Thursday, April 14, 2011

Learning Curve

Both of us were so excited- seeing the tomato seeds we had waited on, planted and cheered for- were finally growing. Out of the 70 seeds we planted we had 2or 3 of each variety pop up, so roughly 23 seedlings.... then something happend. Not sure what but the  seedlings aren't doing so great. Utter disappointment.
We are trying to do a ( 8-10 customers small) CSA this year. We have the space and we love to be in the garden. We shared a load of produce last year with friends and neighbors and after doing re-search this winter, we decided to try our hands at this new  project. So we picked the seeds we wanted very carefully.
And now to have this tomato issue crop up has taught us - maybe we need to stick to buying tomato plants. We can grow everything else from seed- but we are not tomato growers. So now I'm online hunting, making phone calls trying to find heirloom variety tomato plants. I've found 5 of the 8 varieties we had picked. Praying we can get them all ordered and here soon. We have people counting on us this year for their tomato needs, plus our own. We shall see. Ben and I are not easy people to give up and give in. We take each challenge as it comes deal with it and move on. On a positive note - radishes, peas, carrots and lettuce are coming up. Chard, kale and other greens are planted. Herbs are in and we are still excited. Happy Gardening.

Friday, April 1, 2011

You say TaMayToe, I say TaMawToe

We finally got the last batch of seeds that we had ordered and got them planted last night. It was all our tomato seeds. Ben was getting a little nervous, afraid that they would not get here in time, but they did. 7 different heirloom breeds. I can't wait for you to see how fabulous these fruits have the potential to be. First is the awesome Roma, San Marzano. It has a really unique history from Italy and then it made its way across oceans and ended up in Peru and now its here for all to enjoy.

Black from Tula

Next, we have the beautiful Black from Tula. It's supposed to be knock
your sandals off  tasty and it has the most unique coloring. I can not wait to try this one out. Its supposed to slice up great and I hope ours look as good as the ones here in the picture.

Now we move to the roma Amish Paste.
Amish Paste
 Sources say its one of the best sauce tomatoes out there. Ben is anxious to get these beauties off the vine and into the sauce pot. On to the Giant Belgium. Just look at the picture. Can you imagine - the info on this great tomato says to expect fruits upto 4 pounds, yes thats right 1 tomato can weigh 4 pounds. Can you say AWESOME ? !!!

Giant Belgium
Chocolate Cherry
Ben is totally indulging me with the Chocolate Cherry. I love little tomatoes, the ones you can just pop into your mouth and enjoy. Or maybe toss a handful into a salad for a quick supper. I hope mine look as good as the ones in the picture.

Next up is The Mortgage Lifter. Another tomato with a cool story behind it. The Mortgage Lifter tomato was developed in the early 1930's in Logan, West Virginia by a radiator repairman, M.C. "Radiator Charlie" Byles.
Mortgage Lifters

Without any experience in breeding, he made a successful cross of four of the largest tomatoes he could find - German Johnson, Beefsteak, an Italian variety, and an English variety. Radiator Charlie sold the first seedlings of his new tomato in the 1940's for one dollar each to customers who drove up to 200 miles for his famous plants that bore tasty tomatoes averaging two and a half pounds. With these sales, Charlie managed to pay off his $6,000 mortgage in only six years, and so the tomato was named Mortgage Lifter. See told you - cool story.  On to the Mule Team tomato- could not find any neat pics of this one but the info on it says a high yielding plant with near perfect blemish free skin. OK sounds good to me. Last one is Riesentraube, and again Ben is indulging me.

These little maters grow in clusters like grapes. A German variety of tomato that the Pennsylvania Dutch was growing in the 1850's. These little ones are also supposed to be phenomenal for tomato wine.... Hmmmm not sure if I want to try that, but I'm sure they will be fabulous for eating !!  So here's to hoping that the little seeds we planted last  night will give us some of this same beautiful fruit. Will keep you posted on how the seeds do.