April 14th, 2008
It’s the second week of April. Mud season. I just dug through 2 feet of snow to dig up the last 15# of carrots in the garden – and we still have 3 fresh tomatoes left from last September’s harvest!
This variety is Golden Treasure, bred by Peters Seed and Research, a small seed company in Oregon that has doing some excellent breeding of open pollinated garden and farm plants, including perennial grain and some really nice kale varieties.
Tomato Golden Treasure, photo taken April 10
OK, OK, so these tomatoes are not in the same culinary league as those fragrant, tender skinned Marmandes sun ripened in early September; and they don’t burst sugar in your mouth like the thumb sized Red Currant tomatoes. None the less, to have fresh tomatoes from your garden in April is pretty cool, I think; and in storage they develop a nice acidic tomato flavor. They’re a bit on the tough side (that’s why they keep so well), so we usually slice them thin.
We’ve been growing Golden Treasure for more than 10 years now. One year we were still eating them in June.
A box of Golden Treasure on January 6
They get picked green or slightly yellow in September, before frost. It’s that simple. We handle them carefully, pick them into shallow boxes, and stack them in our “back room” which stays around 40 degrees F all winter. After a couple of months they start to ripen. We start eating them around the end of November, when all the other fresh tomatoes have either been eaten or sent to the compost pit. It is necessary to cull them regularly, but when they rot it usually begins as a small blemish on the surface and does not spread very fast, and is easily cut away.