August 19, 2009

Furthermore, our early tomatoes suffered from blossom end rot!!  Blossom end rot is mostly caused by fluctuations in soil moisture, from very wet to very dry.  The first fruits are the most severely damaged. The disorder starts at the blossom end, and it may enlarge to affect up to 1/2 of the tomato. Moldy growths on the affected area are from fungi or bacteria that invade the damaged tissue.

THE UN-ROTTED RED PART OF THE TOMATO IS EDIBLE! From last fall until now, this year has been a weird weather year, and we hope it doesn’t repeat.  In our area, when rain was predicted, it often occurred north or south of us, east or west of us, and we were not blessed. We planned to water the vegetables several times, but gave in to predicted incoming rains, thinking too much water would be a problem in our clay soil.  We just cut off the horrible looking blossom end, and eat the good red part.  We think (and pray) that later tomatoes will be perfect.

Did you know that tomatoes originated in South America, traveled to Europe, and were discovered in France by Thomas Jefferson?  A Spanish Conquistador (tired of plundering gold from the Aztecs in 1520) took some tomatoes back to Spain.  The tomato then travelled to Italy to flavor pasta dishes, and back to Europe.  Tomatoes were not popular in Europe, because some idiots thought them to be poisonous.  Thomas J. was thought to be plum loco for growing the “love fruit” in his garden. Early Americans did not eat tomatoes until 1880, when a Colonel Robert Johnson, the Tomato folk hero of America, ate a basket of tomatoes at a courthouse gathering in 1820. When Jonson did not fall down dead screaming and foaming at the mouth, he convinced us that tomatoes were really O.K. to eat.

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