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Gardening: 2002-2009 Seasons


Hopleaf
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According to Google Answers and elsewhere, tomato leaves and stems are poisonous. But it appears severe gastrointestinal distress is the extent of it. Similar to potatoes. Tomatoes, interestingly enough, are members of the nightshade family, and were apparently thought to be poisonous for a long time until peasants in Italy were so short on food they tried their fruits, after which numerous tomato dishes ensued (according to Wikipedia).

Thanks! Glad I haven't had any myself. :biggrin: Some Japanese sites say that they are good when tempura'ed and stir-fried, and I thought I'd give them a try. But, I'd also like to know how poisonous they are. Some sansai (wild plants) are known to be poisonous, still many Japanese people actually eat them because eating them in small quantities won't do any harm to people's health.

OK, I'll post an answer if I find it.

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I'm curious about raspberry care as well - hoping to add in some raspberries in as well.

Raspberries pretty much look after themselves. And they'll take over anywhere they can--plant them in a dedicated bed. Check with your Extension office to find recommended raspberry varieties. (Here's information for Oregon gardeners: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/html/ec/ec1306/ .) Also, you'll need to know if you have a summer bearing or fall bearing variety. Summer bearing varieties fruit on 2-year-old wood, so you'll want to prune out only the old wood. Fall bearing varieties fruit on new wood, so you prune them to the ground each year (easier, but in a cold climate like mine, there's always the chance the weather will turn before you get fruit.)

Julie Layne

"...a good little eater."

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According to Google Answers and elsewhere, tomato leaves and stems are poisonous. But it appears severe gastrointestinal distress is the extent of it. Similar to potatoes. Tomatoes, interestingly enough, are members of the nightshade family, and were apparently thought to be poisonous for a long time until peasants in Italy were so short on food they tried their fruits, after which numerous tomato dishes ensued (according to Wikipedia).

Thanks! Glad I haven't had any myself. :biggrin: Some Japanese sites say that they are good when tempura'ed and stir-fried, and I thought I'd give them a try. But, I'd also like to know how poisonous they are. Some sansai (wild plants) are known to be poisonous, still many Japanese people actually eat them because eating them in small quantities won't do any harm to people's health.

OK, I'll post an answer if I find it.

Here is what Helen, who works for the horticulture department of a university in Japan, wrote about my inquiry here:

From a seed company's website, regarding tomatoes.

"" Toxic Part:  Leaves, vines, and sprouts.

  Symptoms:    Headache, stomach pain, vomiting,

                diarrhea, subnormal temperature,

                and circulatory and respiratory

                depression.""

Tomatine may not be the only alkaloid produced in tomato shoots - I'm not sure. I assume that people are hoping that the axillary shoots contain less alkaloids than mature stems and leaves...but it seems risky. After all, alkaloid contents are notoriously variable (depending on things such as the time of day, for example); and some people are more susceptible than others, especially children.

Alkaloids tend to act on the central nervous system, which is not a good idea! If you're lucky, they'll make you vomit, if not, they just stop your heart and breathing...

However, I ate several nightshade berries when I was a toddler, before kindly offering my mother some, and I lived to tell the tale. Very likely a few very immature tomato shoots won't kill you, but I don't care to experiment!

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I leave town for one week and three lousy days and my lettuce bolts. -sigh- Perhaps the bitter bolts can be made palatable with a quick stir fry and tossed with sliced garlic almonds?

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Look what came in my gardening newsletter !

As lettuce starts to bolt (sending up its seed stalk) and leaves begin to feel leathery, taste a small piece before you harvest a bowlful, in case they've already turned too bitter for your taste. However, you can salvage almost-bitter lettuce with a double-washing process. Submerge lettuce leaves in water for half an hour in a container that allows space between leaves. In small handfuls, remove the lettuce to a strainer, making sure to removing mulch and other inedible bits you may have picked up when harvesting. Turn the lettuce from the strainer back into the soaking container, and fill it again. Let it soak for another half an hour. Then rinse individual leaves over the strainer. This double-soaking process helps displace the bitter element in the leaves, and crisps them as well. Set aside the portion you'll use for your salad, and gently place the remainder into one or two plastic bags and store in the refrigerator, with the plastic bag folded over so some air can still circulate. This lettuce should last up to a week in the refrigerator.

