Friday, September 5, 2014

Game over: Paul Robesons, blue tomatoes, and summer

Taken on August 27th

Well that was...quick. June, July and August slipped in and out the door unnoticed in 2014's unseasonably cool and wet summer, and now we are in fall mode. To say that I am disappointed is an understatement. Firstly, the Cherokee Purple and Thessaloniki vines succumbed to early blight. Not One Single Salvageable fruit. Then, adding insult to injury, the Paul Robesons were hit with late blight. I refuse to yank the plants out of the ground, choosing to snip off the diseased fruit and leaves instead. If the half dozen on the vine pull through without the dreaded brown patches, it'll be a miracle.

Blue tomatoe cluster

Initially, my opinion on the blue tomato trials was unsatisfactory. The first crop was medium-sized and the blue was more on the top - not on the bottom (which turned from green to red when ripe). Successive fruits were smaller and round, like in this double image above. Maybe it was due to the size and shape, but note how the inky blue-purple dominates the skin surface. These make an interesting and colorful addition to a salad when cut into wedges, but the flavor is nothing remarkable.

Paul Robeson tomatoes

The Paul Robesons that didn't get hit with blight ripened beautifully on the vine. They have really great flavor and a firm, meaty texture that makes them wonderful for sandwiches and also in a caprese salad. Look forward to growing these again next year!


  1. very disappointing I hope next year will be a better summer for you!

    1. I hope the saying goes, third time's a charm!

  2. Miracles do happen..............yep there's always next year !

    1. a miracle is what we need, but I really should start looking into just growing cool weather crops.


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