I sort of want to be a farmer. Not a big, millions of acres farmer, cranking out commodity crops like corn and soybeans. I want to be the kind of farmer that has a little bit of land, some delicious varietals, and booth at the local farmer’s market. You know, a yuppy farmer. *smile*
What I am is a housewife who bought a deal on one of those deal-o-day sites for a 4′ x 4′ raised bed and some transplants. When I got the deal, a wonderful man-o-the-earth type of fella installed it in our backyard. He planted two kinds of lettuces, some Swiss chard, broccoli, spinach, carrots, and radishes. They’re doing quite well so far.
But when I envisioned a garden, what I really wanted were tomatoes. And lots of them! I love tomatoes. I love their sweetness, versatility, their cannability (ooh, canning! This is something I do not know how to do, but I imagine having loads of canned tomatoes and pickled okra in my pantry.)
Not really knowing the first thing about planting tomatoes and my assumption that they are persnickety, I asked one of the gals at my favorite produce stall in the market about how she plants hers. She said three words, “Five gallon bucket.” Plant them in a big container, give them lots of sun, water them, don’t crowd them, let them do their thing, and she assured me that they will fruit delicious tomatoes.
So last weekend my sister, my son, and I headed to the organic nursery and then hardware store. We bought tomato plants (Amish Paste, which looks like a Roma, Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, and Black Cherry, two heirloom varieties), soil, and got a few tips on planting.
They should fruit in a few months but in the mean time, with the streak of warm weather we’ve been having, they’re quite happy in their paint bucket homes. That’s my little farmer in the background.
Back Row, l to r: Amish Paste, Brandywine
Front Row, l to r: Cherokee Purple, Black Cherry