Sunday, March 29, 2009

A day of rest. (That is, of planting the rest of the tomato seeds.)

Today is another one of those Northwest spring days: sun, sleet, rain, and rainbows. The temperature is a bit on the cool side, 48°F, and with the intermittent sun, the greenhouse temperature is hovering at about 70°F. This is fine during the day, but it is not warm enough to maintain a decent temperature at night. If the greenhouse gets too cool, the seeds will not germinate, and instead rot in the damp soil. Therefore, I have to heat the greenhouse with a small space heater.

Sometimes when ordering seeds, our eyes are bigger than our planting areas. Consequently, we have a file box packed with seeds that will never see soil. After a couple years, the seed DNA breaks down and they will no longer germinate. However, some seeds hold up better than others, and tomatoes are one such seed.

I thought I had planted all of the tomatoes I should a few days ago, until the DW expressed a desire to have some Pineapple tomatoes again this year. I had to agree, as they are a mighty tasty heirloom. I hadn’t ordered any Pineapple this year, yet I knew we had a large amount of leftover seeds from last year, so I went rummaging for them. And, of course, I found many more varieties that called to me. Even if we don’t sell them, we’ll at least have a wide variety of types to choose from to plant in our own garden.

All of these seeds come from Gary Ibsen’s TomatoFest, as do the pictures and plant descriptions.
Pineapple. An heirloom garden favorite that grows to 2 lbs. This bi-colored, slightly flattened, yellow beefsteak has a red blushing and streaks on the outside. It's yellow interior contains few seeds and a red star-burst in the center. Taste is wonderfully mild with tropical fruity-sweet flavors. (The picture doesn't do justice to these tomatoes, as there is generally a bit more red in the shin and flesh of the fruit. They really are beautiful.)
Dagma's Perfection
Dagma’s Perfection. A vigorous and abundant producer of medium-sized (3”, 12 oz.), slightly flattened, pale-yellow fruits with delicate, light red striping. Deliciously flavorful with overtones of tropical fruit and subtle hints of lime. Firm, juicy and elegant in the mouth, and jewel-like in appearance.
Super Snow White Tomato
Super Snow White Cherry. Very sweet, 2 oz., ivory-colored tomatoes, larger than Snow White, but similar in taste. They ripen to reach almost the size of ping pong balls. These tomatoes are perfect for cutting in half to expose the beautiful interior and serving in salads.
Grandma Mary
Grandma Mary. Roma Type. An extremely productive variety producing 1 1/2 oz., 3-inch long red fruit. (I had to plant these for no other reason than Mary is my Dear Mother’s name.)
Black Cherry Tomato
Black Cherry. The only truly black cherry tomato. Our TomatoFest organic tomato seeds produce large, sprawling, indeterminate, regular-leaf, vigorous tomato plants that yield abundant crops in huge clusters of 1", round, deep purple, mahogany-brown cherry tomatoes. Fruits are irresistibly delicious with sweet, rich, complex, full tomato flavors that burst in your mouth, characteristic of the best flavorful black tomatoes.
Green Grape
Green Grape. This old-fashioned bush tomato is an heirloom originally developed by the Tater Mater Seed Co. from crossing the Yellow Pear with Evergreen. The distinctive, 1”, yellowish green fruits are borne in clusters of 6-12 that resemble large muscat grapes. Fruit has a translucent pale-green on the inside. This variety has become popular in restaurants and markets because of their unique attractiveness and great flavor.

All of the seeds were planted in open trays, and like the other tomatoes, will be transplanted into gallon cans when they have three sets of leaves. In that there about 50 seeds per tray, I know that I am going to have more tomatoes than I know what to do with, so tomorrow I will make some phone calls to see if I can find another buyer.

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