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I grew out a few new varieties of tomatoes this year. Four new cherries, a black, a white (really a pale yellow), esterina (yellow) and skakura (red). All were an attempt to find cherry tomatoes that didn’t split on the vine, after picking, and in the display box at market (looking at you Sungold – love you, but dang…). I also ended up with an accidental cherry when growing out some saved seed from a German Pink. I always put my German Pink’s near my cherry tomatoes, and it was clearly a cross with sungold. Kind of a fun slightly larger very round bright orange cherry. And I threw in a Brad’s Atomic Grape Tomato from a plant sale, because I was swayed by its amazing looks. Turns out its not much on flavor in our growing environment. Tough skin, not terribly sweet, and the plant struggled to keep up all season while EVERY other tomato plant I had did just fine. So definitely a dud for me.

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HopiCornI’m new to seed saving. I have known the basics for years. That you need to save seed from open pollinated plants, not hybrids, if you want the seed to come true. That the technique for saving the seed differs depending on the plant. I’ve even saved seed from a few things – a high elevation variety of flour corn, a short season southwestern chile pepper, a runner bean.

But I have always gardened in relatively small spaces. And I’m a big believer in biointensive gardening, so I tend to pack a lot of vegetables into the allotted space, even when I have room. I also often plant more than one variety of any given vegetable. Heck, I’m planning on planting 18 varieties of tomatoes and tomatillos this year! Read the rest of this entry »

Jennifer Kleffner

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