Today is our last day of Farmers' Markets for 2008. We had an amazing batch of plants on the truck and found it to be equally amazing how many folks are buying, and hopefully planting, vegetables and herbs this time of year. We do live in paradise after all and we can garden year round. In truth, though, these next six weeks are a little less than inviting because we will surely have some dark days, some rain and wind, and you might be better off in a comfy chair reading a book about gardening rather than mucking about in the wet soil.
Our life is a little different, though. It is our tradition here at Cole Canyon Farm to start our cool weather tomato seeds on the day of the Winter Solstice. I'm fudging a little though, and plan to do that tomorrow. What are cool weather tomatoes?
None of them, to be truthful. All tomatoes do best in warm balmy weather with sunny days and comfy night time temperatures. But some tomato plants have been developed, or have evolved, to set fruit quickly and in less that optimum weather. You find those in your seed catalogues under the heading Early Tomatoes. Most of them bear small to medium sized fruit, have a slightly higher acid to sugar balance, and are determinate (meaning bush types that set fruit over a short time frame). There are some early tomatoes though that are larger, sweeter and indeterminate - but we find those don't grow as well here in our coastal climate.
So this year we will start Stupice, Glacier, Early Girl, Siletz, Gregori's Altai, and Oregon Spring. And our next blog will go into much more detail about those types of tomatoes. Ah, yes, something to dream about; fresh tomatoes with basil and mozzarella!