is
called Soap-Shield from Gardens Alive and, for them, is
actually not terribly expensive. You can look it up on their
site. I'm not buying it now as I have most of a gallon
left that I bought quite some time ago.

The active ingredient is copper octanoate, which is
certifiably organic for those of you to whom that makes
a difference. Google that chemical name and you will
find a number of manufacturers and sellers of similar
products. Some are concentrates and that, to my mind, is
the way to go. Others are ready to use spray bottles,
which makes it very expensive, mostly water and expensive
to ship. The concentrates can be either 10% or 8% active

The one that appears to be most economical, at least if you
are shipping to eastern states is called Liqui-Cop. and
is available from Biocontrol Network in Tennessee:

at $14.70 a quart and $9.76 shipping. Shipping gets
relatively lower if you order more.

Liqui-cop is also available from Outside Pride in Oregon:

at $16.99 a quart and $9.60 via UPS or $7.75 priority mail.

Liqui-Cop is an 8% concentrate, while Soap-Shield is 10%

Bonide makes a 10% concentrate that they call Liquid
Copper Fungicide, which sells for about $15 per pint at
a variety of outlets.

One benefit that I have had from doing this research is
to see that recommended application rates may be much
lower than I had thought. Gardens Alive recommends about
2 oz. per gallon of spray. Other recommendations appear
to be much lower. I haven't yet looked at that in detail
but suspect I may end up using a lot less than before
as an early preventive measure and especially as I will
be using it with Serenade Max as well.


clipped on: 08.22.2008 at 06:15 am    last updated on: 08.22.2008 at 06:15 am

Sun Dried Tomatoes

posted by: brokenbar on 08.20.2008 at 09:57 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

I raise tomatoes for sun drying. I do about 1000 to 2000 lbs a year which I sell to the upscale restaurants in Cody Wyoming & Billings Montana. I wanted to pass on my favorites for you considering doing some drying. Any tomato can be used for drying but some varieties are better than others.

I grow 15 mainstay varieties that I have kept as I culled others that did not meet my criteria.
I also try at least 5 new varieties of paste types each year and am lucky if one makes it into my gherdh. I am looking for specific things:

Meaty with a low moisture content
Few seeds
A rich and tangy flavor
Size-Small tomatoes are just more work for me.
Not fussy-Take heat and cold and wind. No primadonnas!
Bloom well and set lots and lots of fruit
Dry to a nice pliable consistency

These are my Top Five
Chinese Giant
Carol Chyko
Cuoro D Toro
San Marzano Redorta

I wanted to add that were I to be stranded on a desert Island with only one tomato it would be Russo Sicilian Togeta. This is my allstar that sets fruit first, ripens the earliest, bears heavy crops in any weather and is producing right up until hard frost. It is not a true paste but rather a stuffing tomato. None-the-less, the flavor of these dried is as good as it gets. It is also wonderful for just eating or slicing and the fruit is extra large.

For those wanting to know my Secret Recipe for drying, here you go:

Wash, stem and slice each tomato into 1/4" thick slices. Place in a very large bowl or clean bucket and cover with cheap red wine. I use Merlot but if you prefer something else, knock yourself out. I have a friend that swears by cheap Chianti! Soak tomato slices 24 hours in the wine. Drain well. Lay tomatoes just touching on dehydrator shelves or on screen in your sun-drying apparatus. Sprinkle each slice with a mixture containing equal parts of dried basil-oregano-parsley and then sprinkle each slice with Kosher Salt. You may choose to forego the salt if you wish but tomatoes will take longer to dry. Dry tomatoes until they are firm and leatherlike with no moisture pockets, but NOT brittle. (If you get them too dry, soak them in lemon juice for a few minutes.) To store, place in vacuum bags or ziplock bags and freeze.

IMPORTANT!!! If you will be storing sun-dried tomatoes in Olive oil you !!!MUST!!! dip each slice in vinegar before adding to oil.

To pack in oil:
Dip each tomato into a small dish of white wine vinegar. Shake off theexcess vinegar and pack them in olive oil adding 1/4 cup red wine. For tomatoes in oil I am selling, I put the tomatoes into the oil two weeks ahead of time and store in the refrigerator. Make sure they are completely immersed in the oil. When the jar is full, cap it tightly. I use my vacuum sealer to seal the canning lids on. Store at *cool* room temperature for at least a month before using. They may be stored in the refrigerator, but the oil will solidify at
refrigerator temperatures (it quickly reliquifies at room temperature however). As tomatoes are removed from the jar, add more olive oil as necessary to keep the remaining tomatoes covered. I have stored oil-packed tomatoes in m root cellar for over a year. . I have tried a number of methods to pack the tomatoes in oil, but the vinegar treatment is the difference between a good dried tomato and a great one. It is also important from a food safety standpoint, as it acidifies the oil and discourages growth of bacteria and mold. Soaking in the wine also acidifies them.

