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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #1
shule1
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Default Today's post-growing-season tomato harvest ;)

So, all our tomato plants have been dead for a long time, now. We had our first frost in September some time. We had a lot of plants in the garden (so, I'm still cleaning it up). Anyway, we've had lots of hard freezes (in the early 20's Fahrenheit and warmer). The plants are drying up. The remaining fruits have pretty much been destroyed by numerous freezes and/or rotting, but my Galapagos Island (said to be S. cheesmaniae) tomato plant had several fruits that still look and feel good enough to eat! They don't seem like tomatoes that have been frozen. Anyway, I plan to save the seeds and see if they grow. If they do grow, maybe I'll do it every year and see if the plants and/or their fruits develop more freeze-tolerance.

Does this interest anyone out here?

Don't worry—I'm not actually planning to eat these! I'm just planning to save the seeds and to try to grow some.

Here's a picture of the fruits:
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Last edited by shule1; 3 Weeks Ago at 07:30 PM.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #2
Nan_PA_6b
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That's interesting, Shule! I'd certainly be interested in a frost-hardy tomato!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #3
shule1
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Awesome.

I'm saving the seeds of the pictured fruits now. Let me know if you're interested in some, Nan (or if not if you're interested in seeds from future generations). I don't know if they're viable or not, but I hope to find out. The variety is indeterminate and it produces prolifically all season. They're not particularly sweet, but they're decent for fresh-eating. They can be tart.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #4
bower
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They look great Shule! Are you sure you wouldn't taste one, just to see if they're still as good?
Fruit that are harvestable post frost would obviously be a fantastic trait for breeding with, as long as they don't have some nasty flavor change.
The biochemistry of frost tolerance is interesting. It often involves the production of secondary substances which act like an 'anti-freeze' to prevent cells from freezing. This is a cool thing, but some of those substances are in fact nasty ("putrecine" comes to mind) - different plants use different things that they have recipes for in the genetic code. Iirc tomatoes themselves don't have any code for antifreeze substances. No idea what is in their wild relatives, but a taste test is a good idea... just in case. Tiny bites, natch!



I think the cheesmani is a very cool thing to grow btw, whether their frosty fruit are good to eat or not. Even more if they are.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #5
Nan_PA_6b
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I've been doing the experiment of trying to germinate seeds taken from frozen tomatoes ( Post Office Spoonful and Butter Apple). None have come up, weeks into the experiment. I guess it depends on whether your fruit froze or not.

I don't have any room on the schedule to plant them in 2020, but 2021 is doable. See whether they germinate before you go to the trouble of sending. I'll PM you with what I have to trade.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #6
shule1
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bower,

It's too late. I seeded them all and discarded the flesh (which flesh felt normal, at least). I might have tasted one with encouragement earlier, but I figured there's the whole bacteria risk since they were exposed to freezing temperatures loads of times and all. I think I probably would have been fine, though, considering they haven't rotted by now. If they didn't freeze, they must have some kind of antifreeze in them (they weren't dry inside, and neither were the seeds). If they did freeze, they must be really good at holding their shape, texture, look and feel afterward! That's great to know about a potential taste difference.

Nan,

Sounds good. Your project sounds pretty cool. I've tried growing seeds from purposefully frozen tomatoes (in the freezer). They didn't sprout, but I have more kinds to try. Maybe some varieties have better survival rates. Galapagos Island is actually one of the kinds I purposefully froze but haven't tried to sprout, yet (so, I can compare those with the ones I found outside, and see if there's a difference in germination). I could try some of the freeze-damaged fruits from the same plant, too, perhaps.

Last edited by shule1; 2 Weeks Ago at 12:32 AM.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #7
tryno12
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Default Harvest

I did an experiment: covered plants from frost and freezing for 2 weeks, then left things outside until day before a week of freezing, picked good looking green tomatoes, pulled plants that were left and placed in wheel barrow in my garage - watered and kept them under lights - picked a few and put the green ones and some of garage vines in paper bag in house. 11/1 vines in garage.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #8
tryno12
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Sorry for the sideways pic's - Samsung S10 can't figure it out. I /we have been eating "fresh" tomatoes and today I cut up a nice Cher Purpl , a bunch of cherry's, and the last 1/4 of a McKinley - all tasted pretty good - they are not great and you have to cut out some bad spots - i believe still better than store but the cherry's texture not great. All in all, not sure if it is worth the cutting of and dealing with mold etc to get 3/4 of a "better than store bought" tomato. A lot of work screwing around...... too old for this! That being said my wife and I will eat 3 or 4 tomatoes (avg 6 oz) on our salads sometimes day in and day out.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #9
tryno12
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Yo Bower, if you look at my pic's your statement : "but a taste test is a good idea... just in case. Tiny bites, natch!" is a given
I've had a few bad bites, always taste before serving to others during an experiment!!.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #10
tryno12
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I suspect will still be eating these 12/155/2019, done it before and maybe next year? Too much goofing around!
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #11
Nan_PA_6b
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I'm still getting some tomatoes ripening from the green ones I picked before first frost.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #12
tryno12
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Many of mine picked the day before a string of freezing nights 11/1/2019 developed spots and mold. I was dealing with the last of the plants- probably 30 out of the 100+ original. A good experiment and 10#'s of good toms total since 11/1 no complaints but next yr maybe 50 total plants and only babysit 5 plants of the near "frost time" . I will still cover w/frost blanket the first few staggered frost nights next fall.

Nan, around what date did you pick your last to bring inside?

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #13
Nan_PA_6b
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About 3-4 weeks ago.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #14
PhilaGardener
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Sad day - I'm down to my last ripened garden tomato of the season
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #15
Nan_PA_6b
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Time to break out the frozen, canned, pickled, fermented, etc. homegrown tomatoes!
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