The First Romas

I don't want to jinx anything by bragging but those look good

I must say everything has been perfect in the garden so far. This of course means something really bad is just waiting over the horizon, like a family of possums taking up residence in the woods behind the house. Oh well.

Anyway, Romas are excellent cooking tomatoes and with my jalapenos coming in as well I think the first batch of pico de gallo is in order.

How to fill the empty spaces is always a difficult decision

That huge empty space from the garlic needs to be filled and I think squash is the way to go this year.

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About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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78 Responses to The First Romas

  1. Maureen says:

    If I had my way that red beauty would have a bite mark in it about the shape of my teeth. :)

    So beautiful! It’s winter and we have cardboard tomatoes at the moment.

  2. Since I’m allergic to the acidity in tomatoes, I forwarded your post link to my mom. She loves tomatoes and she is going to love you and Katherine’s garden. I’m sure of it.

  3. joshuafagans says:

    Wow! I have a lot of fruit and a lot of hight but no color yet. Looking good!

  4. JamieAnne says:

    They look wonderful! I don’t have any Roma tomato plants, so I’m glad to live Roma via your garden.

  5. ChefMom says:

    I love living vicariously through your gardening. Keeps me dreaming. :)

  6. fatisrecipes says:

    Wow. Those toms look great! :D Hope nothing too nasty is waiting for your garden over the horizon… ;)

  7. ChgoJohn says:

    You are so far ahead of my garden it isn’t funny. I’m just now starting to get blooms on my San Marzano plums and will be lucky to see a red tomato before August. Maybe I should post the picture of your tomatoes near my plants to spur them on and give them something to shoot for.

  8. Your Romas do look good – that sounds a bit out of line somehow.
    What kind of squash are you thinking of planting? :-) Mandy

  9. Wonderful – ours are about 10 days behind yours :( just think of a lovely tomato salad with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oi….mmmmm!

  10. Meant oil of course!!

  11. Sissi says:

    I love observing the happy garden owners’ photos and torturing myself… With my balcony pots I can only grow herbs and, just for fun, some chilies who seem to like the Swiss sun :-) Roma tomatoes are my favourite. I have just learnt thanks to you what pico de gallo is! (Apparently it’s also a name of a dish).

  12. banbamama says:

    oh those tomatoes look so juicy! mine are only about to flower. How about sowing some radish, lettuces, beetroot and spinach – a sort of salad bowl of sorts, besides they come up relatively quick.

  13. How exciting it must be waiting and watching these beautiful things grow!

  14. I wish I had some in my garden this year. They look perfect. Can’t wait to see what you do with them.

  15. SimpleP says:

    Looking good! We have a family of ground hogs under our shed who, we suspect ate the tops off the cucumbers. Everything else is doing great, but they’re predicting another stink bug epidemic.

  16. rutheh says:

    I just read about how to fend off rabbits- a tablespoon of Tabasco in a gallon of water and a spray bottle, not directly on your plants and leaves but the surrounding grass.
    Wikihow I think had the article.
    Your tomatoes look like I could reach into the computer and pick them. Great shot!

  17. Just saw the first bloom on my tomatoes yesterday…sigh.
    I hope you’re going to share your pico recipe in a day or two!

  18. spicegirlfla says:

    These look so healthy and gorgeous! I’m so jealous of those who have gardens! I love roasting Romas! Don’t worry about the Possums, I think they are hanging out in my attic!

  19. Oh god. I LOVE tomatoes. And there is nothing like the smell of tomatoes on the wine, so fragrant and fresh. Well done, guys!

  20. Charles says:

    You’re absolutely right – they *do* look amazing. I should really try to make pico de gallo myself one day. It seems like the sort of thing which could be so delicious, but I keep being put off. There’s a restaurant nearby who serve you a little pot of this stuff with your meal and without fail, they manage to make it taste like washing-up soap every time somehow :|

  21. Yuri says:

    So jealous of your garden! My parents live in a big house so they grow a lot of fruits/veggies/herbs [plus my dad has a huge farm] but here in this tiny apt the few things I’ve tried to grow just *die* on me… I always blame the heat… *sigh*

    Pico de gallo with tomatoes from your garden must be the best thing ever!

  22. How about eggplant? It likes it hot, and would also be real yummy with the tomatoes!

    I myself have a black gardening thumb….I can’t even get zucchini to grow. :-(

  23. foodtable says:

    Lovely tomatoes! They do look great! It’s so nice to be able to go out in the garden and pick the food and cook it right away. :)

  24. Your garden always sounds and looks fantastic. I have the worst luck at growing anything…even herbs in pots. Ridiculous, huh? If you want some beautiful pics of an amazing vegetable garden click “Nye’s” site from my blog roll and look around her blog. She always makes me envious…and so do you!

  25. martko1964 says:

    Your tomatoes are looking good. Enjoy!

  26. nrhatch says:

    Show off! ;)
    They look gorgeous . . . nothing like fresh tomatoes in summer.

    The one thing I’m not keen on in our new place is the limited space we have for growing tomatoes. I tried out front in the courtyard . . . not enough sun. Only 2 tiny tomatoes.

    This week, I started a container of tomatoes on the back deck. If they do well, then I’ll buy a few Earth Boxes for back there ~ tomatoes, peppers, squash, and lettuce in the cooler weather.

    Fingers crossed . . .

    Enjoy the pico de gallo!

  27. ....RaeDi says:

    Beautiful and I can taste them, hand a couple over the fence, I will pay you back next season..RaeDi

  28. G-LO says:

    I loathe gardening and yard work, but I can definitely appreciate what you’re doing (I will happily support my local growers. I am in the Garden State afterall). Roma tomatoes are an absolute staple in anyone’s kitchen. Their versatility is endless. Pizza, salads, sauces, salsa, or even on a sandwich. Great stuff!

