Gardening in the Blind

Radiator Charlie Tomato
January 14, 2012, 3:27 pm
Filed under: Tomatoes

Radiator Charlie on the smaller size

This has to be one of my all-time favorite tomato and a have to have in the garden.  I found the seeds on local and have been saving the seeds ever since. They have more flesh then most extra-large tomatoes, thus due to the lack of seeds perfect for people who are sensitive to the acid.  My husband was amazed that he could eat it without the heart-burn medicine.  This is huge for him.

Radiator Charlie’s are a type of mortgage lifter.  It will always amaze me that someone could develop a tomato that would pay off the mortgage.  I really don’t think that you could do that in this day in age.  It is an indeterminate – growing more than one wave of tomatoes.  I also will say that it produces later in the season, but abundantly.   It is a larger plant, but will not spread and take over a bed like Matt’s Wild Cherries.  It is a thicker bushy looking plant.  You need to add support to the plant due to the size and weight of the produce.  My record has been 3-1/2 pounds for one tomato, however, I will say the average is a little over 2 pounds.  I also have not had any problems with the tomatoes splitting, but you need to pick them as soon as they are ripe as I found that birds (at least in my backyard) are highly attracted to them.  I don’t know about you, but I am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to the tomatoes,  I don’t like to share!


Giving Thanks
November 28, 2011, 5:49 pm
Filed under: Cooking/Canning/Drying, Garden Planning, local eating, Tomatoes

What does herbs still growing outside have to do with giving thanks?  In my house it made a terrific blend for the turkey. (The turkey was from Many Hands Farm, organic and free-range.  The BEST!) As I glanced at my thanksgiving table,  I was proud of myself in knowing that Deron and I have completed a full year of organic eating.  The food is better all around.

So just what am I thankful for this year?  I am thankful that I am not worrying about GMO’s because we are eating organic food.  I am thankful that this lifestyle has only encouraged more changes for us.  We are going to the gym more, we signed up for the Tough Mudder in May and have a big adventurous year planned for next year.  We are not only getting into the best shape we have ever been in, but we are also going to expand the garden for next year!  Too much excitment I tell ya!

On top of all this, I got a new digital camera.  My new Nikon digital camera will hopefully make the pictures more exciting and encourage everyone to get out and start growing!  Starting in January I will be starting a once a week blog about different types of tomatoes.  Just in time to start planning your own garden.

I am hopefully going to start a make shift hydroponic system that I am building myself in January as well.  I will blog all about it.  Yet another item to look forward to.  If you have anything you would like me to discuss, please feel free to let me know and I will do my best to include it.

Most of all of this I give thanks for having readers like you!  Thanks for finding me at least a little interesting!

What to do on a Thursday…
September 2, 2011, 8:38 pm
Filed under: Cooking/Canning/Drying, Tomatoes

Taking time to be a kid

This week, Deron chose to take some vacation time.  I decided that I was too burned out to work in the garden for the whole week, so we went to the Worcester Armory Museum.  This was the nicest break from working in the garden.  I have been literally swimming in tomatoes, especially cherry ones (ok not literally, but it feels like it!)  I have made pasta, got tomato tummy every time I work in the garden, oven dried with olive oil and rosemary on top ( ending with tomato tummy again, I really need self-control!) and then decided I still needed to do more as the cherry tomatoes in this war were winning.  I turned to the one place I knew I could count on.  My yahoo canning group.  It is so much more than just canning! 

I ended up filling my whole dehydrator with the cherry tomatoes, running it through the night.  Then I put it through the coffee grinder, which has been doing nothing but tomato skins since the start of the season and added to my tomato powder.  This would be a good time for me to place a memo to myself – easy on the cherry tomatoes next year.  It is insane!

Tuesday’s Harvest
August 10, 2011, 7:37 am
Filed under: Cooking/Canning/Drying, outdoor gardening, Tomatoes


I can’t believe just how productive my garden has become.  I took the dogs out with me to walk the garden.  A t-shirt full of produce later, I am faced with having to can tomatoes again.  I love this time of year and dread it all the same.  I start to feel tied to the stove canning or drying or just organizing what needs to be done.  But then in the middle of winter it is wonderful to be able to use my hard work!

Saturday’s harvest
August 9, 2011, 7:30 am
Filed under: Cooking/Canning/Drying, outdoor gardening, Tomatoes

A day of harvest

For not working, I am certainly have busy days.  I am walking dogs and plotting what to sell in the spring.  I also have been out in the garden a lot.  The pollen is out of this world.  I come back inside glowing yellow from head to toe.  

The tomatoes have kicked in full force.  We are unable to keep up with all the tomatoes harvested.  So, I had to can 5 pints of tomatoes before they went bad.  Now when I can them I have to take the peel off.  This year, I am trying something new.  I saved the skins, placing them in the dehydrator then ground them.  I can then use this powder for tomato paste.  Now I have to admit, it smells delicious.  If it was not for my tomato tummy that I get everyday while outside doing my rounds, I would have tried it.  But I have no control over cherry tomatoes!  But I did smile ear to ear to realize that I now utilize all of the tomatoes with no waste! 
I harvested the garlic and I am still harvesting the shallots and of course the tomatoes.  I still have a bed of green ones.  I think salsa is in my near future!

Red Zebra tomato
August 8, 2011, 6:23 am
Filed under: outdoor gardening, Tomatoes


A slightly tart tomato, this is a favorite salad addition.  It is on the smaller size at about 2-1/2″ in diameter.  This year I have it growing in a container and it is loving it.  I have been excited to see just how productive it can be. 
This tomato is a cousin to the Green Zebra.  The taste is very similar.  It is a lovely fire engine red with carrot orange stripes.

Overgrown tomatoes
July 19, 2011, 8:07 am
Filed under: outdoor gardening, Tomatoes


Sunday Deron and I started to tackle the garden.  I spent half a day tying the tomato plants up and adding even more support.  While I did not get them all staked, I got almost all of them.  Maybe tonight I will finish it.

Over the course of the next few days I thought I would share some of the herbs in flower. They make me be even more smitten with each of them!