On Tomatoes – Finally

I’ve been waiting for them not- so-patiently. It’s probably been the hardest year in the garden since we moved here – at least when comparing input to output. It’s been a rough year weather- wise, following several years of rough-weather.


This year we had no spring; summer and drought arrived in April; we broiled in July which tormented us with several days over 100F (38 C). The tomatoes did not like it – especially considering that they were planted a little late – but sustained with copious watering, they shouldered through. Now we are harvesting for real.

A lot of things  are not doing so well. The early summer squash plantings have vanquished under the onslaught of the squash bugs; the beans produced for a couple of weeks before being turned into lace by the Mexican bean beetles (the lima beans went straight into lace, no crop); it’s been too hot for dill and for peppers to set flowers (let alone fruit); and … the blister beetles have bee devouring the Swiss chard. I have never had any problem growing Swiss chard before and blister beetles are a painful experience that I confronted this year for the first time.

On the bright side, we continue to have a reasonable harvest from the asparagus beans (a crop new to me); the summer cabbage has been doing well (2 more heads to harvest); the basil is exploding; the butternut squash looks good; the peppers have lots of flowers (and with cooler temperature should set fruit … cross fingers…); the ground cherries are prolific. I  have hopes for the late planting of summer squash… the cucumbers are swelling… and the much awaiting tomatoes are finally ripening.

And so it is time to preserve tomatoes. Time for canning, saucing, pasting,  drying (especially cherry tomatoes!), oven preserving (delicious on sandwiches and Tomato Tatin) and… can you guess?… sorbeting! At last, we can have some fun

Picture below is Yellow Tomato Sorbet (I used heirloom Valencia, meaty and sweet). Surprisingly creamy and… really yummy.


8 thoughts on “On Tomatoes – Finally”

  • What a nice selection of tomatoes you were able to harvest. What is that lovely white one called? Now I would think a few of those would be perfect for a light colored tomato sorbet. Speaking of which, your sorbet sounds delicious, I would have never thought of such a thing a using tomatoes to flavor sorbet but after looking at your picture and description I can almost taste it…and it’s good.:)

  • Thanks Mike. Yes, indeed after all that boasting in the winter, harvest starts for earnest in August. Talk about humbling.

    The very pale yellow is White Wonder – very nice meaty taste. I will probably try it for sorbet too.

  • Un sorbet à la tomate, en voilà une super bonne idée ! A essayer l’été prochain avec les variétés que l’on peut trouver ici…

  • I’m loving your tomato harvest but boy did that mention of insects set off alarms in my head. I have never heard of any of those – blister beetles?! – and am grateful that hungry little pests are not a major concern – so far. Again on tomatoes…indeed, finally!

  • That is just gorgeous, Sylvie, and the sorbet sounds wonderful! I’m still looking at a lot of hard, green things. Thanks for an appetizing preview of things to come~ Brett

  • I’d like to invite you to participate in the first Mid-Atlantic Red Fruit Festival to be held in Washington, DC on September 24th. We’re looking to pair terrific home gardeners, cooks and tomato enthusiasts with fine chefs from the Mid-Atlantic to prepare a tasting of the regions best “red fruit” and wines to match.
    And from the looks of your harvest and that sorbet, I think this occasion is tailored to your passions: http://redfruitfestival.wordpress.com/
    And please, spread the word.

  • I loved reading about your garden crops. Today is my first time visiting — great, great blog. Your tomato sorbet looks really interesting. Our tomatoes have just barely started to ripen — everything’s late this year as Calif. weather has been cooler than normal. But we are still enjoying blackberries and peaches, which are usually long gone by August. I left a peach liqueur question on one of your older posts (it’s how I found you, by googling “peach liqueur). Hope you have a minute and can help me out with your expertise. Thanks so much.

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