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The 2014 Tomato List

It’s time to account the 2014 tomatoes!  I moved them out of the greenhouse to the front sidewalk this weekend and spent yesterday alphabetizing and counting them all.  Here they are:

  • 29 Abe Lincoln 36 (-6 ds, -1 nr, -1 tm)
  • 04 Annie 13 (-6 ds, -1 nr)
  • 19 Arkansas Traveler 27 (-6 ds, -2 nr, -2 sn)
  • 21 Athens 35 (-6 ds, -1 nr, -1 tm)
  • 11 Aunt Gertie’s Gold 19 (-6 ds, -2 nr, -1 tm)
  • Aunt Ruby’s German Green 6  (-6 ds)
  • 23 Azoychka 37 (-6 ds, -1 nr, -1 tm)
  • Banana Legs 5 (-4 ds, -1 sn)
  • 21 Black Bear 31 (-6 ds, -1 nr)
  • 19 Black Cherry 32 (-6 ds, -1 nr, -1 tm, -2 sn)
  • Black from Tula 7 (-6 ds, -1 nr)
  • 06 Black Krim 19 (-6 ds, -4 nr, -2 sn)
  • 04 Black Sea Man 9 (-6 ds, -1 nr)
  • 06 Black Yum Yum 13 (-6 ds, -2 nr)
  • 02 Burning Spear 6 (-6 ds)
  • 05 Captain Lucky 12 (-6 ds, -2 sn)
  • 02 Cherokee Purple 10 (-6 ds, -1 nr)
  • 22 Chocolate Cherry 31 (-6 ds, -1 nr, -2 sn)
  • 07 Dana’s Dusky Rose 15 (-6 ds, -1 nr, -2 sn)
  • 15 Djena Lee’s Golden Girl 21 (-6 ds, -1 nr)
  • 06 Dora 12 (-6 ds, -2 sn)
  • 04 Dr. Wyche’s Yellow 10 (-6 ds, -1 nr, -1 tm)
  • Earl’s Faux 4 (-4 ds)
  • 10 Ernesto 17 (-6 ds)
  • Eva Purple Ball 4 (-4 ds)
  • 17 Franchi Giant Pear 27 (-6 ds)
  • 14 Gary’O Sena 25 (-6 ds, -1 nr, -2 sn)
  • 08 Gift from the Woodlands 19 (-6 ds, -1 nr)
  • 03 Golden Cherokee 10 (-6 ds, -1 nr, -1 tm)
  • 01 Granny Cantrell 5 (-5 ds)
  • 11 Hoy 27 (-6 ds, -1 tm)
  • 15 Indian Stripe 25 (-6 ds, -1 nr, -2 sn, -1 tm)
  • 10 J.D.’s Special C-Tex 19 (-6 ds, -1 nr)
  • 05 Juane Flammee 14 (-6 ds, -2 sn)
  • 09 KBX 20 (-6 ds, -1 nr)
  • 08 Korney’s Cross 16 (-6 ds, -2 sn, -1 tm)
  • 06 Livingston’s Golden Queen 12 (-6 ds, -1 nr)
  • 12 Ludmilla’s Red Plum 19 (-6 ds, -1 nr, -1 tm)
  • 10 Malcom Lincoln 19 (-6 ds)
  • 10 Marianna’s Peace 20 (-6 ds, -1 nr, -2 sn, -1 tm)
  • 13 Mr. Bruno 24 (-6 ds, -2 sn)
  • 10 Not German 14 (-6 ds)
  •  OSU Blue 20 (-14 ds, -2 nr, -1 tm, -1 sn)
  • 12 Perfect Storm 22 (-6 ds, -1 nr, -2 sn)
  • 10 Pruden’s Purple 23 (-6 ds, -2 nr, -2 sn, -1 tm)
  • 04 Prue 10 (-6 ds, -1 tm)
  • 33 Pusa Ruby 44 (-6 ds, -2 sn)
  • 01 Rio Grande 15 (-2 ds, -4 nr, -2 sn, -1 tm)
  • 07 Roma 29 (-4 nr)
  • 01 Rose 6 (-6 ds)
  • San Marzano Redorta 16 (-6 ds, -2 nr, -2 sn, -1 tm)
  • 02 SC2121 6 (-6 ds)
  • Speckled Roman 13 (-6 ds, -1 nr, -2 sn)
  • 19 Spudakee Purple 30 (-6 ds, -1 nr, -2 sn, -1 tm)
  • 14 Sungold 23 (-6 ds, -1 tm)
  • 06 Taxi 12 (-6 ds)
  • 29 Tess’ Landrace 39 (-6 ds, -1 nr, -2 sn, -1 tm)
  • 04 Vorlon 25 (-6 ds, -2 sn, -12 jw, -1 tm)
  • 06 Wes 10 (-6 ds)
  • 12 Woodle Orange 25 (-6 ds, -1 nr, -2 sn, -1 tm)

