Sunday, January 11, 2009

Some Veggies To Blog About!

I must admit I was rather veggied out after the summer season and the poor results I had with my fall crops. Now things have changed, the garden blogger world is abuzz with talk of tomatoes, new seed varieties and garden plans. This has spark my interest again and I have been rummaging through various seed suppliers looking for what I am going to grow this year.

The first seeds I found at the grocery store in a mixed pack of heirloom cherry tomatoes. I thought this is great, I can get some seed and have some tomatoes to eat at the same time. The ones I am most interested in are the zebra and mini plum tomatoes.

Looks like they are getting pretty
ripe, time to save the seed

My second seed find was from Johnny's. I mainly placed the ordered because I need some onion seeds to start asap. I chose 'Prince' which is a large, yellow, storage onion. It is an F1 hybrid and is a long day variety which is perfect for my area. After my lack luster onion results last year I am going to start my own transplants and start them early to hopefully end up with some massive onions.

Well on their page I also ordered the following: French Chatentais Melon, Baby Bok Choi, Toscano Kale, Armador Shallots, Big Chile II (anaheim) & Tauro Radicchio. Most things were clearance priced which was nice but I was took to the cleaners for the French Charentais Melons. At a whopping $7.75 for 20 seeds, ouch. I just could not resist, they look so nice and I have heard they are one of the best tasting melons around.

My most current seed source find was and oh my what a find they are. I have never been to their site before and was pleasantly surprised that they carry some 600 varieties of heirloom tomato seed. I have yet to order as it is still pretty early but my preliminary list from them is below. I hope they don't mind that I borrowed their pictures, I will include links:

Brandywine, Sudduth's Strain
(85 Days, Indeterminate, believed to be the original brandywine)

(52 Days, Determinate)

Jersey Devil
(80 Days, Indeterminate, meaty chili shape, good for salsa)

White Queen
(85 days, Indeterminate)

Chocolate Stripes
(79 Days, Indeterminate)

These of course will be added to my favorite tomatoes from previous growing seasons which are:

Cherokee Purple
(80 days, Indeterminate)

Hillbilly Potato Loaf
(85 Days, Indeterminate)

Japanese Trifele Black
(81 Days, Indeterminate)

I have about half of the varieties I am going to grow picked out and I am still working on the rest. I will do a full varieties list when I get them all selected. Until then I will continue to dream of this seasons crops, my building plans and that in 1.5 months I will be growing crops in my cold frame!

Posts to come: my light setup, how I set my gate posts(long time coming), planting onion seeds & the second set of photo's from the Bruce Peninsula.


  1. The many choices of tomatoes you are pondering growing is impressive.
    Looking forward to seeing what you plant.
    Love the info on regrowing the amarylis , I will be trying.

  2. I love all those tomatoes. I'm hoping to start collecting a bunch of different kinds and save seeds from them each year. Makes me excited about the spring!!!

  3. Those tomatoes look great.

    Be extremely careful with Johnny's. A lot of people had their identity stolen when they couldn't secure their own computers.

  4. Wow, so many varieties to choose from it is hard to choose at all!

  5. Dan - I've never heard of the varieties that you will be growing this year. I'm growing Cherokee Purple, and 5 other varieties, myself. I can't wait to see your upcoming posts....


  6. Rosemary - There certainly is a lot of tomatoes out there. I can't wait to plant! Good luck with your Amaryllis.

    Chiot's Run - I love growing all different kinds of tomatoes, why grow what you can buy at the store right. I have yet to save seed from my own tomatoes but I should probably start, it would be much cheaper.

    Red Icculus - hmm, I will have to keep checking the statements. We use Citi bank and they are very good at freezing accounts. They have done this to use twice when they think something is not right.

    Tina - It really was hard to pick 5 out of the 600ish they have. Gardening is tough work!

    EG - You and Me both, it will be the first from me with the 5 from tomatofest. You will not be disappointed with Cherokee Purple, I have grown it for 4 years and it is wonderful!

