Monday, May 23, 2011

Tomatoes, People and Pincushions

 This weekend was all about tomatoes and people for me.
Well, a bit more too.

Life never seems to allow you to have one or even two focuses.
And that, I believe is a good thing.

I had a sense it was going to be a good weekend for my sale because I am a bit of a superstitious person.

When Mollie came running out of the  coop on Saturday morning where my "old girls" (10 year old chickens) reside and cried with enthusiasm "an egg, mom, an egg", I knew for certain "Tomato Days" would go well.  The lovely old gals put their heads together I think and decide who will push out the yearly egg that I charge them for their room and board.  And magically, it was the Saturday of 'Tomato Days".

Thanks girls, for your contribution.

But by then there were actually lots of people here.  Thankfully, we had a gorgeous day and a lot of enthusiasm for heirlooms. All good in my books.

I wish I could have spoken to everyone that came.  I know I did do a lot of talking...I felt a bit hoarse on Saturday night, and then again Sunday.  If people had to wait for help I apologize.  But it does seem to me that tomato-types don't get too bent out of shape about these things.

Let me tell you some stories about the tomato plant sales this year.

I received an email shortly before my sale weekend from a woman who had a dear friend dying of cancer.  Her friend had been an avid gardener all her life, especially loving tomatoes and hoping to taste a fresh one before her time came.  This kind friend sought me out and I hope the Stupice plants she has now can do just that..give her fruit within the next 2 months.   Tell me, is it divine intervention that one of the plants I gave her already had fruit forming?  The love of gardening and growing your own food runs deep.  The therapeutic value is immense.

Again this year I saw Dennis from Burlington.  He's been quite ill this year he tells me, but he still wants his Stokesdale tomatoes.  He phoned me maybe 6 or 7 years ago asking about this variety of tomato.  I was lucky enough to find the seed through the SSE seed exchange and Dennis has been coming ever since.

It seems when he was young, his parents owned a tomato farm and grew 10, 000 Stokesdale plants a year.  The taste takes him back...a good place to be.  I'm actually not sure if many other people pick up the Stokesdale plants.  I continue to grow them and save the seed.  Good tomato.  Maybe you should give it a try.

I have such a mix of people. Younger people just getting into gardening who have a million questions....where does the broccoli form on the plant, how many carrots do you get from one seed, how do you plant beans? Can I grow in containers, can I plant now, and most importantly what is your best advice about growing tomatoes?

There are the people too who have gardened all their lives and are disgusted by the hybrid plants they are finding in the garden centres.  Hundreds of people say "show me a tomato that tastes like a tomato!"  They want red, not the stripes or peachy skins or colours.

I believe I did!  "Abe Lincoln", "Believe It or Not", "Stump of the World"  and many, many more lovely reds are nestling in their new garden homes tonight.

And so many kind people. Firstly all my family and friends who helped.  (You all left your jackets and sweaters behind and they are hanging up in the garage!)  Mary from Simcoe, whom I see every year, a fellow tomato enthusiast , who brought some wonderful ornamental plants for Mollie's garden.  You are too kind.

Linda, from St David's who brought me the most wonderful tomato pincushions, made with her son William's help. fantastic.

I look forward to this weekend too, because I see my Crago relatives from "God's country" as my dad would say.  My cousins Beth and Fred make the trek down from Lucan for their garden goodies. Fred now believes, I think, that tomatoes are good even if they aren't red.  He loves his yellow pear and the ground cherries are a hit.  Thanks for the wonderful baking, Beth. You are both the best!  Maybe this is the year I'll get up to visit you.

We dug up a few garden things too.  Wild violets and bloody dock were admired and the excess is happy in it's new homes.  Gardeners share. This"business" is never all business.

It was great to have "No Guff Gardening" author Steven Biggs here as well as Josie from Cake and Loaf. A good read, a good feed. It all fit so well.

And tomatoes?  YES!! I still have some wonderful plants available.  Come on out and get weekend the prices find a bit more space! Hundreds of varieties remain.

Good to see you all, new friends, old friends, tomato friends.

Blessing and hallelujah !   Tomato plantin' time is here!


Iz said...

Sounds like a busy, busy but very rewarding weekend. Glad it went well!

Kris Mo said...

Linda, I'm so happy to hear of the success of Tomato Days. I wasn't there for long, but it's always a joy to stop by the farm. I began planting yesterday, and I'm making sure that my new little 'Pink Accordian' gets a spot up front-and-center so that I'm first to spot the fruit when it arrives! Thanks for everything that you do, and for the love that you bring to the garden. Cheers!