Weird tomato

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On 12/02/2015 1:58 AM, songbird wrote:

How many people are you feeding 'Bird? You must have a huge harvest.
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Fran Farmer wrote:

...

2 here and 20-40 others at various times, not full production by far as we don't use all the space available for veggie production. we have much more space in perennials and a huge area covered by crushed limestone. perhaps 60-70 sq m total spread among many different garden patches and some of them not particularly hard pressed for production. i don't interplant intensively and i try different things and some of those trials are left for the critters or buried to feed the worms.

not really, last year was the worst for the dry bean and most of the regular veggies, some did ok but quite a few were trimmed back by the woodchucks before they made it to productive size. some rotted.
considering how little i did last year it wasn't any loss to me. my time was well rewarded by the strawberry patches and the other things i was doing and growing.
i'd guess our complete harvest last year was something like:
- 150kg of tomatoes of which i buried 135kg due to rot - 125kg of strawberries - 40kg green and red peppers - 15kg dried beans - 10kg of green and wax beans - 10kg rhubarb - 10kg of beets - 10kg onions - 5kg winter wheat - 5kg winter rye - 5kg turnips - 5kg rutabagas - 2kg garlic - 1kg peas/pea pods - 10 squash of various sizes - 20 fennel bulbs
it was a very off year for many plantings because of the amount of woodchuck feasting we supported (often multiple raids). the lettuces and bok choi never had a chance to grow above a few inches, most of the peas too. then in the mid summer we had a lot of rain and not much sunshine. rot set in a few places.
the beans i'd normally shell out three to four times what i got (30-40kg). and i didn't plant the back old grape trellis with climbers like i did the year before. i was having a hard time getting done what i did get done with my hand being broken.
i may have a lot of bean varieties, but in most cases i only plant a few rows of some of them and for the new ones i've only just got them started now. to grow them out for any quantity would take a huge amount of space, which i don't have. the main patches of one variety beans are the pinto beans, lima beans and some greasy beans on the fence. almost every single bean plant was eaten by woodchucks once or twice.
most of the strawberry harvest i was calling people to come pick because i had so many that i wasn't able to keep up. usually i'd pick them and give away what was extra. i still made 24 liters of freezer jam (that i gave away the first half because i made it the same day the small tornado came through the neighborhood and took the power out -- jam didn't set right). i think i'll be lucky to get half that this coming year because of how that back patch has been treated and taken over by other things.
every season is a new adventure that is for sure. :) i have to be patient yet, spring won't be here for a while...
songbird
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On 12/02/2015 11:57 AM, songbird wrote:

Wow. That is a lot of people
not

Wow. Your definiton of what is not a huge harvest and what I think is a huge harvest are very different. Just your strawberry harvest alone is huge IMO.

Do you mean as dry beans for eating or for seed saving?
and i didn't plant

What's a greasy bean? That's not a term I've heard before.

Hummph. You didn't call me! I'd have caught a plane to get some of that harvest! The blasted Blue tongue lizards get most of mine and although I love the lizards, I do think the rotten sods could share with me.
usually i'd pick them and give away

Well I have to say that I really admire your efforts. You seem to produce a lot of wonderful produce.

:-)) I've been buying more sugar to get ready for all the fruit glut that I'm going to have this year - pears, apples, quinces, figs, plums.
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Fran Farmer wrote:

yes, but most of them get fed maybe once a month and only a part of that meal comes from the gardens. we're not a full on CSA or anything formal like a farm.

they are by far the easiest and fastest fruit crop for me here in our soils and climate. that they get ripe early in the summer is nice too. i have three patches going and two of those will need some work this year to refurbish them or to rotate part of them into other crops. one other patch is just getting established so it can run for a few years. it will be interplanted like one of the others (so i'll have two formal strawberry patches and two intermixed wandering patches).
i'm hoping the new intermixed garden will work out as it will include other food plants besides the strawberries. i like that it really doesn't take much time for me to work weeding or watering because of the cover already in place. it's just a matter of getting small areas cleared for seeds and then seeing what happens. last year i put turnip and daikon radish seeds in, the turnips i never harvested many so they are worm food now under the snow (a few will survive to flower this coming year). the radishes i ate some of the sprouts and did not see any plants survive. i don't know if the critters found and ate all of them or what, but i don't think any are out there now. the sprouts and seeds were pretty good. :)

both as i do plant larger amounts of those we eat a lot of, but i have to balance that by what i want to grow and find out with the new crosses i'm discovering.

i'd call it a term of art used by the southern folks who have their own family heirloom varieties of climbing beans.
our own Steve Peek has many more years experience growing them than i do. i've only put them in the past two years. they could probably use a little drier climate and longer for a few more weeks, but i'm still getting a pretty good harvest for the space they take (i put them on the fence to the north of the gardens so they don't block any of the summer sun). about all i see as trouble with them is the late season when we get rains it will turn any of the late unripe pods into useless beans with some rot and discoloration, so i have to pick what is ready and fairly dry when i can before it gets damaged if we get rains. i'd put them in the 110-120 day range for a full crop they could likely go longer as they vine quite tall (well over my head and come back down). they stand up to our weather and rains better than the adzuki and blackeyed peas (both of those seem to need at least that much time here and most of what i get is discolored or rotten).
to me they are fairly bland with a very very slight fishy aftertaste. Ma likes them as a white bean. we've not eaten many at the fresh green stage, but the pods are good even when the seeds are large, some folks dry them at that stage for later use (boil 'em with a chunk of fatty meat for hours to rehydrate and cook). i haven't canned any of them either.

heh, that's an expensive berry! you'd be welcome for sure. :)
we had a lot of raiding this year, but i have so many plants that they could not get them all. in the interplanted garden they could not find them very easily either. there were trails through the patches from both me and the animals raiding and i still had some that ended up rotting.
we don't have large lizards like that here to contend with. i like the approach of massively overplanting and hoping it's enough for everyone. if i were on a smaller area i'd have to resort to fencing the patch and having some shock to it too because the chipmunks and birds alone can eat quite a few berries. i wouldn't mind as much if they'd eat the whole berry instead of taking one bite out of it and leaving it laying right next to a half dozen others.

i'd rather garden than do much else for exercise and i always enjoy trying different things even if they don't all work out. at least i'm not spraying anything now and for all my fertilizers it is worm compost or green manure from that patch. so on the whole, for the amount of inputs per year spent we get many returns beyond me being happy out playing in the dirt.

is it very expensive there? it's running about $(usd)1.00/kg here. sometimes we can get it for less. the local grown beet sugar would be great to use, but it is expensive and not the same as it was years ago (they're using M*'s GMO technology in it now).
songbird
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