Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Quest for the Best Tasting Tomato

"You have to grow Black Krims," a relative advised me.  "They are the best tasting tomatoes by far!"  Others disagreed, claiming that the award-winning Brandywines deserved the honor of top tomato.

Black Krim heirloom tomatoes
Both Black Krim and the Brandywines (of which there are several strains) are notable heirloom tomatoes, and both have won many accolades, but which was the best?  This summer I was on a quest to grow these tomatoes that I had heard so much about - and determine once and for all which was truly the top tasting tomato.


So which one won?

Which tomato was the best tasting, 
the cream of the crop, 
the king of the garden, 
all that and a bag of chips?


I don't know.

The *$&^! chipmunks ate every single one of the Brandywines.

Yes, you.
I managed to save some Black Krims and other types of tomatoes that I had in the greenhouse by putting up a screen door to keep the chipmunks out, but every. single. tomato that grew outside in the vegetable garden was a goner, which included every Brandywine I had.

half-eaten tomato
Likely thanks to the drought, the chipmunks went wild in the garden this year, even gobbling up all of my kids' favorite ground cherries while they were still green. (Aren't ground cherries supposed to be somewhat toxic until totally ripe?)  I tried putting pepper spray on the tomatoes and ground cherries, but either I couldn't keep up or my chipmunks have developed a liking for spicy food.

a chipmunk in what he thinks is his own personal ground cherry patch
I did eat some of the treasured Black Krims, and yes, they were amazingly delicious.  But can I say they are the absolute best tomato of all?

It looks like I will be on the quest yet again next summer to determine the answer to that question.


And here I thought squirrels were the worst.


Anyone else have a favorite type of tomato?
And maybe a really great recipe for chipmunk repellant?
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25 comments:

  1. I'm no expert on tomatoes (Sungold, a cherry type, is my favorite) but I've heard that chipmunks are quite tasty.

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    1. Bwahaha! They might be nice and spicy too after eating all my pepper-sprayed tomatoes!

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  2. I like Black Krim. As for the Brandywine, they never performed well in my garden; I don't know why. As for the favorite tomato... can't tell. There are so many of them! This year, deer ate the tops of my plants, but I didn't see any chipmunks. I feel your pain!

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    1. My pepper plants that are outside the veggie garden get 'trimmed' either by the local bunnies or the groundhog. There's always something, isn't there?

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  3. aww, how nice of you to plant veggies for your resident chipmunks, you are the best landlord ;-) but yes, I know how you feel, I loose my nectarines to critters every year. I would not mind sharing, if they would leave a few fruits for me, but nope, nada.

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    1. I would be happier too if the chipmunks didn't eat several bites out of several different tomatoes and then leave tomato halves strewn about the garden to rub it in. Rude little critters!

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  4. You have my sympathies. As ever!

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    1. Thanks :) First squirrels, now chipmunks. These rodents, I tell you!

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  5. Oh, not fair! To have a droughty summer and then have the furry menaces take all your produce, gads, sometimes gardening is just as difficult (and frustrating!) as farming. We had a veritable plague of chipmunks this year, too. I wonder if it was a population explosion/cycle? I'm glad you at least had the chance to savor one or two of the fruits (vegetables?) of your labors.

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    1. The farmers at our local community farm say that they plant 25% more plants than they think they need because they know there will be some losses. I guess that's the only way - plant more than they can eat! We had more chipmunks than usual this year as well. I wonder if that is related to last fall's bumper crop of acorns...

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  6. Let me lie down. I feel your pain. Intensely. We don't have chipmunks down here in the sopping South but we have squirrels. I know of no legal deterrents to squirrels. I think Tatyana indirectly banged the nail when she said Brandywines don't grow well in her neck of the woods. The best tomato is the one that grows in your 'hood. I've grown a lot of those recommended heirlooms without much success.

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    1. It's that whole rodent family that wreaks havoc - voles, squirrels, chipmunks - and of course the Rodents Of Unusual Size aka groundhogs. I've fought them all, and sadly usually lost!

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    2. It jest ain't right! Them critters need to leave OUR food alone. This year they even ate the cones off the cypress trees.

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    3. It jest ain't right! Them critters need to leave OUR food alone. This year they even ate the cones off the cypress trees.

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  7. Chipmunks have been terrible pests in my garden, and I am happy when a hawk swoops down to grab one for lunch; but I have to admit they are cute critters. I have planted both Black Krim and Brandywine. Neither prospered in my garden!

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    1. The chipmunks are much more adorable than the squirrels, though that might just be because I've fought with the squirrels longer!

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  8. Oh no! I've always thought chipmunks were cute, but then again I don't have any terrorizing my garden. It wasn't a good year for tomatoes for me either. The tomato worms decimated a couple of plants, and all the rain we had (sorry) actually wasn't the best either because many of them split and then the bugs got to them. The Roma tomatoes did the best for me this year, so at least I'll have some juice and sauce to preserve for the winter.

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    1. I wish you could send some of that rain over here :) There does always seem to be too little or too much! I never had a problem with chipmunks until this year, and I think it is because of the drought.

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  9. Those Black Krim heirloom tomatoes look very tasty. I can understand the chipmunks. But I can also feel how frustrated you must be. I wish I could give you some advice. But I have no experience with chipmunk or tomatoos.

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    1. I'm very glad I have some tomatoes in the greenhouse, safe from the critters! So far that's the only thing that has worked...

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  10. Those Black Krims are gorgeous and I bet they are full of goodness too.

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  11. I haven't intentionally grown any tomatoes in the past few years, but when the chipmunks take a few bites of a cherry tomato, they tend to leave some seeds that germinate into volunteer plants, so I did snack on a few volunteer unnamed cherries.

    In years past, I've enjoyed the ubiquitous Sungold and also won called Reisentraube (actually, I'd guess that it's a descendant of Reinsentraube that keeps showing up in the garden now).http://www.rareseeds.com/riesentraube-tomato/

    As for chipmunks, I've no idea how to repel them. I saw some (or maybe just one?) earlier in the year, but nothing recently. Maybe the hawks and other predators have put the kibosh on the 'munks this year?

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    1. Those tomatoes look good! The chipmunk population has been slowly dwindling, and I do wonder if we've had a few predators come by as well. The remaining ones are still enjoying the garden though.

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  12. Coyotes, foxes and bobcats work, but you might find that overkill.My yellow cherry tomatoes were terrific this year!

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