March 9th, 2015
Last summer a friend gave me a delicious tomato from her garden that was a gorgeous metallic green color with red stripes. When I went to the grocery store, however, I couldn’t find the flavorful varieties with unique names like the one my friend gave me.
We’re deep into cold weather but I have spring on my mind, so I used the resources at my library to do a little research. Did you know that in addition to books and magazines about gardening and horticulture, CCPL has online resources on their website both an “Agriculture Collection” as well as “Gardening, Landscape and Horticulture”? I had access to hundreds of publications! I learned that most grocery store tomatoes, especially during cold months, are shipped in trucks from California and Florida. Definitely not local or home-grown!
Curious, I did a little more research and learned that heirloom tomatoes are open-pollinated (natural pollination, via insects or wind) and their seeds reproduce true to the plant they came from. I also learned that there is an overwhelming variety of heirloom tomatoes to choose from.
After a little more reading about available heirloom varieties, I plan to choose a few to plant this year. I’m also interested in using more local produce than what I find at the grocery store. In addition to checking out a bunch of cookbooks to get ideas, I plan to attend “Eating Local: Community Supported Agriculture” on March 12 at the Rising Sun Branch, where I’ll get to chat with local farmers.
I’ve encouraged my gardening friends to attend the “Homesteading 101” program at the Chesapeake City Branch Library on March 23, led by Shane Brill, an urban homesteader. Mr. Brill will discuss raising bees and chickens and how to preserve fruits and vegetables.
The weather outside may be frightful, but the tomatoes I plan to grow I’m sure will be delightful!