homes for baby tomatoes... wonderful story!!

greentongueApril 16, 2008

Every year when I start seeds for my transplants, I have extra seedlings that I don't need. Last year I potted them in small styrofoam cups and delivered 100's of plants to my Senior Citizens Center. I knew I was dooming a lot of seedlings to a miserable existence until they expired, planted in buckets by doorsteps in Assisted Housing complexes. However, the plants were enthusiastically received ... gardeners who no longer have soil of their own still like to take home a plant or two... and some of the people who took them OBVIOUSLY knew a lot about gardening.

EVEN BETTER OUTCOME THIS YEAR!! An anthropology professor at a state college 100 miles southwest of me is trying to start an Arkansas-based Seed Savers Exchange, to meet each spring at Mt. View at the Folk Center. He had over 100 people come this first year, but limited amount of seeds to exchange.

I requested contact information from someone in SSE who went to the exchange, and he arranged for a local student and his mother to get my extra seedlings, upsize them, and the professor is passing them out to his students to grow off during the summer for LOTS of varieties of seeds to offer at next year's seed swap.

Doesn't get any better than that! Also, a lady 35 miles south of me has demonstrated a serious interest in seed saving, and she is getting lots of plants from me, too.

Remembering last year's "crucible test" of a late freeze, a wet spring that made foliage diseases the worst I've ever had, and then a record heat and drought in July and August, I planted over 80 varieties of tomatoes this year. The whole idea is row them out in the old flower beds (tomatoes among the daylilies instead of Zinnias this year)... and see who can take it. This is 4 times as many tomato varieties as I usually plant, but it should get a lot of answers fast... then I can replant next year the ones who show most promise.

Will be interesting to see if my results are similar to those of the students who are receiving my extra plants. 20 varieties of eggplants and about the same in exotic peppers also went for distribution.

Jan... Greentongue in the Arkansas Ozarks.

PS: wish me a bumper crop of Curcurbita moschata squash varieties, too. Wouldn't it be fun for a cultural anthropology class to see the myriad forms that just one species of squash has become since it left America 5 centuries ago on Spanish trading ships... especially if the fruits are hand-pollinated so that the seeds can be saved from the squash as they are cut... and also offered at the spring seed exchange! I also have 5 Native American types of this species... so even its original forms may be represented.

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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

That is a wonderful story...thanks for sharing! I sure wish I had some of your seedlings...just finally got some seeds started today...sigh.

Sue

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 12:58AM
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teesaz(9bAZ)

Great story, touched my heart..we are now facing placing my father in an adult care group home, one of the main reasons he picked this place over the others is because the owner likes to garden and dad used to be a master gardener in his day. They told him he can help with a tomato plant and a rose bush over there.
I really liked your story! children and seniors love to nurture!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 5:14AM
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