****** WARNING ********

Do *NOT* add fresh garlic cloves or fresh herbs of any kind to oil-packed dried tomatoes, UNLESS you store them in the refrigerator and plan on using them withing 7 days. Garlic is a low-acid food which, when placed in oil, creates a low-acid anaerobic environment just
perfect growth medium for botulinum bacteria if the mixture is not refrigerated. Be safe and add your garlic to the dried tomatoes as part of the recipe for them *after* they come out of the oil.


clipped on: 08.21.2008 at 09:43 am    last updated on: 08.21.2008 at 09:43 am

RE: Cuostralee vs. Cherokee (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: carolyn137 on 08.13.2008 at 08:36 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

Seldom mentioned? I think not. LOL I don't know how long you've been reading here but many folks including myself have have recommended it to others.

If you liked Cuostralee then you MUST try Red Penna, Chapman and Wes and Neves Azorean Red ( must try this one), to start with, and while you're at it try Aker's West Virginia, OTV Brandywine,Russian #117, Andrew Rahart's Jumbo Red ( which isn't jumbo). These are just my red themed recs for now. LOL



clipped on: 08.14.2008 at 04:41 pm    last updated on: 08.14.2008 at 04:41 pm

RE: a tasty yellow tomato? besides sungold... (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: carolyn137 on 08.12.2008 at 12:36 am in Growing Tomatoes Forum

Yellows are so gorgeous, I want a great big yellow slicer,


There are very few yellow varieties that remain yellow at maturity, most turn gold.

And I highly recommend the variety Aunt Gertie's Gold as a superb large slicer b'c of the wonderful taste. Very complex and not sweet. It is a late season tomato but I have no problem maturing it here in my zone 5 so you should have no problem in NJ.

Dr. Wyche's Yellow is another one that should meet your needs and by all means try Yellow Brandywine again b/c it too has great taste.

And no, yellows, read golds, do not all taste the same. Quite distinctive tastes.

Finally, please do try Lillian's Yellow Heirloom, a large lucious PL gold, as part of your quest to find a tasty gold.



clipped on: 08.12.2008 at 06:31 am    last updated on: 08.14.2008 at 04:38 pm

Update on Bacterial Speck/Spot

posted by: ssj4 on 08.12.2008 at 08:42 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

I posted a question a while ago concerning control of Bacterial Speck and or spot. I did indeed use Bonide Garden Dust (rotenone + copper), and this seems to have controlled the problem.

thanks to everyone who chimed in.


clipped on: 08.14.2008 at 06:16 am    last updated on: 08.14.2008 at 06:17 am

RE: snow pea trellis (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: grandad on 04.24.2008 at 12:27 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

I use concrete remesh shaped as an upside down V.

Side view of trellis on far right of photo below

Cucumber Trellis

Front view

Oriental Grey Sugarpod


clipped on: 08.13.2008 at 03:41 pm    last updated on: 08.13.2008 at 03:42 pm

RE: My 2008 Tomato Varieties (Follow-Up #18)

posted by: danincv on 01.30.2008 at 06:38 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

OK here's my list and my dilemma:

Aunt Rubys German Green- Green beefsteak. Sweet/spicy flavor. Ind. 80 days
Aussie Family Tomato- 8 oz ribbed red fruit. Sweet flavor. Good producer. Det 75 days
Baby Beefsteak- Like a small beefsteak but more juicy. Ind 75 days
Black Cherry- Rich, sweet black tomato flavors in a round cherry. Early. Ind 65 days
Brandywine-Deep pink 1 to 2 lb beefsteaks. Excellent flavor. Ind 85 days
Cherokee Purple-Deep purple large fruits with green shoulders.Great flavor. Ind 80 days
Cosmonaut Volkov- 1-2 lb round red fruit. Does well in cool weather. Ind 70 days
Costoluto Genovese- Italian preserving tomato. Large, fluted deep red fruit. Ind 80 days
Garden Peach- Peach colored 2 oz fruit with fuzzy skin, delicate & meaty. Ind 70 days
Gold Medal- 1- lb yellow & red bicolor beefsteak. Complex flavors. Ind 75 days
Italian Market Wonder- Medium size round fruit. Good flavor, disease resistant. Ind 75
Kellogs Breakfast-1 lb or more orange beefsteak. Whopping flavor. The best tomato out of my garden last year. Ind 80 days
Kimberly- Ultra early red cherry 1-2 oz fruit with flavor like a full sized tomato. Ind 45-50 days The guy I got seeds from picked two tomatoes at 38 days after plant-out.
Livingstons Golden Queen- Golden yellow 8 to 12 oz fruit. Good flavor Ind 75 days
Mariannas Peace- Deep reddish pink 1 lb beefsteak fruit. Excellent flavor. Ind 85 days
Marion- Dark red 8 oz firm, smooth fruit. Great for canning. Ind 70 days
Marglobe-Large crop of 6-7 oz fruit maturing at once. Great for canning Det 75 days
Matina- Very early, 2 to 4 oz fruit. Top flavor of the earlies. Long season. Ind 55 days
Mortgage Lifter-Deep pink, 1 to 2 lb beefsteaks. Rich meaty flavor. Ind 85 days
Nicholsons Yellow Cherry- Small yellow fruit blushed with orange, Ind 75 days
Numer 12 oz orange fruit, slightly oblate shape, excellent flavor. Good producer Ind
Oregon Spring- Red 5 oz fruit. Bred for cool weather growing. Full flavor. Det 60 days
Paul Robeson- Blackish red, beefsteak shape, 10 oz fruit. Full flavored. Ind. 80 days
Persimmon- One lb golden persimmon shaped fruit. Tastoff winner for yellows. Ind 85
Ponderosa Pink- Pink beefsteak. High yield of low acid 1 to 2 lb fruit. Ind. 85 days
Rutgers- Bright red 6 oz fruit. Disease resistant. Det 75 days
Sophies Choice-Orange/red full size (up to 10 oz) fruit on a 20" tall dwarf plant. Det 55
Stupice-Extra early and cold tolerant. 2- 4 oz red fruit. Sweet, good taste. Ind 50 days
Sunsets Red Horizon- Huge, red 5" heart shaped. Cool weather tomato. Ind 70 days
Thessaloniki Oxheart- Red Greek heirloom.Oxheart shape up to one lb. Very meaty. Ind
Tigerella Red with greenish yellow stripes. 4-6 oz fruit. Tangy flavor. Ind 85 days
Tigerlike- Dwarf 22" plant grows loads of 2" striped fruit. Tasteoff winner. Det 72days
Yellow Pear- 2" pear shaped, clear yellow fruit. Very sweet. Ind 75 days

