- Farmers Market
- Farm Goods
Michelle at Pacific Potager (VIGA member in awesome standing) shared some great info with the membership and we thought we’d pass it along. But before we get to that, we have one request: tell us about your favorite homegrown tomato varieties and why you love them, whether for saucing, slicing fresh or tossing in a salad. Leave a comment afer this post, share your tomato-growing chops with the rest of us.
On Sat. at the farmer’s market, someone nudged me that a tomato flavor expert was in my area, and we had a great time talking about the taste of tomatoes! He had just done a talk on NPR May 25, What’s the Secret to Great Tomato Flavor. His family has a vacation house on Vashon so we hope to meet up later in July to do some tasting. He is a horticulturist and professor in Florida.
He does compare tomato growing to growing wine grapes, and I have used that analogy a lot over the years. Too much fertilizer, too much water… less taste! He does talk about stress upping tomato taste.
I try to remind all of my tomato start patrons that our mild summer does NOT trigger ripening in our tomatoes, and we have to provide that PUSH to ripening mode, from setting mode, by STOPPING watering when it seems like there should be ripening action. To ripen seeds is a tomato’s genetic destiny, but we have to he lp them focus!
Also, with the wine grape analogy, pruning too heavily takes away the leaves that make the sugar, so stopping watering for a few weeks is a better way to stress AND keep flavor. At the same time, giving your plants too much nitrogen amendments makes for a big plant and less fruit, so balance is important…
Also, soil affects flavor, and that is something we all just need to keep working on and tweaking.
And, of course, the weather! Harry Klee’s talk did confirm the value of growing your own! Hoping for a good summer for all the summer food, Michelle (Pacific Potager)
What are your favorite varieties and why? (comments encouraged and welcomed)
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