Saturday, September 4, 2010
Tomato Entropy Produces Fruit Apathy
Here in the Pacific Northwest it's been a crappy year for tomatoes. The temperature fluctuations have been bi-polar, going from 85 degrees one day, dropping down to 65 degrees the next. Yesterday had clear, hot weather and today it's overcast and drizzling at times. We often get Indian summers around here where our nicest weather is in September. August can be a very wet month at times. The PNW insider joke is that our summers start July 5th, except this year it's been a series of false starts.
I've kept the tomatoes in a cloche all summer long and most are still green. My cherry tomatoes are turning red; less surface area to ripen, I guess. It's a good thing that we like fried green tomatoes.
Despite the tomato inclement weather, there's a lot of entropy going on under that cloche. I've pinched and pinched and pinched stems back and I think it has only encouraged them. I need to bring a machete with me next time I go in there, as my hair gets caught in the foliage and I can't turn around on the path unless I duck. The branches are starting to burst out of the ends. For a piler, 'indeterminate' really means entropy.
Since the tomatoes are next to the Purple Sprouting broccoli bed, perhaps they're getting vibes to get uber big and put out small amounts of ripe fruit. If my theory is correct, I should have plenty of ripe tomatoes by December, when the broccoli is technically ready for harvest. However, there is that little frost problem. I'm hoping someone eventually produces a tomato variety that is hardy to 10 degrees. That person would become rich.