This is so folks can start to look over the inventory, do some research, and decide which they’d like.  These will be for sale for $2.50 each at the new Palmyra Farmer’s Market (more on that later!) or $2.00 each if you save me carting them around and pick them up here at the house.  I can guarantee you won’t find most of these varieties for sale anywhere locally!  First come, first served — I don’t want the headache of reserving for a gazillion people this year.  Please bring boxes or your own trays to carry them home in as I can’t afford to keep giving away trays.

Please note that this accounting includes tomatoes I’m reserving for myself — I generally reserve about a half dozen of each variety for myself.  I will italicize and strike-thru varieties as they become “out of stock”.  Info within parentheses are my notes.  Running totals on what I have available are the numbers in front of the variety names — this will get sloppier and sloppier as we go along.

I will be typing up a quick description list (hopefully) today so that I don’t have to answer the same questions over and over again.  If you would like more detailed descriptions, Google is your friend.  I highly recommend Tatiana’s Tomatobase as a most excellent resource.  Here is the tomato index.

Happy tomato season!


Garden Update: Peas

A couple of days ago, I soaked a couple pounds of Sugar Snap peas for 8-10 hours, until they looked plump.  I drained them and covered with a damp cloth.  Two or three times each day, I’d gently rinse and drain them, then recover with the damp cloth.  Yesterday, I noticed that the little “tails” on the butt ends of the peas were starting to swell — that was my sign.  I started planting out last night.  By this morning, most of the remaining peas in my dish had full-fledged root shoots.


This morning, I finished planting them.  I have double rows — on both sides of the arch trellis and the cucumber fence as well.  It’s roughly 250’+, maybe a bit more.


The beginnings of my “perennial ring”.  Several days ago, Nancy came over and helped me transplant some walking onions along a portion of the south fence of the main garden.  Of course, now Steve & I have decided that that fence is coming out.  Best laid plans…



Mass Planting

I mentioned yesterday that I use the dense planting method when starting seeds.  Thought some of you might like to see what that looks like.

This is a standard size nursery flat of tomatoes mass planted into six-cell packs:



Separating them is easy as they’re pretty tough little critters.  Just smush the soil and pull them apart, replanting into individual cells.  Easy peasy.  Saves a heck of a lot of potential dead space upfront.


So I’ve got these guys that I mass planted…


Using the dense planting method, I sow a gazillion seeds very, very thickly in each pot or cell.  Then, once they germinate and grow up a bit, starting to get their first true leaves, I separate them and put them each in their own pots/cells.  There are thousands of seedlings packed in there.  Saves a heck of a lot of space and seed starting media in the beginning.

But you’ll notice that, once I pot these little babies up, there is no way I’ll have enough room under my makeshift light set up.  What’s a girl to do?






Got it figured out yet?  Huh?



First Garden Update of 2014

Quickie notes from the last couple of days before they’re lost in the flurry of early spring:

Wednesday, March 12:

My friend, Nancy, came over and we had a seedathon.  We make a great team and ended up getting a few thousand seeds started.  Started inside for later transplants:


  • Tango


  • Monstorpolgi



  • Black Beauty
  • Purple Blush
  • Rosa Bianca
  • Snowy

Garlic Chives

Good King Henry

Ground Cherry

  • Aunt Molly’s
  • Pineapple

Hot Peppers

  • Anaheim
  • Big Jim
  • Chimayo
  • Conquistador
  • Guajillo
  • Hungarian Yellow Wax
  • Jalmundo
  • Lumbre
  • Sandia
  • Sunrise, Sunset, Eclipse mix
  • Ukranian


