Thursday, May 28, 2009

New Tomato To Try

Tuesday, May 28, 2009

There are some advantages to being a would-be garden writer. Over time dealers, growers, publishers, manufacturers, and suppliers find out about you and try to encourage you to comment on their product. Some things I just let slide over the top because I don't think they are in line with what Gail and I think of gardening. I'm not interested in flowered belt buckles and garden shoes with little smiling snails, and really, I'm not interested in anything "steel" made in China.

In this particular example today, the product received a double whammy award from me because I like the concept and I also am intrigued by the method of shipping enough to share it with you. The product is a tomato hybrid named Tomaccio, the sweet raisin tomato, originally developed in Israel and now popular in parts of Europe. It will be released in America next year although there has been some experimental release via vegetable plant wholesalers this year. If you click on the following announcement, you'll get all the details including its merits as a dried tomato and its ability to do well as a container or garden plant.

Gail and I receive lots of plants each year and packaging is critical to a happy customer. One shipment from a major US supplier arrived by a major delivery company but looked as if it had been pushed off the truck without regard for the contents. There was no doubt that the boxes were expensive but they didn't do the trick at protecting the plants inside. Not the case with this shipment!

These six packs were surrounded by a cardboard wrapper which took up half the box size. The box was designed to hold up to 12 tomato plants. Although the box was marked with an arrow and asked for proper handling, I turned the box upside down to see how the tomatoes fared and they didn't move at all. It's obvious that the supply network has to be perfect as the plants must be shipped just before they reach the interior height limit of the box. No problem with the 6 we received.

I noticed that the stems were very strong, almost wiry and this might be attributed to the origin of the tomato said to come from the wild. This is important if planting in a windy area and is a must for a plant which reaches 9 feet tall.

I'll give away all but one of these Tomaccios and try to collect results later this summer. In the meantime, keep your eye out in stores if you are looking for a small cherry tomato with good flavor and the ability to dry well in the oven for use next winter.

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where the rain is pounding down as Karl the Wonder Dog, 6 hours post-dental surgery, is just beginning to wander around as his anesthesia wears off.

Good gardening,

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm A web site with trollius offered--now in bloom here in Vermont!

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