Sunday, January 3, 2010

Harvesting the first Aerogarden VeggiePro Tomatoes!

In the Good Book, there's a verse that says "Four months more and then the harvest". Well, four months after planting the first seed pod, I have my first harvest of tomatoes!

They are real tomatoes, all right. Somewhere between the size of cherry tomatoes and full-grown tomatoes. They're plump, red, and smell great (or as great as tomatoes generally smell)

I racked my brains trying to think of an appropriate way to prepare my very first harvest of tomatoes. The first thing that came to my mind, of course, was insalata caprese, which I've made before. In fact, I even have some former Aerogarden basil which I transplanted. Which means the only ingredient for this dish I didn't grow myself was the cheese (and believe you me, once Aerogarden releases their grow-your-own-cheese garden, I'm going to be the first on line :P).

Step one was chopping up the tomatoes. Luckily, I had not grown too emotionally attached to the little guys that this was difficult.

Look how juicy it was.

As you can see, my knife wasn't sharp enough, so remembering the old ginsu commercials, I brought out the sharp knife (which can cut through this tomato as well as a metal can).

By this point I'm getting pretty psyched up. This is the first time since I was in high school that I harvested my very own tomatoes that I grew myself. And it's the first time in my life I harvested my very own tomatoes in January!

The next step was going to my truly old basil plant and picking off a couple good leaves

Now, our local supermarket had mozzarella cheese on sale, but it was the kind that was flat and you rolled it. This is what the package looked like:

Naturally, I wanted to make my insalata caprese just like they did. So I rolled out out the cheese, laid all my tomato slices and basil leaves on it.

After drizzling it with some of my cousin's olive oil and putting some salt and pepper on it, here's what I got.

Not quite the same thing as on the package, but at this point I didn't care. It was yummy yummy good.

Overall, I was very happy with the tomatoes. They looked like tomatoes, felt like tomatoes, smelled like tomatoes, were amazingly juicy, and tasted like really, really fresh tomatoes.

Looking at the plant, I see there are about four more large tomatoes and a couple flowers coming in. I'm still doing the two-week feeding, I'm still adding about 2 liters of water every few days, pollinating the plants, and  trimming the excess leaves from time to time. Let's see how long we can get this thing to last!


Unknown said...

Terrific blog! I just (yesterday) unpacked and planted my new Aerogarden 6 Elite+ with ruby heirloom tomatoes. I have grown several rounds of salad greens in my original Aerogarden - currently have arugula growing there, as well as used it to start plants (basil and cucumbers) for my outside garden last spring. Looking forward to indoor tomatoes. I hope my results are as good as yours!

Penelope said...

Can you take a picture of it farther away on the Aerogarden unit? I am trying very hard to get an idea on the size of tomato. They do look juicy considering they were grown in a unit.

Steve said...

Good luck Jack! I envy that you can look forward to transplanting your plants in your outdoor garden--as nice as the VeggiePro is, I can tell that my tomato plant would long to be outside come springtime ;)

Hello Penelope. The tomatoes are in my tummy now, so it'd be hard (and unpleasant) to take a picture of them. But the next time a new one ripens, I'll be sure to take a picture next to an object where you can tell the size. In the meantime, I can tell you the tomato is about the diameter of an Eisenhower Dollar, which of course I am sure you are too young to remember. You can also compare it to a Cheryl&Co Mini-Oh's cookie, if you have any idea what that is.

Beth said...

Excellent! I live on Caprese salad in the summer and I have tomatoes and basil growing in my AeroGarden, I found your blog because I think I need to move the basil out of the shade of the monster tomatoes.