Long position in tomatoes

Ate the first picked corn – incredible. I have to admit, I’ve outdone myself. The variety is Mirai, a super sweet, super tender designer corn. Maybe it’s the freshness but it seems to have no starchiness at all. The corn patch is one of those areas where I see spots with lesser soil quality. There will be eight or ten 7′ tall plants with nice large ears adjacent to eight or ten 4′ tall plants with spindly ears. Luckily for us, the split is 75/25 good to bad areas and those bad areas are easily spotted and fixed. The corn and squash in that area will be finished by the end of July and I’ll have a few yards of compost ready to be tilled in.
The picture is a morning harvest of tomatoes and jalapenos. This is Sunday and I’ll be able to repeat this by Tuesday. The tomatoes are destined for the sauce pot; the jalapenos to the grill as poppers. I would estimate that each of the buckets contains about 10 pounds of tomatoes, mostly San Marzanos this time. Last year I planted 4 San Marzano plants and probably ended up with 4 tomatoes and that could be an overstatement. I can’t begin to keep up with the 4 plant this year. On top of that, I planted a variety called Grenadier which is similar to San Marzano with the thought that if the Marzano’s did a repeat performance, I’d have a shot at another nice paste tomato. Can’t keep up with those either. If you’re wondering why I just didn’t give up on the Marzano’s, they are the primo tomato for Italian sauces. Trust me, you can tell the difference. You can buy cans of San Marzanos but aside from being expensive, they’re not always easy to find and like all canned veggies, are loaded with preservatives. Too bad my friend Lynda from Salt Lake isn’t here to share in the harvest. Lynda made the best salsa and by the gallons. I’d bring her the makin’s and she’d turn out a fine batch to share. And the varieties I’m growing now would have her throwing stones at the old stuff.

Went into Publix the other day with Nancy. I wandered over to the produce department to see what was going on and was totally blown away by the prices. I must be picking $10/day just in tomatoes and would have to take out a bank loan to buy Brussels. And that was just the regular produce department not the “organic” veggies. As much as they charge for organic produce, they should have an armed guard standing by. Two items that it really doesn’t make sense to grow are watermelons and corn. Both are cheap and take up lots of space in the garden so if the objective is to optimize $$/square foot, don’t plant melons or corn. Although after eating the Mirai, I may have to rethink that position. I looked at butternut squash and thought, that’s not too expensive until I realized the price was on a per pound basis. All of a sudden, those went from a maybe crop to a must do crop. They take up lots of space but seem to be worth it.

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