The crowd was thick and the weather was mild Saturday morning for the eighth annual Kansas City Tomato Times Tomato Tasting.
It was difficult to keep up with slicing tomatoes for the steady stream of heirloom enthusiasts who arrived to taste the bounty of summer. More than 200 arrived to sample and discuss their plans for growing next year. With 58 varieties and a colorful palette ranging from from the pale White Tomesol to the deepest dark colors of Black Krim, the diversity of tomato varieties was impressive.
James Worley and the folks at The Local Pig have announced that next year’s tomato tasting will be held August 5th, 2017, so save the date.]]>
Here at TomatoTown, we’ve always held a special fondness for the the heart-shaped tomato varieties and Upstate Oxheart is no exception. The dense full-flavored pink flesh of these large fruit do not disappoint. We love them as thick slicers for sandwiches as well as sauces.]]>
The weather was hot and steamy, but a steady stream of tomato pilgrims flowed to The Local Pig to taste the varieties that managed to ripen in time for the annual ritual.
A few die-hard tomato fans turned up last night at Jasper‘s for the annual tomato dinner on Friday evening. Mark your calendars and make your reservations early because, dear reader, it was an amazing feast not to be missed. Homemade mozzarella made fresh at the table. The highlight of the evening was a delicious tomato cake!]]>
I found this big fellow in the garden on my Missouri Evening Primrose munching away the afternoon. At first, I thought he might be a tomato hornworm, but they are striped not spotted. I found it difficult not to be impressed by the sheer size of him.
Turns out he is Hyles lineata, commonly known as the hummingbird moth. They do list tomatoes as a host plant for this particular moth, but I love watching this amazing birdlike moths fluttering around my flowers.
While I was on the hunt, I found this interesting video on identifying tomato and tobacco hornworms.]]>
Farmer T was out in the garden tying up tomato plants when he shouted, “We have a ripe tomato!” The first tomato of the season is also the tastiest, so the Czech variety Stupice has long been a favorite here at TomatoTown.
Our excitement over Stupice’s smallish red globes may wane as the season progresses , but this variety can always be counted upon to be reliable producers throughout the summer.
Let the season begin!!!]]>
For weeks we’d been finding muddy paw prints on our grape jelly bowls. Turns out a local raccoon was making his rounds to munch the tasty jam that we’d set out for the Baltimore Orioles. He was back in the neighborhood looking for more tasty sweets.]]>
Silver reflective mulch has such a space age look and feel that we put Matt Mason Spaceman on the case. Matt reports that he needed shades as he gently floated over our freshly-planted tomato plants — despite the overcast day. Finding a few dry hours has proven challenging. But we’ve been disciplined and avoided the temptation of planting between rain showers.
Silver mulch zaps the insects that thrive on tomato plants — namely aphids and the dread hornworm. We are excited to return to the silver mulch fold this year.
A moist spring and a busy work schedule conspired to delay our planting plans. Once the soil dried out enough to till, we zipped out to churn up the weeds that had taken over our beds.]]>
It does not feel like spring until we’ve had a visit from our migrating friends, the Baltimore Orioles. Once we hear their song in the trees, out comes the grape jelly and the show begins!
Another bold neighborhood bird with a more muted plumage is the mewing Catbird. A taste for jam brings him to the feeder. We enjoy visitors one and all.]]>
Inspired by visits to the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, we’ve been adding prairie plants to attract pollinators and sustain our dwindling Monarch populations. We’ve been especially impressed with a bonus plant that must have been included in a package of milkweed seed.
Snow on the Mountain, also known as Bishop’s Weed is a statuesque plant that, at least at first, I hadn’t seen any of our honeybees working on the blossoms.
But a visit outside in the heat of the morning revealed a healthy number of bees lumbering over the white petals.
Nearby, the milkweed had been looking impressive and a Monarch caterpillar was discovered munching his way up the plant.]]>