June 1, 2012
Last month I was contacted by a woman interested in giving me a couple of tomatoes. This woman's name was Deanna Douglas, and these weren't just some ordinary tomatoes. She explained to me that these heirloom fruits had been cultivated by her grandfather since WWII. Each year Grampy, as he was affectionately known, would choose 1 or 2 of the best looking tomatoes and save the seeds from them, first by soaking the seeds to remove the surrounding "goo" then by setting time out to dry. The seeds would be stored carefully away until the following March, when he would again begin to cultivate the tomato offspring, if you will.
These very special and historic tomatoes, whose variety name is Grampy's Tomatoes" are now growing in the newly-constructed raised beds at Procter. Deanna said she wanted to make sure some of this variety continued to be grown and what better place than a farm, where other veggies are already being tended. She also told me that the tomatoes are an interesting green striped and very sweet variety. Needless to say, I am excited to watch these special tomatoes grow and to taste the green tomatoes when they are ready.
If you are interested, next time you are at Procter take a couple of minutes to check out these tomato plants, exuding as much health and vigor as they are history.
Grampy's Tomato on the left and a Brandywine on the right, both given to me by Deanna.
Below are just a couple of snap shots of what has been going on at the farm.
I finally got the greenhouse endwalls painted! One thing I learned when buying the paint way back when the greenhouse was first constructed was that I had to wait until the temperature was above 50 degrees F at night and fairly dry, so the paint wouldn't just warp off the wet and cold wood. A couple of weeks ago I got the perfect conditions and went for it. It was a great experience, one, because I love painting, and two, because now I know the wood is protected from the elements and will last longer.
Some little scallions are making their way in the clay-dirt. With the rain we are getting now they are sure to spring up a couple of inches. Alliums love water!
I am amazed at how well the beets have grown over the past couple of weeks. As I learned from two visiting farmers from California, beets and other root crops do rather well in clay-y soil. This was from a shared observation though none of us really understood the reasoning behind the result; given that the fruit of a root crop grows mostly in the soil has to push its way through the clay in order to expand in size. Any ideas?