During the coming months, we will feature occasional guest writers sharing their market-related experiences. This week, with a new year stretched out before us, it seems fitting to focus on growing. Market Board member Ellen Manney writes:
Happy New Year everyone! I am hoping that we all have a peaceful and healthy new year during this difficult time.
Today, I am dreaming of doing more collaborative work with Christine Halbot from Canadian Organic Seed Company. We were talking last spring and I was asking about shriveling leaves on our heritage tomatoes. Christine said, “Let’s work together on this!” And so began a very interesting test in our garden with her hybrid plants, amendments, organic manure tea and tons of advice. She was interested to see how her plants would grow in an urban garden compared to on her farm near Kirkfield.
The results of our collaboration were really interesting. Very little shrivelling of leaves and a couple of varieties that produced tomatoes that weighed over one pound and oh, so delicious! You know the kind I mean: slice the tomato, take out the fattest middle piece and make a glorious tomato sandwich!
In late August one morning the fruit developed soft grey spots and the plants all died basically overnight, just like that……late blight. I can only imagine how awful it must be for a farmer to wake up, check the field and the plants are all dead. I remember Ben and Jesse Sosnicki telling me how that happened to them a couple of years ago with their plum tomatoes. I think often about the daily unknowns when farmers go to work.
Yesterday, I got an email from Christine, who is ready to work with me again to see how her late blight resistant tomatoes will grow in our city garden. I am ready to take the challenge, Christine, and thank you!
Below is a picture of Colette’s Urban Harvest lettuce that we planted in September. Just for fun, if you have any lettuce seeds and you want to have lettuce right away when the weather warms a bit, sprinkle seeds right on top of your soil now and the lettuce will know when to germinate.
Greenhouse Eatery is away from the market until spring. Luckily we have Nith Valley Organics, so please give them a warm welcome and pick up some garlic, chicken burgers, potatoes, or any of their other farm fresh delights!
And lastly, warm congratulations to Seth Goering (who brings Forbes Wild Foods to the market) and his partner Ely on the birth of Baby Asha!