Monday, May 20, 2013

When the Circus Comes to Town...

We rolled out the heirloom tomato big top this weekend. I always enjoy the carnivalesque nature of the production... sledgehammer pounding the sleeves that anchor our tension wire posts. We plant each rootball a foot deep to encourage adventitious rooting from their stems.

We did a few things differently this year, hopefully improving on experience. First, we planted our San Marzano paste tomatoes in the western-most row. Traditionally, some heirlooms on the west face of our planting get sunburned. Not only will the paste tomatoes be less susceptible to this issue, even if there is some sun scald, it will not effect our yield since these will all be sauced anyway. Another thing we did differently this year was to shuffle our varieties rather than planting each variety with its kind. That way, should one bed out-perform another, each variety is sure to be well-represented in the mix. Also, in addition to the heirlooms, we planted Johnny's epic Sun Golds on the ends of the middle two rows for the children's enjoyment!

Without further ado, our heirloom varieties for 2013 (in the rotation order in which we planted them)~>

Virginia Sweet
Gold Medal
Marvel Stripe
Dagma's Perfection
Mortgage Lifter
Paul Robeson
German Pink
Brandywine (Sudduth's Strain)
Ananas Noir
Sunset's Red Horizon

With a sunny 88 degrees today, the race is on like Donkey Kong to the tops of their cages!

Friday, May 17, 2013


We harvested our Encore Mandarins this week. They are our final commercial variety of citrus for the year, although we're still enjoying an abundance of stragglers.

Our summer crops are enjoying this warm spring. Tomatillos, basil, pumpkins, beans and sunflowers have germinated and are taking off. Onion and kale transplants are in the ground, and 84 holes for heirloom tomatoes are dug and prepped with compost. We will transplant them tomorrow. They are already 2.5' tall in their 4" pots!

Interestingly, we had a fantastic set on our stone fruit this year, particularly the Italian Prune Plums, but a very weak set on our pears. Gigantic pears it is. Grapes, kiwis, avocados, citrus, persimmons and pomegranates are flowering now, and all are loaded with bees.

Next up Hass Avocados!!