Romanian Orphans and Fried Green Tomatoes

This summer was the first time I have attempted to grow tomatoes.
Never again.
Growing tomatoes is like a dire punishment for some serious crime against humanity.
Never again.
They are more work than a litter of blind puppies.
Honestly, my 4 heirlooms, now more than 2 meters tall, have been very similar to taking on 4 Romanian orphans, all under 3, all with serious health conditions. Watering twice daily, feeding twice weekly, treatments for mildew, constant pruning, tying up rogue branches, blah blah blah!
Today, I have a few green tomatoes hanging off these gangly triffids. They will never go red, there is not enough time. Oh, sure, I could pick and bag the green tomatoes with bananas to be exposed to ethylenes (sp?) and ripen off the plant. But that costs sweetness, which rather defeats the purpose.

Nah - this year the peas, the lettuce, the cabbages, the beets, the herbs, the limes - they all went really well, with little effort. But, Oh, the Humanity - these tomatoes. They have beaten me to a puree.

Nah, never again.

Meantime, does anyone have a good recipe for fried green tomatoes, thats all my plants will ever be good for.

Also, who do I contact to organise 4 Romanian orphans with serious medical conditions. After my heirlooms, looking after them will be like a holiday in the sun.

Yes, the sun - remember that round, glowy, orangey thing we used to see in the sky in summer?


Cheers, PH.

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Comment by Nikolien van Wijk on August 12, 2010 at 8:14pm
Despair not - last summer was particularly crap for tomatoes.....and beans........I feed with little stakes that go into the ground ( can forget them for 6 weeks then) and I plant everything in my garden with water storage crystals ( pre-soaked - in warm water - if you put them in before you start to cultivate and blood and bone and sheep pellet you garden, the dig the holes, fill with water and then add crystals before you plant your wee toms....I like the cherry tomatoes - ...they ripen gradually as you go......and MULCH.......haven't found a way around spraying - I only spray until the fruit begin to set, them wait - I trim the leaves with mould as quick as and put them in the rubbish not the compost or a pile under a tree the end of the season I make green tomato chutney....delicious..... I still have some seeds, so will try to grow some plants, but have in principal given this up as far too much work.....will buy plants from the garden centre this year.....Grafted ones are more disease resitant apparently, so I will buy three cherry toms, two or three 'moneymaker' ( nice shaped tomatoes) and see what other varieties I get given ( some friends and I raise seeds and swap our surplus....) I thoroughly recommend te Cherry Tomatoes - they ripen gradually - a few or more coming on each day, and are nice and sweet - a handful a day makes salads ( with basil or parsley from the garden), add to lettuce, and when there are loads, we share across households, trade for corgettes....

Don't despair - last year was a CRAP CRAP season - I am trying again this year... Kis Kaha with that!
Comment by Karen Mooar on February 15, 2010 at 10:46am
Mine are also just starting to ripen - the current and Baxter's Early Bush, that is. The rest (6 or so other types) are green. But it can't be helped - I am in love with the idea of tomatoes and sauces and I just can't help myself. I know I will plant them again next year... its possibly a tomato addiction:-)
Comment by Vicki Hill on February 13, 2010 at 2:56pm
You speak the truth ... I'm a first time gardener and was full of grand ideas of growing my own toms to make my yummy homemade sauce. Never again. Of the dozen or so seedlings I planted out I have two very healthy plants, the rest are miserable in spite of all the care I take with them. The two healthy ones have a pretty decent loading of fruit but they're all green and I'm not sure we'll have time to ripen them up either! Definitely not a crop I would suggest to anyone else with my set up and I doubt I'll be growing them again in a hurry ... shame that.
Comment by Sealander on February 4, 2010 at 4:13pm
I just picked the first few ripe ones this week (Scoresby dwarf does very well in containers, I've found) - but that is a record for me, and required much messing around in early spring keeping the little darlings wrapped up and warm at night, then removing the covers so they didn't fry in the day time. Seems to be the only way I can manage to get a decent outdoor crop here in time before winter. Still not sure if there will be enough for any preserving.......looks like those years where I produced 20 kg without even trying must have been mostly due to the weather ;)
Comment by Nat & Pete on February 4, 2010 at 1:43pm
I've made green tomato relish with mine the last two years. Good on sandwiches and stops the leftover tomatoes going to waste. I used this recipe:
Comment by Yvonne Nikolaison on February 3, 2010 at 2:40pm
If it makes you feel any better my tomatoes are also still green, but are ripening as we speak. There is still time yet.

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