The First RIPE Tomato of the 2008 Season!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

I'm sure there will be many more moments like this to come this summer, as I have 24 tomato plants that are positively loaded for bear this year, but the first ripe tomato of the season? It's always a special event.

It's June 20th, and I'm getting my first ripe tomato. A real tomato. Not a cherry tomato, but a real, ripe tomato. I've been getting ripe cherry tomatoes for about two weeks now. Those don't count. But the ripening tomato to your right? That counts!

The first real ripe tomato of 2008 comes courtesy of the Bloody Butcher plant. Grown from seed by Farmer Fred Hoffman, and planted in our garden during the last week of April, this is one of two plants in one of our 4X8 gardening beds. They are planted side-by-side, and represent two of the biggest plants in this bed by far. They are probably six feet in height now, and promise to grow much larger as the season gets into full swing.

I always feel pretty good about getting ripe tomatoes before July hits. It's normally a pretty good sign that good things are about to happen in the ol' tomato garden. Ripe tomatoes in June mean buckets of ripened tomatoes in July, and dump trucks of ripe tomatoes in August and September. It just feels good, ya know?

Both Bloody Butchers are planted in a bed that was recharged with two bags of Steer Manure Compost this spring, and this may be a key to my success in this one bed. Every plant in this bed, with the exception of one of the Marianna's Peace, is producing green fruit at a quick pace. MP hasn't produced just yet, but I have a feeling it's about too.

This is my first year for growing the Bloody Butcher. Farmer Fred called it an "impulse purchase" when he bought a packet of seeds last February. The name intrigued him. He just had to have it in the garden. And, according to my research, the Bloody Butcher is a fairly recent introduction to the tomato world. It's been around for about ten or eleven years. That's a short lifespan for a tomato variety, but its popularity is growing.

No need to wonder why. Just look at the production this plant is putting out now. It will produce the first ripened tomato in my garden. And, judging from these pictures, this is just the first of SEVERAL HUNDRED that I will get from these two plants alone.

Here's hoping the taste is as good as the production.

There's really nothing like the first vine-ripened tomato of the year.

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