It's time to plant tomatoes, the world's most popular fruit. I'm amazed at the variety of heirloom tomatoes that are available at the local nurseries this year. Many heirloom tomatoes were passed from generation to generation as family treasures. I love reading about the origins of the seeds. The colors, tastes, textures and shape of these fruits are truly amazing (from the catalog photos anyway). I'm addicted to tomatoes. I'd love to have one of each variety. Here are a few of the varieties that I'll be planting for the first time. (I picked these up at Farmyard)
Pineapple, a large tomato that ripens to a bright yellow with red stripes. Brandywine, large, pink fleshed fruit, great flavor. These two tomatoes are on the large side, which means they will take a longer time to mature. I'm not sure how these will do in our summer heat. We shall see. Persimmon, this tomato dates back to the 1800's. One of the best shorter season yellow tomatoes. Green Zebra, dark green with yellow stripes, sweet yet spicy and tangy. Stupice, 2 to 3", sweet, flavorful red fruit. Arkansas, yields abundant crop of 8 ounce, round, rose-pink tomatoes. Paul Robson, medium deep, maroon tomato.
A great place to stay up to date on what grows best in your area is the local nursery. If you listen closely, you can hear your fellow gardeners talking!
My husband and I have been gardening for many years, not so much for the food security, but for the beauty, satisfaction, and peace that gardening and growing things bring you. We started small, a couple of tomatoes, a few zucchini, and lots of flowers. It didn't really matter how much we harvested. We really didn't eat from our garden. We didn't know how. The lettuce was always a little bitter . The tomatoes always had holes in them and there was a Safeway just down the street. The important thing was that we were having fun. We loved working together with our children beside us. There is something comforting about watching your kids play in the dirt or happily run down the brick paths with nowhere to go. Our garden was the center of the earth ,we were firmly planted there and that was all that mattered. A couple of years ago, something important started to take place. A shift began to take shape, not only to us , but to our communities. The meaning of food began to change. Where the food came from, what was in it and how it nourishes us. Perhaps the connection between what we eat and how we feel finally began to set in. For us, it was time to get serious. It was time to eat from our garden.
" I am a mad gardener. I mutter and rant, and at night I shake dry seeds out of my unruly mane of hair. The garden is in my bones, in my gut, and in my hands. "
Wendy Johnson , Gardening at the Dragons Gate
Inch by inch, row by row Gonna make this garden grow Gonna mulch it deep and low Gonna make it furtile ground
Inch by inch, row by row Please bless these seeds I sow Please keep them safe below 'Till the rain comes tumbling down
Pullin' weeds and pickin' stones We are made of dreams and bones Need a place to call my own 'Cause the time is close at hand
Grain for grain, sun and rain Find my way in nature's chain Tune my body and my brain To the music of the land
Plant your rows straight and long Season them with prayer and song Mother Earth will make you strong If you give her love and care An old crow watches hungrily from his perch on younder tree In my garden I'm as free as that feathered bird up there