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posted
*Update:

Despite the initial ridiculous investment, I think the plants may have paid for themselves at this point. We seem to have a bottomless bowl of cherry tomatoes. I hope they're good for me because I always grab a few when I pass by.

Original post:

And for $3 each, they had better be, “but we grew them ourselves” my wife says of her and our daughter.

I thought there might be a valuable financial lesson, but once again I am as popular as the time I pointed out the $800 the swim team was so proud to have raised in food sales at our swim meet, cost $1,600 in food donations and 30 hours of volunteer labor.

Three plants at $8 each, $30 is soil, $20 of fertilizer, $50 for a raised planter box, and a yield of 40 cherry tomatoes.

It’s not even hard math.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: trapper189,
 
Posts: 7933 | Location: SWFL | Registered: October 10, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I used to be more of a gardener years back, still do the fruit trees. I’m in the process of making two modest sized raised bed frames.

The 1st order of business will be tomato plants of course, cherry & regular size. Around here it’s usually the end of May when they go in, even then, one may need to cover at times.

Yes, it’s often cheaper to just buy them at the fruit stand.
 
Posts: 5385 | Location: WI | Registered: February 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Optimistic Cynic
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Two of the planting spots in my garden are reserved for cherry tomato plants (out of 16 tomatoes of all sorts). We get many more than we can use (hundreds), and sure don't cost $3 apiece, probably not even 3¢ (disregarding the value of my time). They don't freeze well so the excess go into tomato sauce that does freeze well, and we enjoy the taste of fresh tomatoes throughout the year. The garden is a traditional in-the-ground plot, no "raised planters," retaining walls, or other artifacts other than pole supports, rewire cages, and drip irrigation.
 
Posts: 5061 | Location: NoVA | Registered: July 22, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Alienator
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We took seeds from cherry tomatoes we bought at Costco. We are on the 2nd year of planting them and have some many seedlings we are giving some away. It cost our time and soil/water since we were eating the cherry tomatoes anyway.


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Posts: 6491 | Location: NC | Registered: March 16, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you only got 40 tomatoes off 3 plants you're doing it wrong.


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Posts: 2354 | Location: West | Registered: December 03, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I grow 2 to 3 cherry tomato plants every year from a $1.99 seed packet that lasts 2 or 3 years. $1 per year.

Only costs about $7 per year in fertilizer.

Once the first one ripens mid-May, I get 30 to 70 per week until about Halloween when it slows down. Plant usually dies late Nov to mid Jan.

In other words, costs me less than a penny per tomato and you can't buy anything at the supermarket that tastes like my cherry tomatoes.

I'll admit that the first year was expensive with the tomato ladders, good soil, and all of the shit I bought that didn't work out (e.g. cheap ass tomato cages). However, the good stuff (e.g. tomato ladders) lasts many years. Brings it up to less that $.02 per tomato.



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Posts: 20839 | Location: N. Houston, TX | Registered: November 14, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yes, 3 plants should yield more than that. ESP cherry. And you know there aren’t any pesticides, chemicals, etc., and your daughter maybe has a better appreciation of the labor involved when she looks at the fruits and veggies at the store.
I think it’s worth it. I always have a tomato plant or two in the summer- so convenient to just grab it off the vine vs running to the store when I want to make a blt or add to a salad. And I know it’s ripe.


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Posts: 4649 | Registered: October 24, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by OldChimney:
If you only got 40 tomatoes off 3 plants you're doing it wrong.

That was a to date number. The plants are of course still producing and the cost per tomato is decreasing. It’s like charter fishing. The first fish is $1,000.
 
Posts: 7933 | Location: SWFL | Registered: October 10, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Update:

Despite the initial ridiculous investment, I think the plants may have paid for themselves at this point. We seem to have a bottomless bowl of cherry tomatoes. I hope they're good for me because I always grab a few when I pass by.
 
Posts: 7933 | Location: SWFL | Registered: October 10, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by trapper189:
quote:
Originally posted by OldChimney:
If you only got 40 tomatoes off 3 plants you're doing it wrong.

That was a to date number. The plants are of course still producing and the cost per tomato is decreasing. It’s like charter fishing. The first fish is $1,000.