  7. I'm interested in trying the Hillbilly one as it is so darn gorgeous when cut open and relatively short season to boot. Have you ever been to Solana - now that's a seed collection of toms!

  8. I am playing a game of blog Catch-up today! Your snow falls look beautiful but I can say that as I dont have to deal with shoveling, blowing or sanding. :) Sorry for your hard work but so darn beautiful to someone that rarely sees snow with her eyes. Germany holds many snow memories though...

    Your trip to the cabin sounds wonderful. We have a lake with cabins around it and talk about going their to camp for a few days in the winter but with it being about 20 minutes up the road, we end up sleeping in our own beds. Creatures of habit I reckon. Anyway, a great relaxing looking trip for you....

    The purple tomato has me intrigued! I grew purple peppers last summer and they were new to me also. We are getting the veggie garden ripe so maybe a purple tomato will find its way into my garden this spring.

    Your Brussels look so warm under their blanket...

  9. Ah, Dan... didn't know you wanted some of the French Chatentais Melon or I could have sent you some seeds that I had left over from last year. Also, since you are in Canada, have you thought about trying the Minnesota Midget? It's an early variety with vines about 3' long. And SUPER sweet! It actually did the best in my garden. I saved seeds... let me know if you are interested.

    Isn't TomatoFest awesome. I love their website. I just can't believe all the varieties of tomatoes that they offer. It has to be more than any other place that I've seen. Their customer service is great and they ship super fast. This is the 2nd year I've ordered from them.

    On the tomato front, I also ordered seeds for the Japanese Trifele Black and the Chocolate Stripes. And the Jersey Devil... it definitely tempted me, but I finally resisted LOL

  10. Dan, great post. I too went to Tomatofest, but their dagnabit $15 minimum is making it impossible for me to order from them. Even ordering all the tomatoes I'm growing this year would not get me to the $15 minimum. It's so frustrating.

  11. Ottawa Gardener - I will have to look up Solana

    Skeeter - glade you are back. The cherokee purple tomato is great although it is not truly purple but close enough.

    Judy - Is the 'Minnesota Midget' a cherry tomato? The Japanese Trifele Black I grew last season and it was great, you will love it. I couldn't resist the temptation of the Jersey Devil... :-)

    Sinfonian - I can see where they are coming from with the minimum as they are a smaller business but it really is not the smartest move. It would be better to have a nominal handling fee for smaller orders so they do not loss business. I'd contact them and see if they can make an exception for your order.

  12. Dan, I sent you an email about the tomatoes. Let me know if you received it....

  13. Ahhhh! Spring Fever. lol that is the title of my current blog post. If you are looking into new a cool veggies. Check out! They have great ethics and almost all of their seeds are not hybrids, so you can gets seeds from them. The company even promotes it. They just now came out with this really old plant that was recently introduced to North America. It is called Oca, and is really neat. If I don't intern this summer, I am going to buy it. I will also buy some leeks(I have never planted them before.) and other new veggies!

  14. Organic Gardener - I will check out right now.

  15. Yes, Seeds of Change is a great company... also check out Seed Savers Exchange ( I am also for promoting any of the companies that are helping to preserve our heirlooms!

  16. Dan, thanks for the links and all of the heirloom possibilities. I'm curious to know how you came to the choices you made. I don't have much space in my community plot and therefore have to be very selective.

  17. Judy - I have used Seed Savers Exchange for a couple years now for almost all of my veggie seeds. They are a great seed company. I actually feel kind of guilty ordering my tom's from tomatofest instead.

    Sally - I have the same problem with not having much space. This year I decided on my tomatoes by trying to chose one of each color and by having a mix of 'days to maturity' so they don't all ripen on the same day.

    This year I will have 7-8 tomato plants and grow one of each kind. I am also thinking of using a couple of those topsy turvy hanging containers, then I could grow some in the air upside down. You could give them a try to free up some space.

  18. Yeah, I know that these oca's are edible. I don't know if I can do grow it this year do my internship at a farm. But if I don't intern, I will let you know how I do with it.

    Unlike you, I receive a ton of catalogs...but I through away most of the ones that I am not interested.