Ode to Tomatoes

Posted in: Garden, Market | 0

Today’s the Big Day!

Time to sow this year’s crop of Tomatoes. Four big foam coolers are set up with bottles of hot water for bottom heat and six hundred teeny-tiny seeds are pressed into their nursery cells.

Now we wait… When they emerge the fragile little seedlings will get moved to the south-east light shelves for almost two months. Phewf!

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It is quite an investment in time, space, and energy – not to mention the mess. Please don’t mention the mess!

Tomatoes make very little sense in a Maritime garden. They are tropical plants that really like heat and they also have a long growing season. Here, we have terrible conditions for the culture of tomatoes. Our season is short, our Spring comes late and our growing conditions are often cool and cloudy. Tomatoes don’t produce well with the 60º F days that often pass for Summer around here, so we do baby them with mini-greenhouses and we wait to transplant them as long as possible. Then there are myriad different diseases that can wipe out a carefully tended crop in a matter of days. Eep!

Gardeners, however, are a tenacious lot and we really do like to grow tomatoes. Tomatoes are pretty much a universal favourite Vegetable Garden plant – they are beautiful, very versatile and also very tasty. Spicy Salsa, Fresh Pasta Sauce, Sun-dried tomatoes, Homemade Ketchup and, of course, Tomato Salads – all make Tomato growing seem worthwhile.

Tomatoes do really seem to get more than their fair share of the vegetable adoration. I always imagine the Kale, Beets and Cabbages that are so well suited to our climate must be be side-eyeing these prima donnas. “Why do they get all the juice when we work so much harder?”

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Hope is high that next year we will be able to build a fairly large Hoop-house and all the wild and crazy Tomatoes can have a proper Tropical Paradise of their very own (I think I just might move in too!).

When it all comes together it is so very beautiful. Ripe colourful fruits that are ready to become beautiful meals (those brown spots on the Tomato leaves? – Wind-burn. Yup, pretty much windy all the time here).

 

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