Tuesday, June 1, 2010

'City' Farmer

Tomato plants

Last summer we visited Old Sturbridge Village with my brother, his wife, and their 2 kids (the ones that gave me the name Uncle Tractor).  If you haven't been there, it is a re-creation of an early 19th century New England village.  We listened to the workers (in period clothing) discussing their garden, when one visitor asked "Where are your tomato plants?".  The workers responded "You must be a city dweller.  Only they would grow tomatoes!"

Well, I must be a city farmer.  We don't grow a large garden.  My real job keeps me busy enough.  So, I grow what I like - and I like tomatoes.

We buy our plants from a local nursery. As usual, we grow mainly roma tomatoes, though we always grow a few slicing tomatoes.  This year I'd thought I'd try an heirloom variety - Old German.

I am, a lazy gardener.  I till the garden bed, and then spread weed fabric over the entire bed.  I place old boards on the fabric to hold it down and to give a place to stand when working in the garden.  I then slit X's in the fabric, and plant the tomatoes in the openings.  The black fabric keeps the weeds down, holds in moisture, and absorbs the sun to keep the beds warm.  This year, we put in 10 roma plants and 3 Old Germans.  I also put 3 other Old Germans in pots along with some more roma tomatoes.  This should give us enough tomatoes to have fresh tomatoes during the late summer and store away many quarts to tomatoes to have during the coming year.

I hope the tomato crop is better than last year.  It was cold and wet last year, and the tomato plants just  stayed dormant.  The hotter the better when it comes to tomatoes.

I'm not sure what other plants we will grow.  We always do some herbs (though we grow quite a few indoors already) and beans.  One of these years this 'city' farmer will get serious and expand the garden to include enough corn and beans to freeze.  The wife would also like to grow garlic and a lot of peppers.  Only time will tell...

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