For a couple of years I've announced Love Apple Farm's spring tomato seedling sale. Last year we made the trek to Boulder Creek to see what heirloom tomatoes were all about, and came home with six varieties. This year, Love Apple will not be selling at their farm, but, closer to many of us, in Scotts Valley.My thumb is anything but green. I like perennials and flowers that reseed themselves. Occasionally I grow hard-to-find ingredients like Thai chilies fresh curry paste and tiny cucumber cornichons. My previous experiences with hardware store tomatoes, after applying all the TLC I could muster, produced tasteless offerings. I had never even imagined a six-foot tall cherry tomato plant, but following Love Apple's instructions, there they were, right in my yard.
Love Apple Farm sells a brochure ($2.50 last year) which describes a strange planting methodology that conjured to mind magic potions. I won't spill the beans, but as a hint, start saving up your eggshells, make friends with a fish monger and buy a shovel.
Snails hit two plants the first night, so be prepared with your favorite defense. Tomatoes need lots of sun. Although my western-facing garden is hot in the afternoon, birch trees filter the sun during most of the day. The plants up against the house facing northeast were the most fruitful.
I'm assuming that last year's cool summer delayed ripening, but when my little cherry tomatoes finally turned a luscious pumpkin color, I'd grab a handful every day, and finally when there was enough fruit from my towering vines, I cooked them down into a sauce so sweet they were destined for dessert.
Love Apple will also host a free tomato education day on April 30th at the same new retail location. | KP
Love Apple Farms Tomato Plant Sale at Knox Garden Box, 46 El Pueblo Rd., off of Scotts Valley Dr., Scotts Valley. March 26 through June 26 or while supplies last. Open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit growbetterveggies.com.
written by Love Apple Farm, March 22, 2011
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