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Well, I moved my tomato seedlings outside for the first time yesterday afternoon to begin the process of hardening them off in preparation for planting next month.  They’ve been in my makeshift greenhouse under lights indoors until now and they’re rapidly outgrowing their abode. I realized that I need to make some adjustments to the shelves to give them more room so it was the perfect time to begin acclimatizing them to the out-of-doors. They spent a couple of hours outside in a relatively sheltered spot and, day by day, I’ll increase the time they spend outdoors until they’re ready to be planted.

A few years ago I chronicled my foray into attempting to grow tomatoes from seed. It hasn’t been a simple journey. I’ve learned about the benefits of heat mats, what to do after the seeds sprout, the importance of giving adequate light, the benefit of letting a light breeze blow over the plants for a time during each day, and how to plant them in the garden to ensure the strongest plants. I’ve learned a lot; I’m still learning; and I’m having a great time in the process.

Today I’m going to fill you in on the varieties of tomatoes I’m growing this year. The opportunity to grow heirloom varieties that you won’t find at your local plant store is one of the great advantages of growing tomatoes from seed. Last year I started saving seeds from my plants too, ensuring that I’ll be able to grow the varieties we love and pass them along to fellow tomato connoisseurs in the years to come.

All of the plants I’m growing this year are of the indeterminate variety which means they set fruit throughout the season on tall vine-like plants (as opposed to determinate plants that set fruit once on short plants) and require strong cages or stakes as you can see from this photo from the July 6 garden last year.

July 6 Garden

 

Here’s the lineup for the 2015 garden:

Sungold

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I grew these for the first time last year and was delighted with them! They’re sweet and delicious, unlike any other tomato I’ve tasted. You may recall the Sungold Tomato Jam recipe I wrote about last summer. We’re still enjoying that jam and growing these again this year is a must so we can make more of it. These tomatoes may be small (like cherry tomatoes) but the plants are not. They grow on vines that are reported to reach 6-8 feet in length. I didn’t realize that last year and ended up with a tangled mess of tomato vines. Definitely plan on a better support structure this year! Here more information about the Sungolds.

Black Krim

Krim2

These large, dark, and delicious tomatoes were also a big hit last year in sandwiches, salads, and simply eaten au natural. I do believe that it was a Black Krim that was the first tomato to ripen last year. More information about the Black Krims here.

Brandywine

Brandywine

Brandywines are the classic heirloom tomato and the first variety I attempted to grow from seed a few years ago. The fruit is large and beautiful; the plants prolific. Read more about the classic Brandywine here.

Federle

This is my first year to grow Federle tomatoes. They’re reported to be a productive plant yielding a paste tomato that’s about 7 inches long. I’m planning on using these for sauce and salsa. More information here.

Yellow Pear

I saw these for the first time last year in someones plot at the community garden and was intrigued enough to want to give them a go this year. More information here.

I have many more plants than I will have room for in my garden and will be gifting family and friends with plants in a few weeks. Part of the reason for this post is to let local folks know what I’ll have available so if you live near me and want a plant (or two or three) please contact me via the contact form here on this blog, Facebook messenger, or email and let me know.

Also, wanted to let you know about a new page I created on Facebook where I’ll be talking about essential oils–what I’m learning, how I’m using them–and creating a dialog with others who are interested in the topic. If you’re interested in learning more about essential oils c’mon over and “like” my new page at https://www.facebook.com/LindaHoyeYoungLivingEssentialOils. Would love to see you there!

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I’m thinking of my daughter-in-love today. Over the weekend she, her hubby, and two beautiful children, moved out of the house they’ve called home for over six years. It was, predictably, bittersweet. While she looks forward with anticipation toward the new home they are building, the precious memories associated with the home they are leaving tug at her heart making it difficult to say goodbye.

After all of the hustle and bustle of moving was over, her little family spent some time alone honouring their time in that home. They walked through every room and shared special memories with one another and then wrote a note–illustrated with drawings–and left it with a gift for the new homeowners. I’m tearing up even as I write about their ritual as I imagine the four of them walking through the empty rooms.

I’m reminded about the time Gerry and I moved into the first house we would share together. When we walked in together to the empty house we found a bouquet of flowers and a note from the former homeowners welcoming us to our new home. There were tears flowing then too–tears of joy for a future I hadn’t dared imagine and yet was blessed to be looking forward to.

Three times since that day I’ve left flowers and a “Welcome Home!” note for the new owners on the counter top of an empty house we were leaving. I’ve found the simple gesture to be a way of honouring our time in the home with gratitude and it has helped ease our transition.

We put so much of ourselves into our homes as we change this-and-that, decorate it according to our own tastes, clean it, care for it, raise our families, and simply live our daily lives within it’s walls. Every home has its distinct idiosyncrasies–things that annoy us, things that we wish we could change–yet as we learn to adapt and make these things work for our families our homes become an extension of us.

About forty years ago I read a little book by Marjorie Holmes called Love and Laughter. It was a compilation of, what the publisher called, “Mother’s wisdom on every day things”. There was a little story in that book where the author reflected on the woman who had formerly lived in her house. That story has stuck with me all these years as I’ve thought about the women who have cared for houses I’ve long since left behind and those who cared for houses I lived in at the time. Different people, different lives, even different times, yet bound together simply by the home we’ve tended together.

This morning I’m thinking back to all of the houses I’ve left over the course of my life, starting with the house that Dad built that we moved from when I was twelve. If memory serves, there have been nine farewells–ten if you count my parent’s house that I cleaned out and sold after Mom died suddenly. Some of the leavings were filled with joy, others marred with sorrow, all were washed with bittersweet tears as I walked through the door for the last time.

I read somewhere that a home left empty for more than a short period of time begins to deteriorate. That makes sense to me. A home is so much more than wood, and nails, and whatever else it’s built out of. The lives that are lived with its walls are the real glue that holds a home together; every family that lives there adds something unique to its patina.

Some simple things I’m thinking about as I putter around my home this morning, tidying, cleaning, adding my adding my own touch, making it ever more mine for this season.

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He Is Risen!

April 5, 2015
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On Friday we attended a Good Friday service that was so powerful it brought me to tears. Today, on Easter Sunday, we rejoice that our Saviour who endured the horror of the cross for us . . . for me . . . conquered death and rose from the grave. Hallelujah! He is risen, indeed! Like […]

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Finding Relief With Essential Oils

April 1, 2015
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For the past few months I’ve been educating myself about the healing properties of essential oils. I usually turn to books when I want to learn something new and I found Dr. Scott Johnson’s Surviving When Modern Medicine Fails and Valerie Worwood’s The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy (neither of which are affiliated with a specific brand […]

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Garden Dreaming

March 27, 2015
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I planted a first sowing of peas in my community garden plot this week. Here at home my tomato seedlings are just starting to get their true leaves. I’m spending too much time on Pinterest gathering ideas, planning, and dreaming of gardens. My day and night dreams are filled with all things garden-related. Part of […]

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Light Lesson

March 24, 2015
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I’m behind. It started with having to compile information to provide to our accountant in preparation for tax time. Our returns are complicated as we had a foot in two countries last year. I’ve got a handle on it now but it took a few days of sequestering myself in my office to get my […]

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