Those are the seeds I have to start this year. My dilemma is that with everything else in the garden I only have room for 20 plants plus 2 on the deck. The two dwarf varieties are probable for the deck, but I'm having trouble narrowing down the field for the other 20. I'd like to hear everyone's "ya gotta grow this one" and your "yucks". Thanks!


clipped on: 08.09.2008 at 06:54 am    last updated on: 08.09.2008 at 06:54 am

RE: What is YOUR favorite variety???? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: digdirt on 08.07.2008 at 09:31 pm in Growing Tomatoes Forum

brazosvalleygardener, who posts here often is also in Texas and does very well with his tomatoes. One list of his favorites lists that I saved (we have similar early heat problems here) included:

Big Zac
Red Brandywine
Marianna's Peace
Tennessee Britches
Cherokee Purple
Black Giant
Main Crop Pink

As a result I am trying some of them this year with excellent results. Especially with the Marianna's Peace, the 1884, and Porterhouse. I don't think you can find transplants for them tho - you'll have to grow them from seed. But using at least 3 different varieties with your 15 plants would insure you better luck I think.

Arkansas Traveler and Brandy Boy are 2 others I'd always have on my list.

And I have found over the years that early as possible planting - even if it means protecting them on those few cool nites - gets me plenty of fruit set before the worst of the heat arrives.

Our heat spell finally broke here today and we will now have several good days for fruit set before the next heat moves in. Timing is everything. ;)



clipped on: 08.09.2008 at 06:50 am    last updated on: 08.09.2008 at 06:50 am

RE: cherry tomatoes (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: readinglady on 07.12.2007 at 02:52 pm in Harvest Forum

Here you go Kay.

I only made this once. I need to try it again. The first attempt I discovered that when the recipe says "Firm" it means "Firm!" My cherry tomatoes were too ripe and delicate for the best texture.

Pickled Cherry Tomatoes (Tomates-Cerises a l'Aigre-doux)
Makes 1 quart
1 quart water
2 tablespoons coarse sea salt or kosher salt
1 pound firm cherry tomatoes (round and plum varieties of all colors can be used)
2 cups cider vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar or more to taste
2 sprigs fresh summer savory or tarragon
12 black peppercorns
In a large bowl, combine the water and salt, and stir to dissolve the salt.
Prick the bottom of each tomato once with a clean needle. Place the tomatoes in the salt brine, cover and marinate for 24 hours at room temperature.
In a large saucepan, combine the vinegar and sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring just to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and cool thoroughly.
Remove the tomatoes from the salt brine and drain thoroughly. Discard the salt brine.
Carefully place the tomatoes in a 1-quart canning jar. Arrange the herbs and peppercorns around the edges of the jar. Pour the vinegar-sugar mixture over the tomatoes. Secure the jar tightly. Let sit in a cool, dry place -- or in the refrigerator -- for 3 weeks before tasting.
Serve as a pickle, or as an appetizer, with toothpicks to spear. Once opened, the tomatoes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. -- From Sharon Maasdam, home economist, FOODday



clipped on: 08.09.2007 at 06:36 am    last updated on: 08.09.2007 at 06:36 am