Here they come-FIRST TOMATOES!



Ok, I have something to confess – I’M TOMATO ADDICT!! I need my fix! Here are the first organic tomatoes of  2014 season. I got 5 Sungold and Black Cherry tomatoes during the last week of June. That is the earliest I have ever gotten tomatoes ready to eat. Sungolds are one of the few hybrid tomatoes I grow because they are soo sweet and Black Cherry tomatoes are an heirloom tomato that is fantastic as well with it’s sweet earthy flavor. I have gotten more little tomatoes since then that are eagerly eaten-sometimes right off the vine – if I can’t wait. I HAVEN’T HAD A TOMATO SINCE LAST OCTOBER! I never eat the ones in the restaurants or buy any from a grocery store-I just patiently wait until my tomatoes get ripe during the tomato season. It’s been about 9 months since I ate a real tomato!


Here is a mini Caprese without the basil. Of course I had to go get some fresh mozzarella to go with those first tomatoes! I don’t have any big Italian basil yet to add to my Caprese but gobbled them up with the mozarella and 18 yr old balsamic vinegar and olive oil over them.  The sweetness was divine!

jc baby pic2_FB


And to think I HATED tomatoes as a kid – couldn’t stand those slimy seeds! My how things change through the years! Of course all I ever got were those store-bought tasteless tomatoes. It wasn’t until I had a REAL tomato ripened on the vine that I became a tomato addict!

Why else have a vegetable garden in the summer if not for the tomatoes!

‘The Tomato Lady’ returns to Santa Fe Farmers Market this Saturday, Aug 20

Here are some of the tomatoes I’ll be bringing to the Santa Fe Farmers Market

FINALLY, I will arrive at the Farmers market this Saturday, Aug 20 in the SAME LOCATION INSIDE THE BUILDING not outside. (COME INSIDE the BUILDING BY THE 2ND ENTRY WHEN YOU WALK DOWN MAIN OUTSIDE AISLE). I won’t have as many tomatoes YET as I would like so if you want some incredible, organically grown, heirloom tomatoes, you better come EARLY as I anticipate SELLOUT by 9:30am even though the market stays open till 12:30. Of course not all of them ripen at the same time so you will have a variety of tomatoes to pick from each week. Over 25 heirloom tomato varieties on 70 plants this year! This is the beginning-it will only get better as each week more and more tomatoes will ripen. I will also have other heirloom veggies there – Shishito peppers, a few Pepperoncini peppers, incredibly sweet, never bitter Fairy eggplants, fantastic nutty flavored Rattlesnake beans, wonderful thin French filet beans, Emerite, but mostly tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes! Hope to see your happy faces soon!

got some tomatoes!

first black pear tomato

Got my first 4 tomatoes! They are off a black pear tomato plant. They don’t look pear shape I but I don’t care. I’ve lost 3 pepper plants and one tomato plant in the main garden but other then that, everything else is doing great. The tomato plants are really taking off- some of the early varieties have little tomatoes on them but most are just starting to blossom except for those first two maters!.

tomato in cage with well

In the pictures you can see they now all have wells, drip system in the wells, and the wells are covered with straw (not hay-produces too many seeds) to help with evaporation and keep the roots cool.

The tomato plants have been trimmed up so no branches touch the ground or straw. This is so no soil borne diseases can be transmitted. When you trim plants, put some alcohol on your trimmers between each plant so if one is diseased it won’t be transmitted to the next one.

I have a bamboo post (sometimes more than one) where the main vine is tied to help it as it grows so as not to be unruly (mine usually become unruly anyways as the season goes on).

The big tomato cages that I made from concrete reinforcement wire (it has 6 inches by 6 inch holes-easy to get your hand through to pick tomatoes) are now on. The cages offer terrific support for the growing tomatoes. Just keep pulling the branches up to the next higher hole as it grows. I also have small t-posts (3 foot tall) in the ground and the cages tied to it so the wind can’t blow it over as the plants gets bigger.

All Star giant tomato lineup ready to plant!

Well here are my all star giant tomatoes that are going out as soon as I harden them off in the next few days now that the nights are finally in the high 40’s. They were out for about 45 minutes today in the sun and breeze today and that was enough for them. I brought them in and watered them with some organic seaweed and superthrive while they are going through the transition to help reduce stress. Maybe I should drink the stuff to reduce my stress (just joking)!

giant tomatoe plants ready to plant!

I have in my lineup for giant tomatoes (6) Big Zacs (seeds from Totally Tomatoes), (1) N. Harp (that came from a 4lb+ tomato), (2) N. Harps (that came from a 5lb+ tomato), and (3) N. Harps (that came from 7lb+ tomato)!  Nick Harp is a phenomenal giant tomato and giant pumpkin grower in the midwest that was kind enough to supply me a few of his seeds. Thanks Nick! I can’t wait to see what these will do this year!

Santa Fe’s Farmer’s Market

For the Discriminating Cook

This year the Santa Fe’s Farmer’s Market, which was recently rated as one of the best in  the nation, was a juried-in only market for farmers. Well, I went in the their office and they said I got accepted but I haven’t received their acceptance letter yet which makes me nervous as it’s been 2 weeks. I need to know for sure because it will determine whether I plant more tomatoes or not. We’ll see…

Last year at the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market

I am known as ‘The Tomato Lady-Heirloom Tomatoes & Exotic Veggies’ for the discriminating cook. I grow varieties that you don’t get at the grocery stores or at our farmer’s market. See you there this summer!  I’ll keep you posted when I start going to sell my produce on SATURDAY mornings this year-probably late June since I sell warm season crops…