This year I experimented with a low acid variety of tomato that I found at my local nursery. Initially I was skeptical about the plant because it did not look as healthy as the other ‘Early Girl’ and “Better Boy’ plants in the greenhouse where I shop but my mouth gets such ugly canker sore ulcers in the fall when I eat my harvest. I am proud to announce that my experiment was a success.
First, I should mention that I have been growing tomatoes as long as I can remember. In fact, my earliest memory of Grandma is pulling out the plants at the end of the year and harvesting the little green immature fruit for a special recipe of hers, pickled green tomatoes.
The experience challenged my idea of Gram as a plant worshiper who dotted on her house plants and danced for rain during the hot summer. The sight of her ripping them out of the ground the day before Jack Frost came to visit was a lesson about not only caring for your plants, but knowing when their useful life is over. This is a lesson that I revisit every year when I clear the tomato garden or the rhubarb patch.
So, ever since I was toddling around with Grandma, I have been eating and watching these magnificent plants grow. It is like a annual exercise in delayed gratification: planting the little seeds in March on the table in the living room (the warmest room in the house) and watching them grow up enough to plant outside.
Well, last year I had enough of the canker sores that made my harvest so painful to eat. A friend of mine suggested a less acidic variety of plant which produces a yellow fruit. Of course I had seen them but shrugged them off as some novelty fruit. I am pleased to report that with no extra water, fertilizer, lighting accommodations, or work I have harvested plenty of fruit to feed me BLT sandwiches all Fall and enough to store for winter use.
Reading up on the topic has taught me to not expect canning yellow low-acid tomatoes to be as easy as the old red ones because of the different acid amount. I hope to try a recipe that I found on the Internet for preserves. I had never thought of tomato preserves, but heck, they are fruit just like a strawberry, Right?
Well, here’s to yours, a toast (with toast and tomato) to a successful experiment in horticulture resulting in a much less distressed Fall because of the decreased mouth pain from eating delicious yellow tomatoes.