Harvest is in full swing at Chicken Scratch, and I can definitely see the theme--tomatoes. My harvest basket gets filled almost to the top every time I go out, which is usually every other day. Most of the things in the basket are tomatoes, but they are not the only things in the basket. I've been taking pictures of some of the baskets, and it's been funny to look at the change in what's being brought in. Want a peek?
Before the tomato explosion, the basket was not too full. Beans, eggplant and some potatoes figured in.
Then I went out a week later, just to look, and there were some ready, which I put in my dress.
Then it got interesting.
One week later:
Then a few more days:
A few more days:(this was a biggie)
A few more days:
It looks like a lot. In actuality, though it looks like it's ALL tomatoes, the other stuff is underneath. I tend to harvest from the front to back, and the tomatoes are in the back, so they are always on top. The beans and cucumbers and such are first, so they're underneath.
Finally, I wised up and remembered to go the OTHER way. Genius.
That makes for a prettier basket, and a more accurate representation. Don't get me wrong, though, there are PLENTY of tomatoes on the bottom there.
We have been able to eat fresh tomatoes when we want to, I've made salsa once, and can again, and I have 9 full jars of sauce frozen away. I can make more tomorrow, too. All in all, not bad for this early in the tomato season, and much better than last year. What have I learned about tomatoes so far?
That 90-ish tomato plants is a good number. Truly, I think that 100 would be better still. The jury is still out on which tomatoes I'd like to grow next year, but I think the number's finally about right. It has left us enough to be able to save, enough to eat, and I think I should have enough to be able to sell as well. It also leaves enough that when the chickens get into them (which they do), I don't get TOO annoyed when I have to pitch a tomato or two. Or five. Dang chickens.
So, so far so good, I think. Having a better picture of how many plants are needed to fill our needs is reassuring. Previous to this, all I could ever say was I needed "more". Now I have an idea of how many "more" is. Hopefully I can apply this to the other plants as well when they're ready (many aren't--carrots and peppers and the like). I like to have numbers. It is a good way to know what to expect.
I'm a big fan of that.