Off The Grid

Living off the Grid on a west coast island

be about tomatoes


There you are. I was wondering if you would still be here when I got back…  Summer is coming to an end and I am back to my writing. My  first return post will be of no interest to anyone who doesn’t like tomatoes. Tomatoes are all that is going on here and I need to record my progress for posterity… And for those of you who also grow tomatoes there will be a test at the end, be forewarned…:)

When we last spoke I had started tomatoes from seeds and set my wee seedlings in the cold frame. I ended up with 141 successful tomato plants. Of those, I planted 48 in my own garden and gave away 93 to various friends and neighbours. Lynne gave me three different ones. I planted a total of 51 in the garden. Eleven different varieties with varying levels of success. (this is where the questions will come later)….

I had Pollock, Yellow Pear, Paul Robeson, Indigo Rose, Ruth’s Perfect, Pattys Yellow, Yellow Wonder Light, Pink Brandywine, Roma, Berkely Tie Dye, and Cosmonaut Volkov.

The disappointments first:

  1. All of the tomatoes I planted at SOHO were a dismal failure with literally no produce. The one tomato I planted in a pot in my garden produced nothing, nada, zero…      The Berkley Tie Dye were interesting but I only got a few.img_1924.            Ruth’s Perfect were less than perfect.. I had 6 plants and got about 10 tomatoes in total. Indigo Rose is very very late but more beautiful than tasty..img_1823


The successes

I loved the Yellow Wonder Light. They were early and prolific. A very sweet addition to my sauce. The Paul Robeson (left) and Small African Black (right) were delicious,img_1805 as was the Yellow Pear. All three I got from Lynne. Thank you!!

The Cosmonaut Volkov were big beefsteak, early tomato. They were by far my  biggest producer. img_1747The Pink Brandywine were indeed pink and a larger variety.

The Roma’s of course are prolific but are just coming ripe now. The yellow from Patty is a medium size, perfectly round tasty variety..

The Pollock’s started out as disappointing as they were purported to be early but they are just coming now and I’m getting quite a few. Maybe this summers cooler temps are to blame… Quite delicious on a sandwich though…..  I have a cream cheese, pesto and tomato sandwich every day so I have had the opportunity to test each tomato for sandwichability.. It’s the least I can do….

I am currently picking a bowl full of tomatoes a day. Every second day I make sauce and every fourth day, I can the sauce.Each sauce has a minimum of 6 types of tomatoes blended.. So far, I have 15 pint jars and 5 quart size in the pantry.. This large number could be deceiving in that this is pure tomato sauce which has not been thickened as I prefer to save the propane as I know the pasta sauce/chili or soup will thicken as it simmers on the wood stove in the winter….

Here is how I make my pure sauce. I use this base for almost everything we eat in the winter. Soups, pastas, chilis…

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So now for the questions.. To all of you who grow tomatoes both off and on the island.. How did you make out? What were your favorites? For those who grew tomatoes which I started.. How did they do?  I won’t be offended if they were terrible.. I am saving seeds for next year and would like to know which ones are worth my time…

So I am back!!  Lots going on this winter, please keep reading.  I promise it won’t all

be about tomatoes…






Author: Off Grid Islanders

We are a retired couple living on an off grid island on the West Coast

5 thoughts on “be about tomatoes

  1. So Cheryl and I are going to try canning tomorrow. You make it sound so easy! I have an apple mill, do you think it will do the same as your mill to remove the skins etc.?

  2. The Yellow Wonder is prolific and they are ripening daily. Love them. I haven’t tasted the Brandywine and Roma yet, the Brandywine are now stating to ripen, but the Roma, though tons of them, are still very green.
    The plants grew huge, and I had to top them otherwise they’d have been over the railing. I need bigger stakes if I do this next year.

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