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Happy 4th

July 9th, 2015

When I was younger, I remember my mom always trying to have a ripe tomato by July 4th. She used wall of waters, started planted early, and did all sorts of things to have tomatoes extra early. This year, I started ‘Glacier’ and ‘Stupice’ in early April. I planted some in the garden and some in pots. The ones in pots produced lovely ripe tomatoes on the 4th of July.
first ripe tomato 1
first ripe tomato 2
This isn’t too bad for Maine with no greenhouse. Next year I may try growing some in a low tunnel to see if that hastens ripening.
first ripe tomato 3
If you live in a colder climate, consider starting a few cold tolerant varieties and grow them in pots in a sunny location. The warmth of the soil in a container will help them grow and fruit faster.
first ripe tomato 4
I also realized that I haven’t yet published my list of the tomato varieties I’m growing this year, it includes a few old favorites and some new and exciting ones as well. I think I might wait until I start getting a few ripe ones so I can show you what they look like.

What’s the earliest you have harvested a tomato in your garden?

Cold Tolerant Tomatoes

April 28th, 2015

I’ve always grown a couple cold tolerant tomato plants for early fruit. They’re not nearly as good as a an heirloom on a hot summer day, but they’re better than grocery store tomatoes. This year I’m growing ‘Stupice’ and ‘Glacier’, both tolerant of temperatures down to about 40. I have read that some cold tolerant varieties will even set fruit when it’s this cold. Today I plan on moving a few to these lovely out into the low tunnel in the back garden, a few will be planted in pots to be put in a sheltered location by a rock wall. I’ll give a few away to local friends to try as well. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, my mom has always been trying to get an early tomato, one year she had one for the Fourth of July. We’ll see how early I can be enjoying a freshly harvested tomato on my BLT.
cold tolerant tomatoes 2
Another reason I love growing these varieties is to help maintain them. Years ago cold tolerant vegetables were selected and passed along to friends/neighbors in cold areas. We have lost some of that information and diversity. It’s wonderful that we live in a time when it’s easy to connect with so many people and these resilient varieties of fruits and vegetables are once again readily available to us.

Do you try to beat the season with cold tolerant varieties?

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.