Monday, May 20, 2013

Tomato Smoothie

Mr. Hunter/Gatherer and I have been playing at being Mr. and Mrs. Farmer Brown for the last few years.  We have a nice sized backyard so we are able to have a garden, a deck, a little room for five water barrels and the three dogs.  Every year we either add a new water barrel or we add a new bed in the garden.  We aren't able to add to the garden this year but I have a feeling there will be a new water barrel for front lawn watering.

Our garden consists of six raised beds of different sizes and shapes.  We rotate our crops and we even try to compost as much as we can in our one compost barrel.  Composting is slow and some of our crops have suffered because we did not realize just how often we should be giving them extra nutrients.  One example of that, is our tomatoes. 

We love having slicing tomatoes for sandwiches but mostly we love those little Romas so we can either can or freeze them for later use.  Last year I didn't get very many from the eight plants we had.  We had bottom rot.  I have also seen it called BER (Bottom End Rot).  I pin loads of things on Pinterest on a daily basis and have seen a few home remedies for this, so this year I tried the Tomato Smoothie (this is my term).

For many months now I have been saving all the coffee grounds from my Espresso machine and my eggs from cooking on the weekends.  I have a small bowl by the coffee machine and save the "pucks" until the bowl gets full and then dump them all into a gallon freezer bag along with any eggs.  I keep the bag in the freezer so one, it won't stink and two, it takes a while to save up enough to make a Tomato Smoothie.  Here is how I did it...
 Here is the one gallon bag with the eggs and coffee grounds.  I thawed them out before I did the next step.  It took overnight before that whole bag thawed.  I had two bags saved up.

At first I tried putting everything into the dry grind pitcher for the Vita Mix thinking it would blend it down into a nice coffee/egg powder.  Nope. The grounds were too dense to let the machine do it's job. The Vita Mix put up a fight.  I didn't want to burn out the motor so I added water to loosen it up.  That was fine until I figured out I couldn't get the whole gallon bag into the smaller container. 
 What a mess!
 As you can see it was not a nice clean operation.  I deployed every tool in my arsenal to get the job done.  I had coffee splattered everywhere on my white cabinets.  Ugh!
 Finally, I switched to the larger pitcher and added way more water.  The contents of the blue bucket is two gallon bags beaten to a pulp which created a texture similar to a smoothie or a nice brownie mix.
 Farmer Brown went outside and stirred the mixture up and then poured it around the tomato plants.  We had to hurry because it was going to rain and we wanted that stuff to go to the roots.
 Here is the Tomato Smoothie poured on the ground.  Yummy!
 Then it was blended into the area around each of the plants.  It did rain but we won't know for a while if this worked.  I have never tried this before but if nothing else it made a nice liquid compost for the tomatoes and an odd blog post.  I will let you know as the summer goes on if this worked.  I am not sure how often we should be doing this but I have a new bag of eggs and coffee pucks started in the freezer.


Ria said...

coffee grounds are great for tomatoes. I add some about every 3 to 4 weeks. From what the trainers at the nursery said end rot is usually from calcium deficiency. Many plant foods don't really have a lot. The acid in the coffee grounds should ( I believe - we didn't discuss egg shells) help the calcium from the egg shells get in the soil. I have had great success using an organic fish fertilizer that includes the fish bones. Not one bad tomato last year... too many tomatoes last yer LOL!

vlb5757 said...

Ria, thanks for the heads up on the fish fertilizer. I might have to resort to using that if my coffee grounds and egg shells don't keep up. I really wanted more tomatoes last year. I have a ton of canning jars that need filling!