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Posted on 17 December 2007 by

Holiday Book Recommendations for Tomato Gardeners: Part II

$64 TomatoBy Michelle Fabio

As the holiday season creeps up on us, you may be looking for the perfect gift for the tomato gardener in your life. There are plenty of books out there on how to garden and we told you about them in Part I, but here are three books written for gardeners by gardeners with firsthand tales of their tomato trials and tribulations:

The $64 Tomato: How One Man Nearly Lost His Sanity, Spent a Fortune, and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for the Perfect Garden by William Alexander

Lauded by Publishers Weekly as a “hilarious horticultural memoir,” The $64 Tomato recounts Alexander’s experience with growing a vegetable garden and orchard in the Hudson Valley. As a telling example of how things went for Alexander, he begins his journey organically-obsessed but ends up covering his entire property in pesticides when he finds himself in a battle against just about everything he comes across.

Your favorite tomato gardener may just find solace in Alexander’s own troubles–and humor dealing with them.

Blithe Tomato by Mike Madison

Madison is a subsistence farmer in California with more than 20 years experience in the local farmers’ market scene. Blithe Tomato is a collection of essays on Madison’s Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 15 December 2007 by

Holiday Book Recommendations for Tomato Gardeners: Part I

Giant Tomatoes - Tomato CasualBy Michelle Fabio

Maybe you’re not thinking about next year’s growing season just yet, but there’s no reason you can’t get a start on learning some new tips–and that goes for your favorite tomato gardener as well.

Here are 5 books that can help you get started, and they make great gifts for the holiday season to boot!

Giant Tomatoes by Marvin H. Meisner

Published just a few months ago, this is reportedly the first book to deal specifically with growing, you guessed it, giant tomatoes. Don Langevin, author of How-to-Grow World Class Giant Pumpkins I, II, & III, says, “This is the most comprehensive treatment ever written on giant tomatoes.”

How to Grow World Record Tomatoes: A Guinness Champion Reveals His All-Organic Secrets by Charles Wilber

Wilber is in the Guinness Book of World Records because he harvested 1,368 pounds of tomatoes from just four plants; if you’re interested in Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 21 November 2007 by

A Very Blessed Tomato Plant


A Very Blessed Tomato Plant

Photo Credit: Turn my darkness into light by Josh Kenzer used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

By Michelle Fabio

How do you grow an 18-foot tomato plant?

Would you believe the answer just might be prayer?

Thrien Evans, 50, says that the oversized tomato plant outside his window begins to sway when he says his nightly prayers in its direction. He asks, of course, for “the Lord to keep it green.”

But it’s not prayer alone that has made this tomato plant so spectacular. Enter 90-year-old Ojetta Azalee Parker Smith, who shares the Georgetown, South Carolina garden space with Evans. In addition to tomatoes, the two also grow eggplant, cabbage, and collard greens.
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Posted on 02 November 2007 by

End of Tomato Season Part 2: What to Do with Green Tomatoes

End of Tomato Season Part 2: What to Do with Green Tomatoes

By Michelle Fabio

If you’re ready to pull up your tomato plants, but you don’t want to lose the tomatoes already on there, you have a few options:

(1) Pick off the green tomatoes, wrap them individually in newspaper, and line them up on the bottom of a wooden crate or basket;

(2) If you’re looking for something less labor-intensive, depending on the type of tomato, you could try just putting them on a window sill to ripen; be aware, though, that some may rot instead of ripening so watch them carefully.
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Posted on 01 November 2007 by

End of Tomato Season Part 1: Pulling up Tomato Plants


End of Tomato Season

Photo Credit: Green Tomatoes by flowercat used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

By Michelle Fabio

The first frost has come and gone and you’re guessing that your tomato plants aren’t going to do anything else this year.

It’s time to throw in the tomato towel.

You could try to let your plants live a little longer by pulling them up and hanging them right-side up in a garage or basement, clipping the ends to a clothesline for example.

You don’t need a lot of sunlight and a temperature between 60 and 72 degrees is recommended. You can continue to harvest tomatoes even after the vine is dead, so you might want to try this.
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Posted on 29 September 2007 by

A Tomato Farmer\’s Journey: Moving the Tomato Farm

Recipe: Absolutely Delicious Tomato-Bread Salad - TomatoCasual.comBy Amelia Tucker

It is a busy time of year on our farm.

Not only are we working on putting the gardens to rest, saving seeds and updating the gardening notes, we are buying a farm three states away!

Our current farm is a great place to experiment with different stresses and varieties of tomato plants but we are outgrowing our hopes and dreams for future greenhouses and markets.

We just signed the papers on a farm in Nebraska and it feels good!
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