Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tomato of the week-Fablonelstyni... and life on the farm


We've been busy this week.

Finally the clay is turning up the way it should, and the last 2 weeks or so have been a bit of a planting frenzy.

Tom Thumb lettuce in the raised beds

Tilling ..please don't tell me it is mid-June.

Without all the help, where would I be? Not where I am, that's for sure.
To me it is rather unbelievable that some very kind folks have given up many hours this week to come out and help with the tomatoes. Digging holes, pitching compost and planting.

It's back-breaking work and long, long days.  It is also honest work, satisfying work and true accomplishment when you can look over the field and see what has been done.

But wait till you come back.  In one weeks, two weeks, a month.  The change is going to be astounding.
No paper shuffling here. Food is a growin'!

Attitude is everything and the people who come to help are just so very inspiring. And likely too a bit amazed that this clay can grow things the way it does. Thank goodness it does.
But now they also understand why there aren't too many (any!) more vegetable farms in Wellandport.

For the "Tomato of the Week" I had to choose a special tomato because of course the time has morphed it into the "Tomato of the Week and a Half". Been really busy.

Fablonelstyni is the wonderful little tomato I'll talk about this week. Love it.

I must love it to be able to spell it without looking at the name on a piece of paper. Big name.
Great Russian tomato!

It is one of those very unique tomatoes that is truly unlike any other. First of all it is just extremely cute.
Each fruit on the plant resembles a little beefsteak tomato- but of course is more along the size of a cherry  tomato. There is some difference from fruit to fruit..each one is just a bit different.

The plants are huge, indeterminate types, but also huge producers.  The fruit is mild flavoured, sweet and pop in your mouth good.

One of the best things about being involved in the seed exchanges is to get to know other tomato lovers and growers around the world.  For many years I have relied on the wisdom of Bill Minkey, from Wisconsin who has grown out hundreds, likely thousands of tomatoes over the years.
Bill is wise in the ways of tomatoes, and I always love talking to him on the phone or by letters back and forth.

Bill is responsible for bringing many family heirlooms back from the edge of extinction.  It was Bill who introduced Aunt Ruby's German Green tomato to the fabulous Seed Savers Exchange many many years ago, the tomato having been grown for generations in the family of Ruby Arnold of Tennessee.  And of course Aunt Ruby is likely the best known green when ripe tomato.

And it is Bill's advice I rely on when I am looking for good ones to try here in the clay fields of Wellandport.  Bill who introduced me to Fablonelstyni quite a few years ago now, and Bill hasn't steered me wrong.  This little tomato is worth a try, and worthy of seed saving.

Bet you can't say it ten times...Fablonelstyni, Fablonesltyni, Fab...

1 comment:

Iz said...

I'm looking forward to my harvest of Fablonestyni - they soudn delicious!