Two days ago, my 3rd Heirloom Tomato plant I’m trialling this year, had a fruit which was finally, fully ripened.
For the gardeners in Australia, this was Tomato Genuwine (Lycopersicon esculentum) from Bunnings Hardware Warehouse and plant Nursery, a mix of Costoluto Genovese and Brandy Wine tomatoes.
The first large tomato was 200grams and such a heavy fleshy tomato with almost no juice and actually…….. not a lot of seeds either.
It was what most cooks might describe as a good sandwich tomato which would keep its shape well and not reduce the bread to a soggy mass in a packed lunch box.
Like a fine wine, I popped the first two slices in my mouth and gently bit through the gorgeous flesh to find such a big bold taste and couldn’t help sighing in appreciation. It was divinely delicious and I thought I’d gone to heaven, is the only description I can relate 😀
I fiddled around with the white balance of my camera to try and get a true replication of the colour under the kitchen artificial light for you (above).
The flesh had a faint pinkish tone, rather than the common pillar box red one finds in the usual common supermarket tomato variety. I hurriedly placed the rest of the large fruit slices on some rice cakes and sat down at my desk to slowly enjoy this beauty (I have a dairy/gluten-free diet for the most, so tend to eat rice crackers or rice cakes as a good bland carrier for dips and ‘sandwiches’).
It was worth the wait. I think I planted it (and the other 2 Heirloom varieties) on the 25th September, 2019 – I would keep a garden diary, but take so many photos of my balcony gardening exploits, the date on photos does well enough. (I’m starting to photograph seed packets too, but usually keep the empty packets in a box anyway).
I ate the second ripe fruit yesterday for lunch, along with several ripe Truss tomatoes from Tomato #1 which also had some riper fruit/veg.
Now, if you’re used to junk food, or heavily processed over-salted tinned or packet food, covered in bought tomato or chilli sauce, the taste of this tomato would be wasted on you. But, if you’re like me and eat mostly fresh food in its natural state (or even organic), you would truly appreciate the rich bold taste.
It’s a winner.
I can see a third tomato ripening on the bush and can’t wait to eat it too. Should be ripe over the weekend perhaps.
Note the middle Tomato #2 – Tomato ‘Sauce maker’ (left) had a weight of 300grams and was almost all flesh when I cut it. I have eaten a couple of tomatoes off that bush, but the remaining two fruit have been green ‘forever’.
If you look at the image below, you’ll see #2 variety is much taller with thicker foliage, but I suspect this was the pot I filled with fresh organic potting soil. If you can see the Sweet Basil on your computer at the base of #2, you will notice that bush has many more leaves and more productive than the bushes either side too.
#2 AND #3 both have lots of flowers since the heavy rain on/off in the last week or two. Before, the many flowers seemed to be dead or dying.
For those overseas folk who are not familiar with the chain of Bunnings Hardware Warehouses (with their attached open-air plant nurseries) here are a few images I took recently. My Bunning’s branch has its plant section covered with shade sailcloth to keep the hot Summer sun filtered from the bulk of the plants. Can’t remember whether they take these shade cloths down over Winter.
(The images were mainly taken using my Canon DSLR and Sigma 17-50mm lens – its a nice sharp lens, even hand-held and I use it constantly as my Canon f1.4mm lens can’t get close enough when I only want to carry one camera and lens in my shopping trolley. If I catch a bus down to the pond of the local wetlands and am not shopping, I take all 3 cameras I own in my shopping trolley as there is a good solid path and I never know what I’m going to see or photograph).
I don’t have a car so can’t visit the many smaller plant nurseries scattered around Melbourne’s suburbs or the nearby hills and country towns. As you can see, this plant nursery has more than enough variety to buy for my tiny balcony garden and is local, so one assumes the nursery is stocked with plants that grow well in this area. My balcony garden shots always have to compete with very gusty winds, so the images below, taken in an enclosed space with no wind, are probably sharper in focus than usual.