My first post is about cherry tomatoes! After 3 years of failure, I finally grew tomatoes on our north-facing, shade-loving apartment balcony! The tricks seemed to be:
1) Planting early (February)
2) Blasting those seedlings with a grow light the first few months
3) Our super awesome planter, which holds water much better than a tiny pot and lets the roots grow deep
4) Cherry tomatoes! Those babies are prolific and don’t need as much sun as other tomato varieties
Our cherry tomato plant responded really well this year, growing up about 3 feet, hanging over the balcony rail, and then growing down 4 feet. The thing is tall! The two early girls did ok, but I think I only got about 10 mealy fruits from them.
Since I’m not the biggest fan of cherry tomatoes, I decided to cook them down to make bruschetta. It turned out great! I didn’t really follow a recipe, I just tossed the tomatoes in a little olive oil and roasted them at 400 degrees for 45 min. After they cooled down I mixed them with a splash of red wine vinegar, a few cloves of minced garlic, salt, pepper, and chopped fresh basil. The mix was spread on toasted french bread and topped with more fresh basil and pine nuts. That’s it! The roasting really concentrated the tomato flavor so it was super sweet and tangy. A perfect summer treat that brings back childhood memories of growing a summer garden with my family.