Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Winter Is A Reality, Spring Is An Illusion

I have to start tomato seeds in another 2 weeks, the ground is covered with snow and some parts of the country are having a blizzard.  No season holds on like winter does.

I grow heirloom tomatoes.  These are seeds passed from one person to another, one generation to another.  Generally, the variety is at least  50 years old.  A good example of this is the Grandfather Ashlock.  These were first grown in Kentucky around 1900.  At some point a few years ago, Carl Ashlock decided to share these seeds with a tomato forum I'm with.  They didn't have a name, they were just the tomatoes his grandfather grew.  He called them the obvious thing.  I've grown this variety each year to great success.

There's something very nice in growing tomatoes with a history and tradition.  If you have an imagination, you can envision back through the years of the enjoyment, perhaps disappointment, certainly hard work.  This is something quite different than a modern tomato created at a commercial seed company and probably produced in Thailand.  Yes, that's true.

I do have a tomato variety that was developed within the past 10 years or so by a botanist of some fame and regard in the tomato community.  It's called Purple Haze.  Keith was experimenting and created this very fine tomato.  I don't know what happened but he lost interest in this one and went on to create other tomato varieties which are spectacular in their own way.  I was fortunate enough to receive some of the Purple Haze seeds from Keith and set about over the course of the last 6 years to dehybridize them.  Now I have Purple Haze tomatoes that are hybrids no longer and forever after, this is the way Purple Haze tomatoes are for me.  The fun part is other people were doing the same thing but because of the way dehybridization works, they don't have quite the same tomato I do.  In my own stumbling fashion I think mine are very like the original Purple Haze.

Bad Apple has been very fortunate for the last few weeks in finding readers who are taking the time to savor it.  Thank you if wind up here.

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