Rose Tomato

This is the epitome of summer.

Sometimes I go and stand in my garden just to inhale that green tomato plants smell. In August that sharp scent is more appealing to me than any blooming flower.

This tomato is an Amish heirloom called Rose. I’ve never grown it before, and I relied on the scant tag information at purchase. “Large” it said. Right! The tomato pictured above weighed in at 1 pound, 3 ounces! At $4 a pound for tomatoes at the farmers market, this one hefty tomato has doubled my money back on the price of the seedling. When it’s a good year for tomatoes, as this one is so far, I can ignore the borer in my squash vines and the wilting cucumbers. The tomatoes carry the day!

The flavor of this Rose variety is better than Brandywine.  It’s so good that I’ve used the first few of the harvest simply for slicing and eating out of hand. But, soon I expect a whole lot of tomatoes to ripen at once. I’ll be making quick tomato sauces to freeze for use in the winter.

So far, my tomatoes are the stars of my late summer garden. (I’ll have to do another post on the cherry tomatoes I’m growing this year!) What are you harvesting that makes you happy?


  1. I’m a tomato gal myself! I DO NOT have freezing/canning/bottling skills so I eat-eat-eat tomatoes until there are no more! I’m guessing this heat is doing great for your tomatoes! Enjoy your harvest Terry. You sure get some dramatic temperature changes some days! Here in Bountiful, Utah we’ve had just plain old HOT since June.

  2. My dukes have done really well this year, although the vines are turning yellow now and production is down. It’s a good thing though…I think I’ve put up at least 100 jars of pickles so far! My watermelon patch is growing like crazy. Later this month, we’re going to have more than we can eat. However, neither of them compare to my tomato plants! I love the smell too, but every morning I go out to check on my garden, I’m almost afraid, seeing how many green tomatoes are out there! My plants are just going crazy! They are pulling the ages over and I can barely walk between them! A *very* good year for tomatoes!!

  3. Everything! Tomatoes,zucchini, summer squash, chard, pickles, cucumbers, beans, eggplant, onions, carrots, lettuce, peppers, melons, melons and more melons. Eight varieties of tomatoes, after last years pitiful crop, we are swimming in tomatoes. I don’t want to forget herbs, apples, pears and chickens. However, my most favorite of all things I grow here in the foothills of California is….my children. They are beautiful, strong, smart and moral in their behavior. One of them even grew into an eagle, an Eagle scout that is with over 50 merit badges. Please excuse me as I crow, It is not hubris that I express, but gratitude for my life and family. Thank you, God.

    • You’ve a right to be proud. I’ve a son who is working on his Eagle, and know how much work that is! I can’t grow melons. They need full sun all day and a plot without those dang borer worms.

  4. Kathleen, you are formidable. Pure positive energy. Congratulations to you and Terry.

  5. Here in NC, my tomatoes have been very bountiful. I have had great Brandywines (although I might try yours next year), romas for canning sauce, salsa, and freezing, and cherry tomatoes that I swear I must have picked and still picking hundreds. The yellow squash are still even producing. Overall my garden has been a big success this year.

    • This is the first year in awhile that my summer squash have not been bountiful, but with squash, even the bad years provide enough.

  6. That tomato looks lovely! This morning as I went out to peek at mine (which are still green!) I noticed a HUGE green caterpillar chopping away at the leaves. While the creepy crawly thing was the most interesting insect I’ve ever seen, I read that it can decimate tomato plants :( I do, however, have a whole bunch of pickling cukes coming all at once!

    • I bet that’s a tomato horn worm. One can eat your entire plant! For their size they’re surprisingly hard to spot. When I was 4 years old I found one and decided that it would be my pet, and kept it for quite awhile in a shoebox, so I’m still fond of them, but do pick them off of the tomatoes.

  7. Here in England we have had the wettest summer on record, with very little sun at all. It has rained through April, May, June, July and now continues in August. I have three huge tomato plants and before I have had a single tomato, all the plants have blight. This will be the first year we have no tomato’s at all. However as always there is an abundance of runner beans and courgettes. We also have broad beans and cabbages and broccoli. We have potato’s to come which should be good as they like rain. We could do with switching some of your sun for some of our rain. Love looking at your tomato’s though.

