I thought I would give you all an update on our heirloom tomatoes. Back in April I attended a class at the Love Apple Farm in Ben Lomond, CA, just above Santa Cruz. Cynthia Sandberg is the Tomato Queen and her farm provides the tomatoes for one of the country’s finest restaurants, Manresa in Saratoga, CA. The Executive Chef was just named the James Beard Award Winner for the Best Chef in the Pacific Region. It was a wonderful experience, my first time growing vegetables from seeds. I never knew there was that much to learn about tomatoes! I took copious notes and went home with my tray of seeds, full of confidence.
A few weeks later, the baby tomatoes were ready for their first transplanting. Our tray had 48 sections with 3 to 4 seeds in each. I didn’t expect more than half to germinate, but they all did. Folks that is over 150 seedlings!! I felt terrible having to cull them, but we kept the strongest 48 and put them into plastic cups (yes, we poked holes in the bottoms.) We had 8 different kinds of tomatoes, 6 of each. It was like having a dog with a litter of puppies. I felt compelled to find good homes for all of them! And thanks to my wonderful family and friends, they are all happily ensconced in their new yards.
We don’t have much of a garden, as you can see in the pictures, but James found room for our babies. And to be honest, they would probably not be alive if it weren’t for James. He definitely has the green thumb in this family – he and his father. For the most part I stood next to him, handing him things, saying, “I’m helping!” LOL He worked hard to turn our mostly clay soil into something plants would love. And obviously he did a good job because they are now about 3-feet tall and thriving!
So, in a month or two we’ll have tomatoes coming out our ears. I have friends lined up who will help with canning, on the promise that we all share in the bounty. I will probably never want to see another tomato after this season, but we’ll have plenty of canned tomatoes to make pasta sauce all winter long. James will be thrilled!