I am so honoured to be featured in Garden Makers magazine!
My dad and I are highlighted in "20 Making a Difference." It's an article about passionate gardeners and organizers making our landscape greener.
It has been such a busy summer, and it is not over yet. We have been away a lot, and with 68 varieties of tomatoes, and a whole bunch of other vegetables I have not had much time for anything else.
I have so many different types of tomatoes. Big, small, Purple, brown, cherry, beefsteak, any type you can think of. I am growing my tomato plants in cages, on trellises, up twine, and up stakes. They are so crazy. I have to harvest every second day, and pinch off the never ending supply of suckers.
Yesterday I picked a 2 pound tomato!
In July I was on Niki Jabbour's radio show, The Weekend Gardener, talking about growing vegetables. Her show is from Halifax, Nova Scotia.
I grew a gigantic tomato. The variety is Lebanese Mountain. 2 pounds, 13 ounces! My goal next year? Bigger!
What do you do with 50 tomatoes every two or three days?
With my currant and cherry tomato plants, I’m getting so many tomatoes. My solution is making a salad. I slice my tomatoes, chop up some basil for the top, and then add salt, pepper, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. I also add some bocconcini or feta cheese if I have any.
I then add some more flavour to my salad by choosing some herbs to throw in. I have been experimenting with different herbs from my garden, and I think my favourite so far is tangerine mint.
On Saturday April 16, I was at the Food Gardening Show in Toronto.
I was in charge of the kid’s activities, so I had garden and red wiggler worms, newspaper pot making, seed starting, and sprout planting tables. I also had seed art, where you can create designs and patterns with seeds, glue, and paper.
It was fun for me teaching kids about gardening. And I also bought some plants for my garden!
I have so many great crops I’m growing this year: So many tomatoes, carrots, flowers and herbs. Here are a few that I am really excited about growing.
White Russian Kale
I have never seen such a weird colour for kale before. This variety has green wavy leaves with white stems and veining. It is said to be one of the best tasting varieties and is very tender and hardy.
I love weird colours and shapes, but I also love weird sizes, like the small currant tomatoes or Mammoth Russian sunflowers. This is ordinary dill with some extra size.
Cool looks, cool textures. How about cool flavours. The lemon cucumber is a lemon-shaped yellow cucumber with sweet tender flesh.
Red Meat Radish
What’s the colour of a radish? Red! What about a Red Meat radish: green on the outside with a tie-dye red inside. A fun variety!
Last year my tomato plants produced over 700 tomatoes which gave me the idea to set an even higher goal this year: 1,000 tomatoes!
In 2015 I grew about 20 plants, so with 30 plants in 2016, I bet I can make my goal.
I don’t know how I’m going to fit all 20-30 tomato plants in my backyard with a black walnut tree and so many other crops to grow. (Did you know a tomato can die if there is a black walnut tree nearby?) I might ask my grandfather to use some of his backyard and give him some of the harvest.
My dad said we can grow some tomatoes on our garage roof. And maybe a few in pots on the driveway.
A neighbour up the street from us grows 100 tomato plants with a yard less than half the size of ours, so I know I can do it!
Last year we ate most of the tomatoes fresh, but some we turned into tomato sauce and some we left in our basement to ripen. We just finished our last couple of fresh tomatoes in a bruschetta a couple of days ago. Yes, in March! The winter tomato is THE tomato that will last you all winter long. A few ripen in the fall and any that are not ripe you just leave in a cool spot to ripen.
One of my absolute favourites is Canadian Sunset. It is a great big yellow beefsteak tomato. Another favourite is Tiger Tom. It’s a really great producer, has great flavour, and cool colours.
This year I am really excited about growing the Paul Robeson tomato. It’s supposed to have a very unique spicy flavour.
Shopping for Tomato Seeds and Plants?
On May 21, 22, and 23 there is an heirloom tomato plant sale called Tomato Days at Tree and Twig Farm in Wellandport, Ontario. I love this sale!
If you’re in Toronto, there is a Seedy Sunday at Evergreen Brickworks on Sunday March 20 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m..
A few weeks ago I was at a Seedy Saturday and I got lots of seed from Colette at Urban Harvest seeds. She has a great sections of seed, from lemon cucumbers to cinnamon basil and pineapple tomato.
What’s your goal? 1000 tomatoes? 200 cucumbers? Maybe 20 pumpkins?