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Thank you! Lord knows I have enough bolted lettuce to try out the method. :rolleyes:

Aside from space here are a few more reasons why I don't do more vegetable gardening. If mothers milk was ALL they ate!

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Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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We picked our first tomatos today and will serve them along side dinner tonight just simply peeled and sliced. This is two weeks ahead of the traditional july 4th date for the first of the summer tomatos. And we have about 8 more coloring up nicely, and tons of greens. Summer is here.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just came back from a visit with my mom in San Diego. Her tomato plants are producing like gangbusters. She staggered her plantings so she should have a good harvest clear into October.

This is a picture of one of her heirlooms:gallery_9387_874_17249.jpg

She has no idea what it's called since she didn't keep the plastic tag that came with the young plant. :hmmm: They seem to look a lot like Pippin apples. Unfortunately, none of the fruit was ready for picking so I didn't get to try them during this trip.

She also has a mystery on her hands. She thought she planted a cherry tomato plant (of course, she didn't keep the plastic name tag) and got a bush full of these instead:

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As you can see by the picture, they grow to be no larger than a big green pea. They seem to be more trouble than they're worth since prepping and cleaning a basket full of these suckers gets quickly tedious.

Anyone know what these pea-sized tomatoes are called? I think someone mentioned them before (probably in a previous page in this discussion! :raz: ) since they seem familiar to me.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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This is a picture of one of her heirlooms:gallery_9387_874_17249.jpg

She has no idea what it's called since she didn't keep the plastic tag that came with the young plant. :hmmm:  They seem to look a lot like Pippin apples.

they might be green zebras?

So do you know if they will remain green when ripe? I want to let her know how to tell when she can harvest them.

It reminds me of the time many years when my dad was growing tomatoes and kept waiting and waiting for the yellow fruit to turn red. My mom finally got brave enough to pull some off the vine and taste them. Yes, you got it. He had unknowingly planted yellow tomatoes (don't people read the tags that come with the seedlings? :huh: ).

Toliver, I think that the small tomatoes are currant tomatoes. Very cute! Y'know, for a fruit that is.  :smile:

Thanks for identifying the little buggers. Now we know what not to buy next year! :raz::laugh:

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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they might be green zebras?

So do you know if they will remain green when ripe? I want to let her know how to tell when she can harvest them.

they remain mostly green when ripe. the top of them gets yellower, but the darker green patches remain that color, and the yellow background fades toward light green at the bottom.

i don't know what to tell you about how to know when to harvest them, though, for that very reason. i do know about their flavor when ripe--noticeably lower in acid, and kind of a more rounded, sweet-spicy flavor than a regular tomato. a lot of pulp. they make a great addition to a caprese salad or something, because their flavor is so different from a regular red tomato. i buy them all the time in the summer for that very reason.

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Harvesting might work by the squeeze method: if the fruit gives, its ripe.

Or by the gentle-tug method - if it releases from the plant with a gentle tug, its ripe.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Harvesting might work by the squeeze method: if the fruit gives, its ripe.

Or by the gentle-tug method - if it releases from the plant with a gentle tug, its ripe.

Funny you should mention firmness. My mom uses the "gives" method to test ripeness and commented often to me how this year the red tomatoes seem to be staying quite hard on the vine. She attributed this to the long spell of "May Gray/June Gloom" (the omnipresent marine layer that lingered most of the day) they had this year in San Diego.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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First pickles of the season. Not enough of one thing, so mixed

Radish pods (a first for me, but good. The radishes ran to seed)

Shallots

Giant garlic

Cukes

Hungarian Wax Peppers

Bay leaf, salt, pepper

Home made wine vinegar

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I don't like to eat pickles, but those sure would look pretty in my kitchen cabinet where I keep the canned goods!

