Get A Load Of These Tomatoes…

My approach to putting in our summer garden this year was thoughtful and meticulous.  We planted most items from organic Seeds of Change heirloom seeds, starting them in our new little grow house; then we rebuilt our raised beds and brought in the best vegetable planting soil.   After rotating the planting arrangement from last year for better production and ordering heirloom tomato trellises so these abundant plants have room to breathe – we planted and fed with an organic tomato fertilizer from Gardner’s Supply.  Now we keep our fingers crossed.  The plants are taking off and look healthy…

My first early girls and one zebra are in….they are flavorful and beautiful, yay!  I picked four tomatoes along with some of my gorgeous Genovese basil and  heirloom chives…will have a little salad with these tonight.  I am a proud mama of these babies!

But then we go up to Napa and I walk around the gardens and grow house for the French Laundry restaurant and am stunned.  Look at these guys…whew…talk about abundance on a vine!  While I would expect nothing less from Thomas Keller’s garden…this season’s harvest was literally breathtaking.  Their method of trellising  inside their grow house was interesting and obviously, truly effective.  There were wires running the length of a planting bed at the top…with reels of string used to tie the top of each tomato stem, something they can reel “up” as the plant grows…it works beautifully.

Partial view of French Laundry summer garden...including grow house, chicken coop, rows and rows of vegetables...

Partial view of French Laundry summer garden…including grow house, chicken coop, rows and rows of vegetables…the tomatoes in the photos below are just a few of the ones abundantly growing inside the white grow house in the background of this photo

In the hot house...prolific and fascinating varieties of tomatoes...trellised with string on reels...ingenious and effective

In the hot house…prolific and fascinating varieties of tomatoes…trellised with string on reels…ingenious and effective

IMG_6540 IMG_6548Purple, blue and gold tomatoes IMG_6521

Deep purple and purple and orange...beautiful tomatoes

Deep purple and purple and orange…beautiful tomatoes


  1. Did you pick any?

  2. No…but we were tempted 🙂

  3. That reeling up the plants business sounds like an excellent idea. I don’t think I’ve ever seen purple tomatoes before, I bet the smell in that grow house was amazing. (Well done for not picking any.) I’m not surprised you’re proud of your produce, growing your own food is a wonderful thing to do and some day I’d love to grow my own tomatoes as I’ve never done it and I eat tomatoes pretty much every day. Delicious!

  4. I had not seen purple tomatoes like these before either…they were just perfectly gorgeous. Guess it helps to have a full team out there in your garden to grow veggies like this…I love tomato season! Guess you’d have to grow yours in a hot house to start them.

  5. Yes, tomatoes have to be grown in a greenhouse here, although if the weather we’re having at the moment becomes more normal (28 degrees C today, which is not at all common in Scotland!) then maybe we could grow them outdoors. I was telling my mum about your blog post as she loves the smell of fresh tomatoes on the vine and I think I made her quite hungry. I’ll need to show her these purple tomatoes.

  6. I wish we could have tasted the purple ones – they were just gorgeous. All of them were and I still can’t believe how prolific each plant was in that grow house. I just love tomato season as it gets later into the summer. We are lucky to get sunny, hot days…up to 90 degrees F. (I don’t know how to convert that to celcius)… our average temperature is 72 degrees F. quite lovely…