  • Double
  • Giant of Italy

Sweet Peppers

  • Golden Bell
  • Golden Marconi
  • Jimmy Nardello
  • Mystery Bell
  • Red Marconi
  • Sweet Pepper Mix (Chinese Giant, Colossal, Giant Aconcagua, Giant Marconi, Sweet Banana, Sweet Chocolate, Tolli’s Sweet Italian)


  • Annie
  • Arkansas Traveler
  • Athens
  • Aunt Gertie’s Gold
  • Aunt Ruby’s German Green
  • Azoychka
  • Banana Legs
  • Black Bear
  • Black Cherry (cherry)
  • Black from Tula
  • Black Krim
  • Black Sea Man
  • Black Yum Yum
  • Burning Spear
  • Captain Lucky
  • Cherokee Purple
  • Chocolate Cherry (cherry)
  • Dana’s Dusky Rose
  • Djena’s Golden Girl
  • Dora
  • Dr. Wyche’s Yellow
  • Earl’s Faux
  • Ernesto
  • Eva Purple Ball
  • Franchi Giant Pear
  • Gary’O Sena
  • Gift from the Woodlands
  • Golden Cherokee
  • Granny Cantrell
  • Hoy
  • Indian Stripe
  • JD’s Special C-Tex
  • Juane Flammee (saladette)
  • KBX
  • Korney’s Cross
  • Livingston’s Golden Queen
  • Ludmilla’s Red Plum
  • Malcolm Lincoln
  • Marianna’s Peace
  • Mr. Bruno
  • Not German
  • OSU Blue
  • Perfect Storm
  • Pruden’s Purple
  • Prue
  • Pusa Ruby (cherry/saladette)
  • Rose
  • San Marzano Redorta
  • SC2121
  • Speckled Roman
  • Spudakee Purple
  • Sungold (cherry)
  • Taxi
  • Tess’ Landrace (currant)
  • Vorlon
  • Wes
  • Woodle Orange


Friday, March 14:

Direct seeded spinach in one of the main garden’s raised beds.  Several varieties from which to begin selections for my spinach landrace.

  • Olympia
  • Reflect
  • Space
  • Tyvee

Began transplanting walking onions to the main garden.  My plan is to ring the perimeter of the main garden with various perennials that I can mostly ignore — and my hope is that they will grow thick and help keep the grass from invading the edges.


It’s crunch time.



That’s AgSquared up there, by the way.  Love it!  Anyone else use it?




Something good’s a’coming!  (In addition to an electric water heater so we don’t have to pay for propane at quadruple the price it was last fall.)

The Darkest before the Dawn.

This has been one incredibly long winter.  I do not know how much more I can take.  I’m losing my mind.

Today, it is in the 40s.  Normally, I’d be grumbling about how cold it is but today?  After this winter?  I hauled my hibernating butt outside and enjoyed the heck of it!  The garden still looks like a frozen wasteland but I have a pretty good imagination.


Those are the pitiful grapes I planted late last fall.  A friend called me one day and told me that Lowe’s had some grapes and other small fruits clearanced out.  I went down and checked it out.  Sure, enough, there were various berries and over a dozen grapes left.  Turns out that the fruit was supposed to be delivered somewhere much further south so the big wigs said to clearance the heck out of them and move them out.  Between that and my military vet discount, I was able to snag them all for under $2 each.  Bam.  For that sort of price, I’m not terribly picky.

For my own future reference, here’s the variety:



Oh, garden.  You poor, poor garden.  Spring is coming, I promise.




She’ll be coming ’round the mountain when she comes…

Did ya miss me?

2013 had some rough spots.  There was some burning of tail feathers, some amount of too many irons in the fire, and some questionable sanity & stress levels.  During the last few months of the year, we decided to pare things down to bare minimum & lay low for a while.  Re-prioritize.  Our own little reset button.  And it worked.  Things are a bit more sane now.  Whew.

