The $8 Tomato Report

Okay, I feel a little odd posting this because I have personally made jokes regarding those who blog about their cheese sandwich. But I just have to tell a little story about my lunch.

Actually, it’s more about being a garden geek.

We have a rather large garden; probably around 2,400 square feet. We also have fruit trees, berries, and grape vines. Everything is totally organic so we get a little geeky when it comes to methods of growing the best produce and in learning to understand and manage our local pests and plant diseases. The payoff is some really great tasting and healthy food.

I like to joke that the purpose of our garden is to grow salsa. But just one kind of tomato and one kind of chile (pepper) won’t do for a garden geek. This year we have nine varieties of chiles (planted in order from hot to mild, of course) and ten varieties of tomatoes. We have lots of other veggies and herbs too.

We sort of follow a champion-challenger method in choosing what to plant. The champions are the favorite varieties we plant each year. The challengers are the new varieties vying for position in next year’s champion list.

So obviously we would be eager to try a new variety of tomato.

Well, I happened across a blog post by Neal Campel of where he told a story about very tasty heirloom tomatoes at a local farm market that cost $8.

Neal was kind enough to share some seeds he saved, which grew wonderfully. We picked the first fruit today. It was huge with amazing flavor, which brings me to lunch.

One tomato slice was enough to cover our extra large slices of homemade bread. I had mine with homemade hummus, roasted cubanelle sweet chile, onion, basil, lettuce, salt, pepper, and a little mayonnaise. Since I already mentioned and Cali keeps talking about bacon on the show, I must add that my wife had the same but added plenty of bacon. It was a wonderful summer sandwich and one of the best tasting tomatoes we’ve ever grown.

I think we have a new tomato champion on the list that we will always refer to as “Neal’s Eight Dollar Tomato”.

12 thoughts on “The $8 Tomato Report”

  1. I arrived at this post by way of Cali’s tweet. I don’t know the first thing about gardening or organic produce (I’m a city kid), but I love tomatoes and blog entries like this one. Thanks for sharing and congratulations on finding a new champion. =)

  2. Any chance you will save some of the $8 tomato seeds to share? If so, WE would call ours “Doug’s $8 Tomato.” Or maybe Neal and Cali will start selling little seed packets to support the big trip.

  3. Hi Doug! Neal shared some seeds with me as well, and I’ve been enjoying watching them grow. It’s been a cool summer here in Seattle, so mine are still green, but they’re coming along nicely. Here are a few photos:

    Thanks for showing me what I have to look forward to!

  4. @Alan, I would by happy to share some seeds. Use my contact form to give me your mailing address and I’ll send a few over.

    @Dave Peterson, Your tomatoes look really great and don’t have some of the cracks that mine have. I believe the cracks come from not having even moisture, especially when they start to ripen. I need to put some mulch around my plants to help keep the moisture consistent for the rest of my crop.

  5. Did this tomato originally have a name at the farmers market? Would be fun to know what variety it is!

  6. I really love massive heirlooms, I love to slice them up with some fresh basil, fresh mozzarella, olive oil and some good aged balsamic… Simply Amazing! Great Looking Tomato by the Way

  7. My grandmother decided last year would be the last she gardened. I still have some of my seeds, but they are buried in storage. I have a friend who will grow some for me. Have you continued to grow them and do you have any seeds you could send back to me?

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