In the Raw- Caprese

There is nothing like the taste of a fresh tomato off the vine. Caprese is  an all around favorite and this recipe puts fresh tomatoes and basil in the spotlight!

Ingredients:

2 medium size Roma Tomatoes

6 Sprigs fresh Basil

Balsamic Vinegar

Olive Oil

Kosher Salt

Quality Cheese; any medium full bodied cheese works well. Here I have used a chive Havarti

(Serves 2)

Directions:

Slice your tomatoes about 1/4 inch . Too thin and your Caprese will become watered down from the juice of the tomato and salt combination. Alternating slices of your tomato, basil and cheese: place on a plate. Drizzle with Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar- then sprinkle with salt. Serve a la carte or with a toasted baguette. This recipe also pairs well as the top to an Arugula salad.

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Common Tomato Problems

You have transplanted your plant. Your tomato plant is thriving. At this point you will have probably have needed to put in a tomato cage to keep your plant stable. Then it happens: extreme weather! Scorching temperatures or frigid cold can put your plant in distress. While your plant may show signs of stress such as below: there is no need to worry.

stress tomato

Many retailers sell covers for your plants to assist your plants during climate changes. However, remember important factors during this time such as: is your plant potted and sitting on a solid surface? The root base will be absorbing the ambient temperatures. This may require relocation of the potted plant.

Tomato plants are hearty and can withstand most changes in temperature once they have matured. Should your plant experience stress, your plant will still blossom and give fruit. Once the fruit has ripened on the vine, pick your tomatoes and then prune the stressed portion of your plant.  stress fruit

Growing Tomatoes

Easy growers, tomatoes are great for first time gardeners. An example are these Roma tomatoes. Started from seed, these beauties quickly grew, bloomed and produced fruit. How to get started to end up with these?

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Start with nutrient rich soil. Any potting soil will do but adding broken egg shells will help add the nutrients tomatoes thrive on. Next, place contents in a well drained container. An egg carton with holes in the bottom will suit just fine. Keep in mind: if you live in an area that is very dry; then placing a thin film of clear plastic wrap over the seeds will provide the humidity that seedlings need. Simply remove the plastic wrap once your seedlings reach 1″ in height.

TRANSPLANTING

Once your seedlings reach 2″ in height they are ready for transplanting. Keep in mind they are fragile and will not tolerate climate changes early. If you live in an area where temperatures fluctuate; keep your plant in it’s original growing location: placing the plant for a couple of hours at a time at it’s new destination. This will help the plant transition.