Grubbing

In This Issue

A Tomato Plant you can Bring in for Winter, Spring Fig Check-in, Matt’s Wild Cherry—A Wild Tomato

Welcome. I’m Steven Biggs, a farm, food, and garden writer and speaker. I share stories about the food chain. I look at how food is grown, harvested, and processed—and how it makes its way to our plates through the retail chain. This is my newsletter. Thank you for your interest in what I do.

GROW FOOD

Linda Crago shows Emma one of her ‘House’ Tomatoes, a compact variety that is suited to keeping over the winter indoors in a pot.

Mon, Jun 03

House Tomato - A Variety that can Come in for Winter

Looking for a very compact tomato variety? Even better, one that is well suited to keep from year to year?

On the last episode of The Garage Gardeners Show, Emma chatted with tomato expert Linda Crago from Tree and Twig Heirloom Vegetable Farm. Linda told us about a compact little tomato variety called ‘House.’

“The neat thing about the house tomato is at the end of the season you can bring it in,” says Linda. She says she knows people who have kept these compact plants for a number of years.

Click here to hear Linda talk about House tomato.

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BIGGS ON FIGS

Ross Raddi talks about how to safely get fig trees growing in the spring.

Mon, Jun 03

Spring Fig Shuffle

Spring brings lots of questions for northern fig growers! Should you bring out or uncover your fig trees…or wait a few more days? How cold will it be for the next few days? How can you get the plants growing quickly?

“The biggest tip is heat…warm things up!” says fig expert Ross Raddi. I chatted with Ross in our latest Biggs-on-Figs segment on The Garage Gardeners Show.

Ross is a backyard orchardist in the Philadelphia area who has lots of fig plants. Ross talks about what to do with figs trees in the spring in cold climates, as they start to come out of dormancy.

Click below to hear Ross’ spring fig tips.

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KIDS GARDENING

A Wild Tomato for Kids

In her latest kids gardening blog for Harrowsmith magazine, Emma Biggs talks about a thin-skinned, intensely flavoured cherry tomato with wildly over-the-top production

By Emma Biggs

This tomato is truly a wild one. The plant, the production, and the flavour of Matt’s Wild Cherry Tomato is out of control!

In my previous post I talked about how productive Yellow Currant Tomato is, and this one is a huge producer too. But it’s different.

Teresa Arellanos de Mena, an agricultural specialist at Maine School of Agriculture, found this wonder growing wild on her property northeast of Mexico City. She gave some seeds to her colleague, Matt Liebman, who grew them with great success. He passed some seeds on to Johnny’s Selected Seeds, which decided to start selling them after more trialling. They named the tomato after him.

The strong vines of this beauty are wild down to the roots. They sprawl all over the place, being quick to take over. I definitely recommend training this variety. It doesn’t matter—caging or trellising—just watch it closely.

Though difficult to tame, the fruit from this monster of a plant are phenomenal. Click here to keep reading about Matt’s Wild Cherry Tomato.

 

NEW BOOKS

 

RADIO

Garage Gardeners Show

Our guests share tips on how to push garden boundaries. Live on Reality Radio 101, 2 pm ET, the first Wednesday of every month. Previous episodes are on the web page and Apple Podcasts. We cover subjects ranging from veg in the Yukon, edible flowers, container gardening, backyard chickens, year-round herbs, northern nuts, figs in the north, passive solar greenhouses, fruit on the prairies, straw-bale gardening, and year-round veg gardening.

THIS WEEK: FORAGING WITH ELLEN ZACHOS, HOT PEPPERS IN CONTAINERS, REMIXING TOMATOES WITH NIKI JABBOUR, AND A FIG GREENHOUSE IN PENNSYLVANIA

 

EVENTS

Mark your calendar! Here are some of the talks that my daughter, Emma, and I are giving over the next little while. Please say hi if you see us!

Lee Valley Vaughan. June 8, 2019. 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Join Emma for a kid-friendly demo as she explains how to grow microgreens. Perfect for kids—and perfect for adults who have only a windowsill for gardening. Book signing afterwards.

Lee Valley Scarborough. June 9, 2019. 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Join Emma for a kid-friendly demo as she explains how to grow microgreens. Perfect for kids—and perfect for adults who have only a windowsill for gardening. Book signing afterwards.

Lee Valley Burlington. June 15, 2019. 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. Join Emma for a kid-friendly demo as she explains how to grow microgreens. Perfect for kids—and perfect for adults who have only a windowsill for gardening. Book signing afterwards.

Mississauga Garden Festival. June 23, 2019. I present Edibles in Urban Landscapes at the Mississauga Garden Festival. Emma will be at a hands-on table for kids.

Cannington Horticultural Society. June 24, 2019. Join Emma as she presents Gardening with Emma.

AHS Youth and Children Gardening Symposium. July 12, 13, 2019. Emma and I are headed to Madison, Wisconsin to speak about engaging young people in gardening.

 

KEEP IN TOUCH