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Tomatoes: Red, Orange, Yellow, Black, Green

Above: Black Cherry Tomatoes and a red slicer. We accidentally planted 2 different varieties in one pot. Both did well.

Above: Kellog's Breakfast Orange (we think)

Above: red cherry tomatoes

Above: this is a pic of our harvest on August 28 2008 - see the Big Rainbow Striped Tomatoes in the top left, and the many tomatoes in the pasta bowl on the right. Yum!

Above: a dehydrator tray filled with sliced yellow mamas, yellow pears and small red roma tomatoes. Dried about 6-8 hours until mostly dried and barely pliable. Bagged, froze for 2 days in case there are bugs on them, then pulled out, a dessicant package added, then placed the baggies in a tightly sealed mason jar.

For beginning gardeners, we were so blessed with a terrific crop of tomatoes this year. We had 20 plants, of which 19 of them bore beginning sometime in July (if I remember correctly), and each 5-gallon pot got one (or 2) tomato plants, a basil and a marigold. There were very little bug attacks.

We had several varieties (we got most of our seeds from Baker Heirloom at
  • Big Rainbow Striped Tomatoes - a slicer that is mostly orange with green and red faint stripes, very sweet, somewhat thick-fleshed, and the most delicious tomato we've ever tasted. We'll definitely grow this again.

  • Thai Pink Tomatoes - they start off a little white and as they ripen, they turn a light pink, and deepen to a vivid pink. Very juicy. Some people don't like the taste, but Doug and I are ok with it. Not something we'd grow if we had limited space.

  • Black Cherry Tomatoes - these were a little larger than a cherry tomato, and are actually purple. Thick flesh and somewhat sweet. We had only 2 plants of these so we mostly eat these freshly picked. We did dehydrate and freeze some.

  • Red Cherry Tomatoes - had only one of these plants and it gave us about 15-20 red cherry tomatoes every 3 days or so. Sweet.

  • Roma Tomatoes - although just about everyone knows about these, have to mention. Ours didn't get very big but when they ripened, they were thick and crimson red. Perfect for making some of our favorite dishes. Great dehydrated and frozen.

  • Yellow Pear Tomatoes - I tasted my first yellow pear last year and had to grow them this year. We had about 6 of these growing, and every one of them bore prolifically. We brought several in the house a couple of weeks ago, and are now enjoying them even with freezing night temperatures. Great for salads, but we also dehydrate and freeze them.

  • Kellog's Orange Breakfast (paste) and Orange Mama and Yellow Mama - ok, here's the problem. I had started several plants (squash, gourds, tomatoes, etc.) and planted them in mid-Spring, and unfortunately a fox uprooted them all (digging a hole to take a nap in). I saved what I could, but the labels either scattered or faded. So, we had lots of other kinds of tomatoes, including these 3, but we have no idea what was what. We'll keep better track next year, plus make our tomato area more protected.
Next year we'll try canning. Didn't want to take on too much this year, seeing as we've never gardened before (except as children or inside of our apartments).

With our freeze warning last week, we tried to extend our outdoor harvest by covering the front-yard plants with blankets. The plants (Early Girl slicer, Yellow Pear, Roma, Red Grape and Yellow Mama) were full of green (upripe) tomatoes, and some did survive. However, it's just too much - covering at night and uncovering during the day. So this afternoon I picked most of the green tomatoes (a huge colander full).

I needed to run the dehydrator anyway with tomatoes we harvested 2 days ago from our indoors tomato plants, so I sliced up a couple of green (unripe) tomatoes to dry. We'll see what happens!