    Bravo!
    G-LO

  29. gisellecagli says:

    My mouth is watering just by reading the word pico de gallo with those great looking tomatoes!!

  30. Laura says:

    They had a few tomatoes at the farmer’s market this weekend and I got some! I wish I were growing my own though. I’m making bruschetta with them.

  31. Caroline says:

    I think squash would be a great replacement for the garlic! Those romas look awesome. Can’t wait to see what you cook with them. As usual, I’m very jealous of your garden. Wanna ship some romas my way? ;)

  32. Looks amazing! I’m looking forward to when I have my own house with a yard that I can plant vegetables and herbs in. Keeping my fingers crossed for you that everything continues to go beautifully in your garden!

  33. Nothing tastes better than tomato right off the vine!

  34. Holly says:

    I cannot explain how jealous I am. Last year I had a serious tomato saga, We refer to it now as the “The Tomato Saga of 20-10″. It was a total heartbreak journey that ended with a balcony of wind blast tomato plants and my pop up greenhouse seriously dismantled.. oh it hurts to recall still!
    So, credit fully to you and your garden…
    Homegrown tomatoes – get making cachumber too (and cook that chicken Karahi to go with it!)

  35. Nothing like fresh home grown tomatoes. My father just removed his tomato plants after a few harvests. I was handed tomatoes every time I visited. And now he is on to the next thing. The man loves to cultivate!! Wish he would learn how to grow a money tree :) I see you are looking for your next thing, how about cabbage?

  36. I can only imagine what you will be able to do with squash! Love the stuff. : )

  37. Rach says:

    Tomatoes look beautiful. Eggplant sounds good. I have nightmares about yellow squash leftover from childhood. Don’t do it! Do spaghetti squash instead.

    • Katherine says:

      You should try it as an adult, by someone who doesn’t cook it for 45 minutes. But I like the idea of spaghetti squash or eggplant. Dad, by the way, insists Greg doesn’t cook his vegetables properly. There’s still crunch. The last time they were down we just let Dad have the pan.

  38. Kas says:

    Mmmm they look perfect! I always pick the tomatoes right off the vine and “test” them to make sure they are edible for everyone else. ;-)

  39. Your romas look good. Tomatoes….garlic. You’ve certainly got two of the great basics!

  40. They look great! Vine-ripe and perfect.

  41. I have 3 gardens throughout my yard this year, and yes I am growing lot’s of Roma’s! Squash sounds like a good idea and looks like they’ll have room to grow!

  42. rsmacaalay says:

    I love roma toamtoes the flavours are much richer, I envy you as you have it in your backyard.

  43. ericascime says:

    Beautiful! Our tomatoes are just about to bloom and I can’t wait. Nothing like fresh tomatoes from the patch.

  44. when you make your pico de gallo, will you post the recipe? i’ve been looking for a good one!

  45. Amy says:

    What a lovely garden you have! So jealous of the land. I wish I could plant a garden!

  46. Sara says:

    Wow. Amazing. Territorial seed is sending me catalogs for second/mid-summer sowings and is having a sale, so you can check them out for ideas–though I think you’re far south enough that maybe you can just get in two summer seasons! You’re in AK, right? Does it ever get TOO hot for your garden (question from someone growing up in western OK)

    • Sara says:

      Or whatever the state code is for Arkansas…I think I just asked if you lived in Alaska. Typical Oklahoman.

    • Everyone gets our postal code wrong. Usually two season and yes it gets so hot the tomatoes split sometimes. I have to do the second planting soon! Didn’t realize you grew up in OK.

      • Sara says:

        Yes, until I went away to college at least! I’m sort of used to having four seasons now but I still get bitter that summer is so short (though I don’t miss the nights that didn’t get down below 90!) I think Western OK is really different than arkansas, (I understand you actually have trees?) but I’ve never been to the eastern border states of OK.

  47. Glad you had a good crop of t’marters. We – and nearly everyone in Australia, apparently – had rotten luck this year. I suspect it was all the late rain in summer.

    Our vegie garden is lying fallow at the moment (try growing anything in Tasmania in winter!). We just weeded, and turned in the mulch from the last crops, yesterday.

  48. randommanda says:

    They look gorgeous! I can’t wait for our tomatoes to come in. There’s nothing like fresh tomatoes from the garden!

  49. Lucky! They look perfect. We don’t have tomatoes yet- there are still very tiny and green. Usually we would have tomatoes, but because of all of the rain this spring we don’t have them yet. I’m hoping the extra rain makes them extra juicy and thus more worth the wait.

  50. Your Romas look very strong and sturdy, I am so looking forward to tomato season. Some of my favourite salad recipes are with tomatoes and they are so easy!

  51. OMG I love Roma tomatoes I bet yours taste fantastic I would have grown them here if it weren’t for all the critters feasting on my garden. Been disappointed lately with commercial Roma well no surprise but these look fantastic, I bet they are.

  52. Beautiful. All my tomato plants have on them so far are blossoms.

  53. Carolyn Chan says:

    I love that you grow your own produce. I would love the space to grow things but I live in a flat. My husband’s mum has an allotment in the UK and every time we visit we spend days there just picking fruit and vegetables to cook it’s such an amazingly satisfying experience and incredible how different they taste from supermarket fruit and veggies from a freshness perspective (statement of the obvious but never fails to amaze me).

  54. weirdcombos says:

    Nice blog! I just started a garden plot here in San Francisco after a 5 year wait for the community plot. It’s only 10X10 but I’ve already harvested kale, Swiss chard, lettuce, parsley, chives, sweet peas (more than 4lbs with only three vines!) I also harvested 4 artichokes last week and am waiting for the eggplants and …..the tomatoes. yum
    cheers
    Hegs

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