Ugly Betties

tomatoes with cat face and splits

Tomato time is here.  Many of those I am picking are quite unattractive.  I am getting lots that are cracking and many that are cat faced.  The orange tomato in the foreground is cat faced–having ugly brown scars.  These are caused by cool temps during fruit formation.  Our erratic weather this summer caused this.  As far as the splitting, weather wins again.  Temperature swings, extremes, and plenty of moisture are causing the fruits to crack.  Neither of these change flavor and are completely cosmetic, but they are annoying.  I am still sending plenty of cherry tomatoes down to the restaurant, but I may not be able to send as many heirlooms for slicing as I had hoped. 

 
Here is a link about cat faced fruit:
and here is one about splitting:
Here is Cornell’s Tomato disease Identification site: http://vegetablemdonline.ppath.cornell.edu/diagnostickeys/TomWlt/TomWiltKey.html 
 
I am ever aware of how lucky I am to not be trying to sell at market–to a public that is trained to look for perfect, unblemished fruit. Today’s lesson is that the we need, as consumers, to look beyond the package and look for quality.
 
In the end, after losing 42 plants to blight last year, I am happy to be harvesting at all.  I will use my ugly tomatoes gladly.