Thursday, 17 March 2022

That Must Be A Really Big Tomato

    Before Christmas I ordered packs of six different varieties of tomato seeds from Tomato Growers online, for this year’s tomato crop.  When they arrived, I tucked them away with all of my other seeds in a container which I store in my shop.  Yesterday, I started planting my tomato seeds., so I went out and got my container of seeds.   I filled a flat full of soil, marked out rows in the dirt, and then made small indentations in the soil for each seed.   I started planting.

    I planted a row of Matina, then a row of Garnet, Gregoria Altai, San Marzano, Early Wonder, Better Boy, and Patty Beef Steak tomato seeds.  I only had one envelope of seeds left: “Farmer’s Giant”.  

    I prepared the row, then opened the seed packet and when the seeds slid out of the envelope into my hand, I was flabbergasted, the Farmer’s Giant seeds were enormous, compared to the other seeds I had planted, but I started putting them in the soil, just like all of the others.  As I planted, I thought to myself, “Man, that must be a really big tomato if the seeds are this big.

    Before I finished the row, I stopped.

    “This is just too weird,” my brain told me.  I picked up the envelope to get a little more information about the Farmer’s Giant variety.

    The seed envelopes from Tomato Growers are not like most seed packs, they don’t show a photo of the vegetable in the packet.  They are just plain white envelopes featuring the Tomato Grower’s logo, the name of the variety, and a description of the plant.

    I began to slowly read the description of the Farmer’s Giant variety.  

    “80 to 95 Days.”  Okay, that’s a bit long but 80 days works for my greenhouse.  I read on,

    “Fruits are oblong with light skin and delicious red flesh that is very sweet.  Plants are productive, with strong vines and good leaf cover.”   That all seems fine.  I read on,

    “Large fruit reach 20 to 30 pounds each.”   WHAT???

    That couldn’t be right, no tomato is that big.

    I started to examine the envelope more carefully and then I noticed that under the line that said, “Pkt. 10 seeds,” it said, “Watermelons”.  

    Then I realized what was going on.  Tomato Growers always sends a “freebee” packet of seeds with big orders.  In the past the “freebees” have always been another tomato variety, but this time they sent me watermelon seeds.  I had just assumed the seed pack was a variety of tomato named, “Farmer’s Giant.”

    I was happy to have the mystery solved.  I unplanted the Farmer’s Giant seeds I had planted.  Watermelons need a lot more heat for a long time, more than we can provide around here.   It would be nice to be able to grow watermelons in the Robson Valley.  It would be nice to plant 20 to 30 pound tomatoes too.

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