Well, another Seedy Saturday has come and gone. And really, I could just cut and paste last year’s post, or the one before that, or the one before that, because frankly, it’s pretty much the same for me every year. I start out with good intentions. But it’s busy from the moment I arrive and there is no time for me to go about shopping at the other tables. I never have a list except the one that is in my head. The crowds are too thick. I give up.
This year’s event was in a new (and gorgeous) location and the crowds were bigger than ever! Growing your own food is taking off like gangbusters!
Unfortunately, I came back with some kind of virus and have been holed up since Saturday dying a slow death. Boo.
Fortunately, I managed to scavenge a few packs of this and that at the event although most were from Sorellina (the Queen of Tomatoes), and they are primarily determinate (bush) tomatoes. I am always looking to try as many determinates as I can in pots every season. I scored so many this year, it will be a struggle to find space for them all, but I will have fun trying. Some of the varieties sound really exciting!
- Tomato ‘Yellow Pygmy’ – A very small, yellow, determinate.
- Tomato ‘Pink Ping Pong’ – I got this from Sorellina because I thought it was on my list but it was actually just something I recently saw and not on my list.
- Tomato ‘Koralik’ – Red cherry, determinate.
- Tomato ‘Czech’s Bush’ – I’ve grown this one for a couple of years now. It’s one of my favourites in containers and very reliable. Short and stocky plants with mid-sized, red fruit.
- Tomato ‘Mountain Princess Dwarf’ – Pink salad tomatoes. I figure the name could work to get princess-crazed girls into gardening.
- Tomato ‘Dwarf Medium Ruffled Pink Oblate’ – Ruffled tomatoes on a dwarf plant — I’m in!
- Cucumber ‘Crystal Apple’ – This was a freebee from the woman who own the seed company, Cubit’s Organics. I have not grown this variety since it so closely resembles my beloved, ‘Lemon’. Now that I have these seeds I will give it a try.
- Carrot ‘Purple Haze’ – This was a trade. I’ve been growing this variety on and off for years and figured I can never have too many seeds.
- Radish ‘Red Meat/Watermelon’ – I tried these for the first time last year and they are fantastic! Dark on the outside, hot pink on the inside, and surprisingly tender and delicious.
- Radish ‘China Rose’ – A winter radish with an elongated shape and a bright rosy exterior.
- Spinach ‘Bloomsdale’ – I don’t often grow spinach but figured I might this year. ‘Bloomsdale’ is a good container option.
- Lettuce ‘Sierra’ – One of only two items that was actually on the original list. ‘Sierra’ is a beautiful, heat tolerant, Batavia (looseleaf meets crisphead) variety with green leaves and burgundy tips.
- Lettuce ‘Sunset’ – And this is the other original list item. It’s a slow-bolting looseleaf variety with gorgeous, deep red foliage.
See also: 2008, 2007, 2006…
‘Miniature White’ Cucumber grown on my rooftop. ‘Redbor’ Kale photographed at a community garden in Hamilton, ON.
Adorably teeny tiny Mexican Sour Gherkins (Melothria scabra) are starting to pop up all over the vines I’ve got growing at my community garden plot. The fruit in the picture is about half and inch or so and should be approximately 1-2″ when fully ripe however I am extremely impatient and picked a few for tasting. They taste very much like tiny, juicy cucumbers. Every description I have read says they have a surprisingly sour skin that makes them taste almost pre-pickled straight off the vine. Mine were very fresh flavored so I can only guess that the sourness will develop as the fruit matures.
The plant is a very ornamental and prolific vine with lots of pretty little leaves dotted by miniature yellow flowers. The tiny, ridiculously cute fruit are like Lilliputian watermelons, accounting for nicknames like “mouse melon” and Ã¢â‚¬Å“sandÃƒÂitaÃ¢â‚¬Â (Spanish for little watermelon).
I started mine this past spring from seeds purchased online via Seed Savers. I was a little bit concerned by the small size of the plants in comparison to other cucumbers at planting time but they took off immediately and quickly climbed up the trellis I made for my cucumbers using bamboo stakes and a plastic “chicken wire” leftover from another project. So far the plants are living up to their reputation as a pest and disease-resistant species — while some of the other curcubits are starting to show signs of powdery mildew the Mexican Sour Gherkins are entirely blemish and pest free. The plants are also much more drought tolerant than other cucumber-related plants making them a welcome addition to gardens like mine that can’t be tended to on a daily basis. I am not growing any on my rooftop garden this year but I would imagine that unlike many cucumber varieties that can be tricky in containers, their drought tolerant nature and small size would make this a good option in a medium-large sized container.
I made a quick trip to my community garden plot yesterday where several large zucchinis and cucumbers were quickly expanding into over-sized monster vegetables. I had been gone for 6 days and Davin was unable to get into the garden with a poorly copied key. There are more cucumbers on the way and little scalloped patty pan zucchinis are forming. It’s gonna be a good harvest year.
A prize winner has been chosen in the last contest. Kelly of Texas has won a copy of “Let’s Get Primitive: The Urban Girl’s Guide to Camping – by Heather Menicucci. Thanks to everyone who entered the contest. There will be another soon.
…Because I had to post something a little more optimistic. Both of these Polaroids were taken this morning on my rooftop. The ‘Miniature White‘ cucumber variety is a lot less yellow then as seen in this photo as the Polaroid film has a yellow cast. It is the largest of a bunch of cucumbers that are soon to be harvested from the rooftop garden. The plant is growing in a garbage bin and the zinnias are growing in an old flour canister.
You can see the photos larger here.