One of the joys of gardening is sharing the bounty, unless we're talking about the first tomato of the season of course. That's the reward for the gardener who has worked hard since March to assure the household is filled with fresh, healthy produce.
The family hadn't noticed this 'Early Girl' tomato beginning to blush in pink a few days ago, but I did, looking at it out of the corner of my eye daily. Pink morphed into red and this tasty treat was ready this morning. The breakfast of champions I thought biting into the soft flesh.
Everyone knows nothing compares to the homegrown tomato, but it's always a startling reality what they taste like after months of being deprived of the divine treat.
It's not just the intense flavor either, it's the somewhat meaty texture which takes me to heaven.
The tomato was gone before I walked out of the garden gate.
Years ago I tested every early tomato I could find. It was a surprise that 'Early Girl' was the winner. This old fashioned tomato beat them all. There were tomatoes which ripened earlier, but they didn't taste like this variety, or even a tomato for that matter. Here's the story.
Take a look at those lower leaves on the plant, that's early blight, nothing really to worry about. Since we've had a lot of rain, it's expected. At this point I'm just removing infected foliage and hoping for better weather.
I looked at my records over the last few years and found that I'd picked an 'Early Girl' somewhere between June 24 and 28 reliably. I start the seeds at the end of March or early April and get them as big as possible before putting them out in the garden at the end of May. This plant was filled with blossoms when getting planted.
I'm not done planting though. I'll find a few more big tomato plants at the nursery and get them in the ground to assure harvests well into fall.
I hope you're picking or harvesting soon. A "real" tomato nurtures the soul.