Lol, that’s how i equate dove hunting.

First one costs a grand (gas, hotel, AZ license, food, Gatorade, beer, etc), rest are free. Big Grin







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You green thumb folks make me jealous. Me? I've managed to kill cactus plants. Confused



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Posts: 14154 | Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: June 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Lemme help you put a dent in the tomato supply... Here's one of my favorite recipes involving cherry tomatoes. Makes for a super quick and easy dinner meal.

Baked Feta Pasta

-~2 pints (17-20 ounces) cherry or grape tomatoes
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
-Kosher salt
-1 block (7-10 ounces) Greek feta cheese (make sure it's actually sheep/goat cheese)
-Crushed red pepper flakes
-Freshly ground black pepper
-Italian seasoning
-12-16 ounces medium-length dried pasta, such as cavatappi, farfalle, or rotini
-Fresh basil leaves, for serving


1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2) In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, combine the tomatoes, garlic, and half of the olive oil. Sprinkle with some salt and toss to coat.

3) Place the feta cheese in the center of the tomatoes and garlic, top with the remaining olive oil, and sprinkle the entire dish with red pepper flakes, a little black pepper, and a sprinkle of Italian Seasoning.

4) Bake on center rack for about 30-40 minutes, until the garlic has softened and the tomatoes have burst their skins. The top of the feta should just be starting to brown.

5) While the tomatoes and cheese bake in the oven, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water when draining the pasta.

6) Mash the baked feta and tomatoes in the dish with a fork or potato masher, and mix until evenly combined. Add the drained pasta, and mix with the sauce, adding a little of the reserved pasta water as needed if it looks a little dry. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.

7) Serve with basil on top. (Optional)


You can also halve the recipe, if it's just one or two of you. That's what I usually do. ~8 ounces of pasta (half a box), a pint of cherry tomatoes, 1/4 cup of olive oil, and the block of feta, baked in an 8x8 baking dish.
 
Posts: 28994 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I love using cherry tomatoes, very versatile.

You said you have a lot of them, make yourself some pasta amatriciana, one of the Big-4 pastas in Rome. Very, very easy to make, I use whatever pasta type available. If I only have bacon around, I'll use a little less than what it calls for using guanciale, as bacon is saltier.

https://www.bonappetit.com/rec...tini-all-amatriciana

https://www.epicurious.com/rec...o-romano-em-51221210
 
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quote:
Originally posted by sourdough44:
Yes, it’s often cheaper to just buy them at the fruit stand.


Well, yes it would be, IF you could find one that doesn't taste like spray-painted styrofoam.

It'll be another 2-3 weeks, but there will be 2 cherry tomato and two Bigger Boy tomatoes planted in my planter by the back door.

Taters and peas go in the regular Sunday, weather permitting.




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Posts: 14211 | Location: Downeast Maine | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by RogueJSK:
-Fresh basil leaves, for serving


They planted basil as well and holy cow is it potent.

I’m going to try that recipe, thank you. My wife will appreciate a break.
 
Posts: 7933 | Location: SWFL | Registered: October 10, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I usually plant 8 or 10 tomato plants and they go begging after a month or so. I'm going all out this year and planting 2 dozen. Early Girl, Better Boy, Celebrity, Bonnie's Original, Old German, Mr Stripey and Cherokee Purple. Got 18 in the ground now and will finish planting tomorrow.


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Posts: 3965 | Location: Sunnyside of Louisville | Registered: July 04, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by RogueJSK:


Baked Feta Pasta

-~2 pints (17-20 ounces) cherry or grape tomatoes
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
-Kosher salt
-1 block (7-10 ounces) Greek feta cheese (make sure it's actually sheep/goat cheese)
-Crushed red pepper flakes
-Freshly ground black pepper
-Italian seasoning
-12-16 ounces medium-length dried pasta, such as cavatappi, farfalle, or rotini
-Fresh basil leaves, for serving



I do a version of this but add white wine when cooking down the tomatoes. I will also add chicken if I want a complete meal. But yes, good feta is key.
 
Posts: 70 | Location: Oro Valley, Arizona | Registered: January 19, 2022Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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