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In Search of the Perfect Tomato

I don't know about you, but for myself, homegrown tomatoes are the best part of summer. Those ripe, red globes of juicy flesh beckon to me even in my sleep. But finding a truly delicious tomato isn't as easy at it might seem.

Initially, I didn't think the task of finding what I think to be a good-tasting tomato would be any trouble at all. Family members and friends grow their own tomatoes. Should they not have any tomatoes to spare there are always plenty of roadside stands and farmer's markets selling fresh produce. It should be a tomato lover's paradise!

But our area had a very wet spring that extended into a very wet summer. We certainly had the heat requisite for the tomato plants and their fruits, but what we lacked was adequate sunshine. Between the plants having roots too wet and inadequate sunshine, the fruits produced this year seem to be lacking in their usual taste.

I've eaten tomatoes given to me by friends and family, enjoying them to a point, but none of them filling the taste and texture combined that I desired.

I am happy to report that with a visit to my local farmer's market this evening, I found what is to me a delectable tomato. Even better than simply being homegrown, these fruits were grown organically. I bought a few to try, then went right back to the market to buy two more quarts. For the next few days I will be enjoying what to me is the ambrosia of summer -- and revisiting the farmer's market next week.

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bestwriter wrote on August 20, 2015, 10:55 PM

I normally buy partially ripe tomatoes and then eat them when they are fully ripe. But I have not seen any as perfect as the ones you have uploaded. At the moment I have my own plants grown from seeds that a gardening forum members sent me from the UK. I am keeping my fingers crossed and shall write a post when I see tomatoes on tem.

wolfgirl569 wrote on August 20, 2015, 11:40 PM

Glad you were able to find some good ones. Mine are not as good as I would like them to be this year either

CoralLevang wrote on August 21, 2015, 2:50 AM

I'm going to the farmer's market on Saturday. Looking forward to tomatoes and eggplant!

Rufuszen wrote on August 21, 2015, 7:08 AM

I think the best toms have to still be on the vine.

VinceSummers wrote on August 21, 2015, 8:02 AM

For several years now, tomatoes (planted at home) have been a major disappointment to us. I don't care to plant them any more. But tell that to my slow-to-face-the-facts son and wife. Ah, well. What I enjoy most are (for salad) grape tomatoes (intense in flavor) and (for sandwiches) beef-steaks.

peachpurple wrote on August 21, 2015, 9:53 AM

I buy tomatoes too. Nobody plant in my neighborhood

Feisty56 wrote on August 21, 2015, 10:22 AM

The photo here is not of the tomatoes I found, but they do look just like that. I hope you have success with the seeds sent to you. I am going to save some seeds from these tomatoes and try to grow them myself next year.

Feisty56 wrote on August 21, 2015, 10:24 AM

But yours will work out okay in the ketchup and tomato sauces you create from them, won't they?

Feisty56 wrote on August 21, 2015, 10:26 AM

Got to love those farmer's markets! Perhaps you'll share a recipe or two of how you use those eggplants?

Feisty56 wrote on August 21, 2015, 10:28 AM

I don't think there is anything more satisfying to my psyche -- and my palate -- than to pick tomatoes fresh from the vine that I've grown myself. Since I didn't grow any this year, I'll have to be content with the next best thing.

Feisty56 wrote on August 21, 2015, 10:33 AM

Perhaps your wife and son will come upon just the right combination of everything to grow tomatoes successfully. What can it hurt to humor them, eh?

Grape tomatoes have a good flavor and texture, sometimes even when purchased at the grocery store. It's just one of those "take your chances" type of thing. I haven't had a beefsteak tomato in years, but used to enjoy eating them a great deal.

Feisty56 wrote on August 21, 2015, 10:34 AM

Those sound like wonderful memories in more ways than one. : )

Feisty56 wrote on August 21, 2015, 10:36 AM

How do you enjoy tomatoes? Me, I like to simply slice them on a plate, add some salt and pepper and enjoy them that way.

CoralLevang wrote on August 21, 2015, 1:47 PM

Will do!

BarbRad wrote on August 21, 2015, 2:23 PM

Growing tomatoes can be tricky, as you have pointed out. I'm glad we have farmers markets. At our market, growers come from more than one county, and their weather conditions differ. Even in our own city, one gardener has a great tomato crop and another might have a bad one, just because of the micro climate zones.

valmnz wrote on August 21, 2015, 4:33 PM

I agree, one of the great things about summer is growing your own tomatoes. It's time for me to think about getting my gardens back into shape mow that Spring is almost here. They have been neglected.

wolfgirl569 wrote on August 21, 2015, 6:47 PM

The ketchup I made tastes good so I think so. Just not growing like they should lol

LoudMan wrote on August 22, 2015, 8:13 PM

Slice 'em up and just a bit of salt for me. I could eat 'maters all day.

luvcrabtreefalls wrote on August 23, 2015, 1:27 PM

I really love tomatoes. I'm hoping one day to have my own garden. Searching for the perfect tomato. God bless.

Feisty56 wrote on August 23, 2015, 2:36 PM

In our area, there isn't much of a difference in rainfall, temps and the like. I think part of my difficulty in finding what to me is the perfect tomato is that I have a certain taste in mind. Of course even in good tomato crop years, not all varieties taste the same.

Feisty56 wrote on August 23, 2015, 2:38 PM

The pride in successfully growing any vegetable is good, but somehow growing tomatoes is the one that brings me the most joy. I hope you'll be able to get your garden into shape and be enjoying the fruits of your labors before too long.

Feisty56 wrote on August 23, 2015, 6:14 PM

I would certainly not turn down any offers of homegrown tomatoes because any one of them has ten times the flavor and nutrients that those winter tomatoes in the store provide. And you're right -- they can be pricey.

Feisty56 wrote on August 23, 2015, 6:16 PM

I'm with you, Loudman , but I do need some pepper, too, on my tomato slices. When the homegrown ones are in season, I lose any where from five to ten pounds because I eat them nearly to the exclusivity of anything else.

Feisty56 wrote on August 23, 2015, 6:17 PM

If you have the room next growing season, you can plant tomato plants in buckets or other large containers. Just be sure to water often and make certain they get at least six hours of full sun each day.

luvcrabtreefalls wrote on August 24, 2015, 12:07 AM

Hi, I really appreciate it for the advice. I will definitely try this. Lets hope that there will be enough time for me to get this started next season. My children love tomatoes as well. We love salads as well so they will go well in our salad. It will be nice to have something in there that we made.

lexiconlover wrote on September 30, 2015, 1:47 PM

We had tried the topsy turvey thing that came out a few years ago. It didn't work out as well as we had hoped, but I may give it another go next year.