Roma tomatoes and Chinese Pistache leaves
I’m seeing red.
I like it! The cherry and heirloom tomatoes died back a month ago, but our Roma tomatoes continue to grow unabated.
This is Silicon Valley after all, originally known for its rich, agricultural roots. But I’m still amazed at the prolific production of this plant. I did a bit of reading and learned that the plant will continue to produce, as long as daytime temps remain about 60F (15C). That explains it. We’ve had a mild autumn so far.
While the Roma happily churns out fruit in the back garden, the Chinese Pistache flashes red outside my kitchen window.
Pistacia chinensis (Chinese pistache)
The Pistache’s slow, beautiful descent into dormancy is under way. The colors are magnificent. I’m grateful to live in this beautiful valley with such optimal growing conditions.
It’s hard to say goodbye to summer tomatoes. Unless you buy heirlooms or ‘cherries’, the tomatoes in the store are flavorless. I used to think I was having a streak of bad luck, until I read that farmers have spent nearly 70 years perfecting the look of the tomato, at the expense of flavor. They’ve removed the sweet, wonderful taste.
We grow our own every summer and enjoy the harvest for a few months. This year we had plenty of orange cherry tomatoes, a few red heirlooms, one or two orange ones and a ton of Roma’s.
It’s mid-October now, and the plants are looking tired. Today I finally pruned away the dying branches on most of them. I’m still seeing one or two small tomatoes a day, so it’s hard to let them go.
Spent tomato plants
The Roma plant is still going strong, pumping out at least a dozen or so a day. Even the garden pests can’t keep up, so we’ve had plenty for salads and salsa.
If you’re a salsa fan, here is my husband’s quick and easy recipe:
- 6 – 12 tomatoes (we’re using the Roma)
- 1/2 sweet or yellow onion
- a few ounces of Jalapeno peppers (or to taste)
Combine and blend. Serve with corn tortilla chips or as a garnish.
Halloween at our house