Thursday, May 28, 2009

The post-tomato transplant part of the year

For the last two months, my every waking hour has virtually been consumed with heirloom tomato transplants.
I began seeding them March 15 as I usually do, and seeded for 10 days I believe. Water them, love them for a month as they sprout and grow in their little cells under my lights, then 2 solid weeks of transplanting into 3.25" pots. Another week and a half to label them. Hours of shelving them to ensure proper light and warmth, and yes, up at midnight one evening and working by floodlight to ensure they are well protected for the pending frost that Environment Canada didn't predict, but I KNEW was coming.
8,000 tomato plants, around 700 varieties, another few thousand peppers, eggplant, and odds and sods.
It is so wonderful to see the huge interest in the heirloom varieties. We had hundreds of folks through from all over on my Tomato Days event last weekend- what a great showing of spirit amongst gardeners.
And it is pretty much over now...a trickle only of plants still finding happy homes. Some donated to charities in TO. and Niagara Falls. Hope everyone is happy with their purchase and the growing season is unparalleled.
And then, boom, into the next part of the season..plant like a crazy woman. Ready now is salad,next week, spinach, radishes, onions. But I am late with some things and am playing catch up. So this week in the garden are broccolis, cabbage, cauli, kales, first carrots, beets, more salad, all the funky eggplants, all the rest of the ONYONS as we say here, as well as some beans. Yesterday the Organic Gardening Rodale test garden went in, about 30 different items including 8 different tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, spinaches, lettuces, kale, beans, broccoli, brussels, melon, squash, cukes, zucchini, and 4 flower varieties. Looks good.
CSA baskets began this week, as I wanted to get everyone's plants out to them. In the baskets was a small harvest of salad -microgreen mix, chards, green onions, some green garlic, herbs (basils, mints-which are savoury,such as a salad mint and oregano-thyme mint) and some lovely preserves of my /08 harvest created by Wolfgang at The Wildflower, and likely a few other items.
The baskets will bulge in the high season months of August and on...not so much now.
I am blessed with my help this year..Lisa my regular gal(my new BFF I tell her) and my volunteer-with-the most, Karyn. I have a WWoofer arriving next week, and am scrambling for accomodation for him. And blessed with friends and family who helped on my crazy sale weekend, my Gary, Emily and Mollie and fabulous friends Helen, Emily, and Tiffany.
Going to be a terrific year, but there is lots of work to be done.
Thanks everyone for coming out, talking tomatoes and your terrific support. It is always so great to see everyone...