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Harvest Time

Watching my tomatoes now, 4 month after I starting them from seeds in early May, I realize that I have really neglected my blog without any obvious reason. Plenty of work is a bad explanation, I agree, since I never liked the idea to sacrifice everything in life for commitments at my job.
But at least for the tomatoes, there was not so much to report over the last month. They quickly grew, developed their defence against the snails, drank a lot of water (which unfortunately was abundant this year from rain), developed tiny, unspectecular blossoms, where the pollens managed to fertilize the carpels by wind or - most likely - assisted by our dog wagging his tail against them (I will soon write a wikipedia article explaining in detail "dog-tail pollination").
Finally, they all developed fruits, although only few of them fully ripened until now, late September. Although it is still sunny weather, I guess the riping program stoped because it is not warm enough any more in the morning.
Here are the pictures of the different variants.

   1:  Oxheart-tomatoes (Bulgaria)

 2:  Cocktail-tomatoes (Italy)

  3:  Egg-tomatoes (Germany) 

 4:  Austrian Monster-tomatoes (Germany/Austria)

  5:  Cherry-tomatoes (Israel)

                                No picture (young plants were eaten by snails, perhaps weak pest defence)
 6:  Vine-tomatoes (Hungary)

It's a pitty I started too late with the plantation this year (Early May). Therefore, although 2013 in general was a very good tomatoe year with almost no fungi or mold, lots of the berries remained green. I will collect their seeds for next years culture. 
I was completely amazed to see that although all seeds I planted this year were pealed from tomato berries  bought in supermarkets or picked from restaurants salad bars, the new generation plants grew pretty strong and the fruits resembled to a large degree the shape and size of last years generation. I had expected much more deviations from the parental generation and more inbreeding surpression, because of the genetic shift in the F2 intercross and loss of heterozygosity.
The few fruits that became red now in late September were no doubts much more delicious than every tomato one can get in the supermarket.

The green ones from above turn red after 2 weeks in the house. Although they missed the sun during ripening, they still topped the standard supermarket tomatoes in terms of taste and varigation.



  1. I'm glad you finally had time to post. The tomatoes look great. And I love the idea of "dog-tail pollination." I'm going to add that to my lecture in biology - it's too good to pass up.

  2. Dear Just-a-Peasant, Its no surprise that an instant reply to the post about tomatos and the innovative method of dog-pollination came from somebody who shows his link to farming already in his blog allias. I will try to train our dog to reach also higher plants, like apple trees and their blossoms for dog-pollination, but I guess she wont jump high enough. But who knows, maybe deers, horses or giraffe could also do the job. There is much worry at the moment of how much of world-wide crop production depends on pollination by bees, and to which extend this could be affected by parasites and environmental pollution causing a decline of bees.
    About the tomatoes: As expected, now, 2 weeks later not much change in the ripening process any more (although there are still a couple of warm, sunny hours every day). The few red ones shown on the photographs, however, were delicious.
    There is b.t.w. a picture on WIKIPEDIA (
    showing very colourful tomatoes in Hawai. I think, they should also grow nicely (and perhaps the full 12 month) on your island.


  3. Michael good job. I love these photos. I am still struggling with my herbs. My first Shahi (persian cress) was all eaten by worms in one night, that was a day I understand how hard it is to grow organic plants. Anyway I am still continuing with planting. But now the weather is getting chilly in Toronto and I bring small pots inside. Enjoy your organic tomatoes :D

  4. Hi Hiva, I guess the worms in your plantation also had a preference for organic cress. I have a similar problem every year with slugs (in particular the Spanish slug which invaded most parts of Europe and is extremely hungry). Tomatoes, luckily, are also pretty robust in this instance: after some weeks of growth, they produce a natural repellend against slugs. For the next season, I recommend you give tomatoes a try as well. You can start them as early as March in small pots behind a window (very suitable for instance in your office). I was absolutely astonished to see how easy it is to grow tomato plants from seeds, in particular if you use seeds peeled out of fruits a year before (simply from supermarkets, friends gardens or even from a tomato salad in restaurants). In my hands, they all developed very strong and robust plants and plenty of fruits, wether grown in the garden or in large plant pots. And if they ripe outside in the sunshine, the taste and smell is simply a revelation as compared to all the artificially ripened supermarket tomatoes.
    good luck, best greetings