Welcome to Growbox Hill

Welcome to Growbox Hill
Welcome to Growbox HIll!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

And so comes the end of summer

I know, haven't posted in a month... but there is a reason for this. We had a blazing hot Labor day weekend, and with the breaking of summer so did a beloved friend break and leave us- and when he left, he took summer with him. And so comes the end of summer, and Autumn has already made her debut known. I've been kind of lost since Labor day, and overly busy trying not to be lost. Been overly nostolgic- this companion represents 20 years of my life, and with the way and timing of his death, and a lot of other things... I'm just totally fucked up, and have been for weeks. I've lost track of what I've done or not, when what has happened or not... I'm lost without my sister here too.. I'm just a hot mess.

And now has come the end of summer, and it's time for me to move on, and get back to everything.

A lot of my busy has been food processing, especially tomatoes. This has been for real a bumper year for tomatoes- mostly due to my heavy planting of those this year. Let's compare the plantings first.

For whites...
In the top picks are Snow White cherry- super productive, so much so I plan on growing it in following years to compare against other cherry tomatoes as the tomato to beat.
Jack White, White Beauty, and White Queen are all rather nice- didn't get to save any Jack White seed, the bagging just kept failing. Which is a shame, because Jack White was the favorite of the bigger whites. White Beauty is iffy, I got one tomato that I hope will grow to seed. White Queen is secure, I got at least three tomatoes from two plants to carry on seed stock. Which is good, because I really liked White Queen. White Tomesol was nixed, a nice plant but in the end a meh plant. Great White is nixed too- really, really long season, monster plant, and produced the least tomatoes out of the whole bunch.

And for everything else...
All the greens got nixed. They were meh, low producers, nothing to shout about flavor wise. Good small growth habits, but a total pass for the future.
Yellow in, Red out got a seed save- it has a nice growth habit and tasty tomatoes, a decent bi-color. Seed save is for trading and selling rather than growing again. A lovely tomato, but not a repeat here. The other bicolor, Copper River.. now that one I'm trying to repeat. Seed bagging failed, so right now I've taken a cutting to try to clone it- yes, it was that good, despite it being a new hybrid and not normally my kind of growth.
The sole black, Dwarf Wild Fred.. that one is a keeper for sure. Surprising, considering it's one of the newest of the hybrids. But it's growth is wonderful, the plum tomatoes keep coming along all season from early to late, and the tomatoes are beautiful meaty bloody inside- and utterly delicious. I've got two rounds of seed curing, and another two rounds on a couple plants outside that I hope mature before seasons end.
Beaver Lodge slicer- a lovely and rather nice salad sized red, the growth habit is excellent and it produces yields early... of rather average tasting fruit. I got a couple of fruits that hopefully will mature for seed stock, and I took three cuttings for clones to help ensure seed stock. Not for here, I won't really grow it again for us with so many other reds available- but this will become a serious core stock for seeds and plants to sell for years to come.
Patio pretty much sucked, but seed stock got saved for trading and sale. Tumbling Tom Yellow was pretty decent, and seed stock is saved for trade and sale, and for selling plants- and probably to have a basket tomato or two around here most summers because of it's nice tiny growth habit.
Silvery Fir Tree is so beautiful that it makes me weep that I haven't been able to try a tomato yet to see if it tastes as good as it looks- I brought it inside weeks ago when the weather broke to hopefully get it to give me a fruit or few for seed stock.
Totem is beautiful, tiny, and has good fruits- those too came inside early for hopeful seed saving.

All these tomatoes have yielded me bushels of tomatoes... so many I've had to come up with new stuff to preserve! I dehydrated them of course. And smoked them dry. Canned up crushed tomatoes. And moved on to cases of enchilada sauce, some sloppy joe sauce, Fatali White HOT salsa, Not so hot garlic salsa, tomato juice, tomato sauce, Italian stewed tomatoes, frozen cold pressed tomato pulp cubes, condensed cold pressed tomato juice. Rotel style tomatoes, chili sauce, creole sauce, and Indian chutney are done too, now I'm getting down to the last bushel or three of tomatoes, lol.

Been up to my ears in peppers too, with go and nix of course. The number one champion is Black Hungarian pepper. Absolutely beautiful, sweet and hot, prolific as hell.. I've pulled all the peppers from one side of the garage except these to insure the isolation so I can have a shitton of seed, and this one is going to be a regular in the garden every year. I'll do up a whole pepper report at a later date once the peppers are really done.

But since it's been too long since I've last posted, and I should just let this one go.. I'm hitting the publish button now.

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