So the goats are all gone, which you probably guessed by my last posts on here last year.  That’s certainly a relief.  Goats are a lot of work, especially when we don’t live in an area that’s naturally healthy for goats.  Too much upkeep and worrying.  I like goats but I don’t like them enough to have to fret over them that much.  You all know how lazy I am.  Bottom line?  Goats = stress (for me).  Bzzt.  Gone.

We are still considering a milk cow and a couple of young’ins for beef.  It may or may not happen.

Another change we’ve made it getting rid of poultry for meat.  We are now concentrating on egg production, just using the culls for making stocks.  We just don’t care for chicken meat that much but we use bone broth like crazy.  We are still playing with turkeys, however.  We loves us some gobble!

Other than that?  I, personally, am refocusing on what I truly and forevermore am crazy about:  gardening.  I’ve never stopped gardening but other things have distracted me along the way, diverting & dividing my attention and energy.  Now that we’ve thinned things down around here, I can get back to it, full speed ahead.  I am stupidly excited this year to renew my landrace projects AND get the greenhouse built.  We poured concrete for it last fall and are beginning the framing this week.  More on both coming soon.  You can bet there will be pics!



Some local friends gave us four baby peach trees the other day.  I got them planted, mulched, and caged promptly.  Here’s hoping they do well (and I don’t manage to kill them)!


Before much longer, the entire side yard will be an orchard and I can’t wait!

The cucumbers I planted a couple of weeks back mostly rotted since we had Noah’s flood #2 directly after that.  I replanted them yesterday, along with 100′ of summer squash — a mixture of Black Beauty, Grey, and Yellow Crookneck.

The strawberries are still coming in nicely and the raspberries have just begun to ripen.  The young fruit trees in the side and front yards have a goodly amount of fruit on them for how young they are.  Some have just turned two years old and others are only one year old so we won’t be overrun with anything.  Still, it’ll be nice to get a small sampling from most.  Fruit trees are most definitely not instant gratification.


The tomatoes are finally starting to take off, no thanks to all of the gloomy weather we’ve had this spring.  The furthest row out, however, has had a rough start and I’ve had to replace several a couple of times.  The birds just love that row because they can swoop in and cause all sorts of death & dismemberment!  I finally got the strings up on Tomato Henge in hopes of slowing them down — and it seems to be working for the most part.

The pepper are sulking.  It’s just been too roller coaster-y a spring for them and I don’t hold out much hope for good production.  Yet, there’s always hope…  The lettuces are even growing slowly.  I’ve never seen lettuce grow so slowly!!  Beans still haven’t been planted as I’m still waiting on Steve to get my bean trellis back up.  He’s done about half of it and will get to the rest this week some time.

The bees?  The bees are doing well!  I’m so excited about the bees this year!  That split I did about a month ago has done really well — both halves.  The packages are coming along as they should.  The nuc I bought from Bernie last month is doing great.  I also caught two swarms a few weeks ago.  One died out, as it was just some left-behind straggling rejects, I assume left behind when the main colony took off to find new quarters.  They were in a bee tree that was knocked over & split during some pasture clean up and had been rained on — downpoured on — a few days.  We brought them home anyway with no hopes of them making it so we were not disappointed when I found them all dead as a doornail a few days later.  The second swarm was from a construction site, landed in a precarious spot that was not at all fun to get.  I was pretty sure I got the queen but things were crazy so maybe not.  Last I checked on them (a few days ago), they were still there!  I took a tip from a friend and put a frame of brood (from another hive) in with them to entice them to stay.  It seems to have worked so yay for that!  There is not a huge quantity of bees, though, so it remains to be seen whether or not they’ll make it.  I plan on getting in the hives again in a couple of days.  In the meantime, I’ve been building more frames because the five  good, strong hives are mostly into their third boxes now.  And still no sign of mites on any of them!  I know just looking isn’t a surefire way to get mite numbers but I pay very close attention to the drone brood that gets ripped open and have seen nary a one.  (I’ve always seen them easily that way before.)  Another major boost in my beekeeping confidence is my greatly improved ability to spot queens.  I don’t mark my queens so they’re not terribly easy to find at times.

I’m getting rambly again, aren’t I?  I’m back on the paleo/primal bandwagon and the caffeine/carb/sugar withdrawal is making my brain turn to jelly.  Really dumb, unfocused jelly.

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