First batch of tomatoes?

Continuing our tomato talk after last week's post
 chronicling the first batch we planted.

I say first batch for two reasonsthe plan all along has been 
to have an ongoing growth cycle for our tomatoes this season. 
This way, we will ensure our tomato bounty to be plentiful 
which keeps the chefs (and our diners) happy, 
while not having so many ripening at one time, 
that we almost don't know what to do with them! 
Although of course, you know we would never let a luscious red gem go to waste. 

Matt & Ray from Local Landscapers have worked arduously 
planning when to plant seeds, spacing out the early nurturing of the starts 
for our 800 tomato plants so that they are maturing at varying times.

tomato starts at various stages
in greenhouse 
This has been the plan. But, as we continue to learn 
farming doesn't always go according to plan 
and we are often reminded that our partners, 
Mother Nature and the weather can have more influence. 
So it was the very next night following our April tomato planting party,
 that winds of 65mph swept through Sonoma Valley 
and rattled our fragile tomato plants. 

Sigh. But we were back at it the next morning, tending to the plants, 
staking and securing them (which ironically had been "the plan" anyway for that day) 
and honestly we lost only a few of the most fragile ones. 

So, replacing those will mean a "second" planting day that was not initially intended. 
But farming does not always go according to plan, 
which is truly one of the life lessons this endeavor affords us: 
staying flexible, being open, (keeping a sense of humor) 
and figuring out how to move on when unexpected things happen. 
two days after the winds
A week after the winds, most of the tomato plants
are standing tall
staked and ready to climb
And in this first round of tomatoes, we have many varieties
including a few new ones that we have not tried before:
"Good taste, rich and sweet, tasty, complex flavour, exceptionally rich 
 yet sweet, delicious, rich flavour, tangy, smoky flavor, rich earthy sweet flavour, 
outstanding taste, season with salt and pepper and it tastes like meat/steak/bacon."
Carbon tomatoes
Also Purple Smudge and Brandywine tomatoes are new to us this season. 
Purple Smudge tomatoes are "a vibrant tangerine orange with random 
true purple blotches on the shoulders," (so don't assume those are bruises!). 

Amy Goldman, author of The Heirloom Tomato, calls Purple Smudge tomatoes
 "Truly a thing to behold." You may know Amy Goldman, 
who grows some 250 vintage varieties of tomatoes collected from around the world. 
Check out this slide show from her garden featured in an article in Scientific American.

one of our Brandywine rows
which will yield us these jewels
Brandywine tomato
And for more "tomato talk," check out this new blog we've discovered,
Talk of Tomatoes (which she does with great passion).
Actually, the blogger writes about more than tomatoes
all with passion, wit and smarts.

What varieties of tomatoes are you planting?
Have you seen any new ones at the Farmers Market?
Looking forward to continuing "tomato talk" 
for many more months.

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