I had my first bacon and tomato sandwich yesterday for lunch, and my second on for breakfast this morning. I noticed a couple of okra pods yesterday, and the sweet corn will be coming soon--it is all silked out, but not turning brown yet.

I have canned 14 quarts of green beans, and have eaten probably that many more, some grilled and some boiled with onions, garlic and bacon.

And I picked 9 heads of cabbage this last week--very small because we had no rain until just this last week. They were beginning to split, so I had to pick them.

sparrowgrass
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Edible gardening was an afterthought this year. Starting this fall (we hope), a house addition will sit on the far end of the current veggie garden. When that happens, we will completely redo the backyard landscape. This is a project that should happily entertain us for our remaining time on earth.

Anyway, we cleared out some overgrown shrubs and threw in some chilies and tomatoes (late, as usual). Here is the temporary veggie patch (really just a patch of tomatoes and chilies, with a little basil thrown in):

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The tomatoes are valiantly making up for lost time.

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The Serrano chilies are productive (as usual). A friend gave us a variety of chilies grown in Russia:

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And we have our first Thai Hot Dragons: :wub:

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My wife is very interested in growing berries. Much to our delighted surprise, the small patch of woods in our back yard is loaded with brambles. We need to figure out what we have, but there are at least three varieties (two early, one later). Delicious rewards await those willing to brave the abundant poison ivy :smile::angry:

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Our patio garden is coming along as well: we've been eating green beans, snap peas, beets, salad, and started pickling cornichons. Tomatoes are looking good (I think :biggrin: ), I think the advice I got upthread about which shoots to pinch out really made a difference. I'll try to put up pictures soon.

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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gallery_9387_874_7334.jpg

It turns out that these "currant" tomatoes are quite the little flavor bombs. My mom told me that of all of her tomatoes growing this year, they have the most tomato-ey flavor.

She also found out little kids go nuts over them. Her neighbor's grandkids (on both sides of my mom's house) have discovered the "currant" tomato plant and have a great time harvesting and eating the little fruit. My mom donated the plant to the cause, so to speak.

So now it looks like both grandma neighbors will be planting "currant" tomato plants next year. Who knew?! :laugh:

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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  • 3 weeks later...

Figured this may be the appropriate thread to post some pics of our garden and some produce from it.

This is a shot of one of the gardens up at our farm, 45 minutes from Toronto. Some of the things growin are...Black raspberries, blueberries, various types of heirloom tomatoes, fava beans, peas, zucchini plants, garlic, onions, artichokes, pears, grapes...the list goes on!

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A shot of some stuff picked from the garden in preperation for upcoming meals

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We are not all that sure actually...My uncle got tons of seeds from seed houses in the US - and had a local greenhouse sprout them in time for planting, however, they mucked up all the labelling, and we are not sure what is what anymore!

Havent tasted it yet, but I will let you know if/when we find out.

Will have some San Marzano's soon, but those are MUCH thicker than the ones pictured.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The only things I am growing this year aside from my many herbs are chiles and yellow tomatoes. The yellows are starting to become ready to harvest and I am happy with how they are. The chiles are a different story- first insects got to the plants, and then the deer ate quite a bit of the greenery. This all happened when the chiles were about halfway grown so they started to turn red prematurely. It's not a total disaster because they are edible and quite hot. If only, if only...

Anyway- here's what I got so far:

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aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

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Time for those of us in Zone 4 (probably Zone 5, too, and of course anyone north of Zone 4) to start trimming your tomato plants. Pinch the new blossoms, and trim all foliage that's pointing downwards to give every tomato we've got a chance to ripen. Let those plants work on ripening, not growing!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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