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Showing posts from May, 2010

Order in the Garden

The first year that Fink Farm was in operation, we devoured Mel Bartholomew's Square Foot Gardening.  A 10-foot by 12-foot plot isn't much.  We pegged off one-foot measures on two adjoining sides, and rolled some pebbled pavers into position to give us places to stand amongst our soon to be thriving garden.

But then things started spinning out of alignment.

For starters, it became clear that running string across the dirt in one-foot increments was going to create one nasty arrangement for digging on any scale at all. All I could envision was a broken ankle from hopping over all that string.

Heirloom Tomatoes: The Next Generation

Kate can't resist a garden center.

A trip to CostCo. to use a coupon for printer toner for me ended up with a sharp left into the garden center. Before I could say, "Whoaaaaaa . . . " Kate was cradling a pack of three gallons of heirloom tomatoes and crooning to it.
Last year we planted the common tomatoes that I remember from the Oklahoma summers of my childhood -- round, regular and red. Better Boy, Big Beef -- who knows what the plants' marketing names were.

The tomatoes that Kate fell in love with are labeled heirlooms* -- Shady Lady, Bobcat and Monica.

I've always loved the concept of heirlooms.  These are tomatoes that have pollinated in a natural way in an open garden. The gardeners who originally grew them, selected their seeds for specific desirable characteristics -- color of the fruit, flavor, disease resistance, productivity, etc. They often share the seeds with others. An heirloom tomato seed can easily have a documented provenance, just like a wor…

Summer Heat's a Coming

The cabbages are balling. The scallions are bulging. The red chard is bolting.  The volunteer yellow grape tomato plant is filling out with tiny green tomatoes.

Kate just put in some strawberries. The first distinctive leaves and tendrils are rising to attach themselves to the bamboo trellis we have for peas and beans . . .  It's a beautiful day in the garden.