It's June 23rd as I write this and though they have retreated a little from their grandest, all five varieties of tomato are still producing.
But I'm not surprised - about the retreat that is. Here it is with still a week left to go in June, with the full heat of summer yet to "look forward to" (late July through August) and we have already surpassed last year's total number of 100+ degree days. (According to the thermometer right here beside me it's exactly 99.9 degrees at my computer desk out here in the barn as I'm writing this at 1400. Oops, nope. Just switched to 100! - now 100.2!)
In fact so far this month we've had a grand total of two days of sub 100 degree highs.
Since sometime in the last week of May we haven't had a single day that hasn't been above average temperature. Also, so far this month there has been zero, as in 0, rain.
But that hasn't stopped production yet!
And with no friends or family around to give produce away to
we have been eating a lot of pasta-tomato-feta meals!
Boil up a little pasta, and while that's draining toss the tomatoes and feta on a baking sheet, drizzle a little olive oil and slip them in the oven for a few minutes. Just long enough to drive some heat into them. Combine with the pasta and eat till your stomach hurts!
I anticipate this being the final tomato update because I just expect more of the same, or a little less, from the plants for a few more weeks, then they will start to shut down due to stress until we have to caramelize the scant sugars under the broiler to knock down the bitterness in the last of the green tomatoes.
So final conclusions?
The Golden Nugget and Sungold Cherry produced a similar fruit. The Sungold Cherry's skin is slightly more tender but the Golden Nugget plant held up better to our hot climate and produced more, so next season the Golden Nugget stays while Sungold Cherry hits the showers.
The bright red oblong Juliet got off to a slow start and showed early signs of blossom end rot but once it hit it's stride it has produced well and contrasts, in both flavor and color, nicely with the Golden Nugget/Sungold Cherry so it too has a spot in next season's lineup.
The Balls Beefsteak was alright, producing a lot of larger-than-golf-ball, smaller-than-tennis-ball fruit that also has a good, if robust and sharp.almost lemony, flavor even when green (A few green ones got knocked off the vine and I didn't want to waste them!) but wasn't anything spectacular so probably won't make it off the bench next season.
The Italian Ice was slow off the mark and confusing to those not familiar with it since the fruit went from green, to crisp and strongly flavored greeny-white, to tender and really sweet whitey-gold. It is producing well and we really like the flavor-contrast with the other tomatoes so it will definitely make the team next season as well.
Who will make the draft to fill the gaps next season?