  8. Runner beans – just coming into season :) Love them baked … sliced and layered with tomatoes, sometimes courgette, seasoned and topped with cheese and wrapped in foil … about 40mins in a high oven. Serve with fresh bread or garlic bread … in fact, might have to go and pick some for lunch now I’ve thought about it!

  9. Here in Northeast Alabama due to timely rainfall, my gardens have been the most productive ever. Canning tomatoes is my new vocation. We also have an abundance of okra, squash, eggplants, peppers, beans, pears, figs. For something different this year I planted an Asian bitter melon. It looks like a warty cucumber and requires salt water soaking to remove some of the bitterness prior to cooking. I found someone from India who is delighted to have my excess. He said that in the Asian grocery stores these veggies are expensive.

  10. What a lovely tomato! I got a scary surprise while picking some tomatoes the other morning. A baby rattlesnake decided that my tomato plants were also a nice place to hide in. It slithered out to say howdy! YIKES! It was a bit challenging to get it out from all of the branches etc. so I grabbed a small rake and wrapped it around like spaghetti on a fork. Worked like a charm! Then I had to kill the poor dear. It was quick. It’s the second rattler that I found in my garden this summer. I’m a bit “harvest shy” lately but I have been getting a lot of bush beans! And I put up some jalapeno jelly. My jalapeno’s are my best crop. Have a lovely day!

    • No poisonous snakes here, thank goodness. Just a Hog Nose that rears up and looks threatening. Oh, and brown water snakes that have a nasty temper and bite, but they don’t come near the garden.

  11. There is an heirloom tomato variety called Rose that is sold by the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company that looks to be the same thing – a large dark pink. They’re very susceptible to early blight in my garden (near St. Louis), more so than other varieties, but the flavor is just incredible, second to none, so I keep growing them. They are awesome for caprese salad (thick slices of tomato with some buffalo mozzarella, EVOO, a sprinkle of salt, and fresh basil). Alas, it’s been a very hard summer for gardening here in Missouri, so I’ll have to look forward to more of that next year. Terry – I’m glad you’re getting some.

    • Don, it’s the same tomato. No blight here this year (a few years back farmers lost everything.) I’m with you about caprese, but I add a touch of a very, very good, very sweet balsamic vinegar infused with cucumber that I got as a gift.

  12. Well, the harvest is terrible to be honest. We have had just 7 days with sunshine since march here in Devon, Uk and that is not a joke, it is the truth. My poor potatoes are the size of marbles. Very delicious marbles, but even so…I have a few little tomatoes, presently green and hope they will not get blight. A lot of farmers are struggling now and going out of business if they are veggie farmers. Even dairy farmers here are struggling because they can’t cut the grass for hay so are running out of fields to rotate the cows and having to feed them on winter silage so the milk yields are down. I know it has been hellish hot in the US. What a strange summer. I am enjoying your photos, though, and eating ALL your peaches in my imagination!

  13. ever grown green zebra tomatoes? i found a starter in NH while visiting and decided to give it a try. delicious!!!
    we have had very good luck with everything this year…mainly because the deer haven’t eaten the tops off all of our plants. (knock on wood) i was just out in my garden and counted over 21 tomatoes on two of my plants. i am thrilled. they will all ripen at the same time and i will be drowning in them but i have a few recipes ready to try. and eating them sliced with salt and pepper is a great snack in my book.

  14. a snake in the garden would ruin my day…..sorry I can’t be talked into liking them or the good they do…..yikes!

  15. Wow I almost forgot about snakes! We would ‘dispatch’ 1-2 (small) rattlesnakes from our yard every summer. But the last 3 years with our few chickens I have not seen even one! Most days the chicken have free range of the yard for a few supervised hours and that must be enough. Best pets ever!

    • I’ve seen my girls slurp baby garter snakes like spaghetti, so I suppose they’d do the same to baby rattlers. Glad, though, that I don’t need to know about that here!

  16. We too have had great tomatoes this year. I tried the Black Cherry tomato this year for the first time. Very strange seeing a dark cherry tomato. Good taste though. I think my chickens eat as many of the tomatoes as I do. Mortgage Lifter, I think that was the name has had some huge tomatoes, Heirloom type.

  17. OMG just watching Candy….she’s a hoot…….my girls pay no attention to either of my cats….they rule the roost!