I HARVESTED TWO RIPE TOMATOES THIS WEEK, or so I thought. Too bad they were all black and nasty inside. Like I said not long ago in “Tomato Troubles in a Wet Year,” we’ve got trouble here in River City. And the plot just sickened.
I’m thinking the nearly 6 inches of additional rain this last week won’t exactly be providing any curative effects, either.
What’s wrong with my fruit? The plants they came from look otherwise-healthy (all are hybrid paste types; my heirlooms are on the critical list already, having no built-in disease resistance, apparently, to whatever ails me). I actually think that the red ones with the black insides suffered not from a disease, but from some meteorological upset at pollination time, affecting the would-be seeds, which might mean the later-setting ones (many green fruits are hanging now, all apparently intact) will be OK. (Aren’t I the endless Pollyana? Please, don’t burst my watery bubble.)
I am no plant pathologist, so who knows what’s really up, and I suspect even the professionals’ heads are spinning in a year that has the Pacific Northwest and parts of the South like Texas toasted, and the Northeast drowning and relatively cool.
I’m just a gardener, and a cook whose vegetarian diet relies heavily on an annual stash of all my year’s worth of tomato products that I put up. So what I all I really want to know is this:
Where’s that going to come from? The usual “staples” (like part of last year’s frozen bounty, below) are starting to look like they’ll be luxury items in this upside-down year.