Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Black Rot

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Part of the Essential Robby Johnson Experience (ERJE) is taking failure REALLY seriously. Like, in the movie "Clueless" when Tai tells Cher, "Oh what do you know Cher, you're a 15 year-old virgin who can't drive," and Cher gasps and responds, "That was way harsh Tai," I see myself as capable of success in anything I attempt. And I am pretty brave when it comes to taking risks. So with this in mind I must provide another update on black plaguetomato gardening.

All 11 of my plants have borne serious amounts of fruit. For a few honeymoon weeks I was just ecstatic. "My God, I've produced life!" I thought. And after our ultra-wet May, the plants looked like they'd walked right out of the rainforest with their super sturdy branches and leaves the size of my hand.

7 Years of Feast, 7 Years of Famine

What I didn't want to address was the propensity for each of the green tomatoes to have little black spots on the bottom. "I'm sure they'll go away," I thought. But as the fruit grew and the glorious day arrived when a few began turning orange and then red, I realized it was over. They were hollow shells of tomatoes, hard enough to use as baseballs. Eventually I Googled.

And it gave me a little hope.

Most of the early fruit that was likely damaged by excessive rain seems to've carried the blossom end rot, but the survivors behind it are finishing just fine. I currently have harvested 5 really lovely tomatoes and am planning to make a tomato tart on Friday. It will also contain fresh basil from my herb pot, and while I'd love to produce my own mozzarella from the cows that graze on Mount Vesuvius, I am probably going to have to rely on Publix to finish my Giada-like holiday fete.

1 comment:

Michael said...

I just picked about 10 of the loveliest Roma tomatoes from my organic garden!

I had some tomatoes with end rot but I plucked them off the vines at first notice.

The vines are loaded with more Romas. The Bradleys and the Arkansas Travelers are coming along nicely.

I am having bacon lettuce and tomato sandwiches for the next several weeks.