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Member discussion regarding the methods, varieties and merits of growing tomatoes.

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Old January 18, 2018   #1
Black Krim
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Default Victory Garden Dream

I have been struggling with how to help my community for more than 5 years learn how to grow vegies. Many roadblocks along the way, but the idea still persists.

I am carrying over my thoughts from another thread:

had a "doh" moment just a few years ago as I realized the old gardening show hosted by Crockett initially was called The Victory Garden for a reason totally different than my imagination created. My thought was that digging in the garden with mom and having extra food was a victory. haha The real reason for the name was when we all chipped in to win that world war.

Today I see we have another war to win--food poverty. I think about the many people in my community with low paying work or no work. We have 2 food pantries. One without fresh produce and another limited to those they deem fit the rules. When I had extra produce I brought it to the former, and when my son grew his Eagle project produce it also was for the former. Anyone could help themselves--- and boy did folks flock when he walked in carriing boxes of produce.

I dream of everyone having a tomato plant( to start), and I have no idea how to help everyone get gardening. The high school has a garden but it all goes to the latter pantry. The lower grammer school is in a low income zone but the play ground experiences vandalism--dont see a garden thriving there YET. I see lots of poverty that lives under the radar for the majority of the local residents.

First step..Find the right variety.....


What do you think is an easy variety for a first time gardener?? My thoughts is that it needs to be a red or pink. A short indeterminate. I am open to all ideas.
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Old January 18, 2018   #2
maxjohnson
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I think if you're going to grow food for the community, the ability to do it affordably is important. I'm a proponent of no till/back to eden, especially if you have support form the city to get mulch.

I'm guessing you want to start with a market tomato like Rutgers.
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Old January 18, 2018   #3
PhilaGardener
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Kids love cherry tomatoes and they are pretty vigorous and disease resistant. Of course that is the total opposite of short . . .
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Old January 18, 2018   #4
nancyruhl
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As you read all the various threads, you see how much work and money and effort people put into caging and staking large indeterminate tomato plants. My vote would be for a red or pink dwarf that can be easily staked and often puts out just as many tomatoes, albeit closer together. I don't know how far north in New England you are, but where I am we don't get those 16 foot tall plants our southern neighbors sometimes show off anyway. The dwarfs can be grown in container easily, as well, for those who don't have "gardens".

Now, if you are considering a cherry, I grew out Rev Michael Keyes (seeds from Marsha, thanks again) which is a multiflora red grape shaped tomato, and that baby put out more fruit than we could keep up with. I don't think even one of them cracked, either. I did grow it in a container, but it did require a lot of support for those heavy branches. Very good robust flavor, as well.
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Old January 18, 2018   #5
Worth1
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Not red not pink.
Black Plum you wont be sorry.
Red rocket is another good choice.

Worth
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Old January 18, 2018   #6
maxjohnson
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Florida weave is a really cheap way to trellis.
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Old January 18, 2018   #7
Father'sDaughter
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What a lovely plan! One problem may be is that those who could benefit most, may not have the land available. Assuming most of them rent, or live in multiple unit buildings, growing their own vegetables may not be feasible or even possible.

Rather than giving each plants they'll need to find a place to grow before even learning how, perhaps look into finding some land (ask churches, your town, local business) if there's some land they will allow you to use to set up a community garden for those in need? Then set the expectation that anyone wanting produce from the garden invest some amount of time planting, weeding, pruning, and harvesting? This might feel less like charity and could help build relationships among community members.

Best of luck with your efforts!
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Old January 19, 2018   #8
MickyT
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I wish you lots of success in this venture, whatever shape or form it may develop into.

There’s a pretty cool initiative here in Vancouver:

http://solefoodfarms.com/our-story

Also interesting:

https://www.ted.com/talks/ron_finley...ral_la/up-next
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Old January 20, 2018   #9
Black Krim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxjohnson View Post
I think if you're going to grow food for the community, the ability to do it affordably is important. I'm a proponent of no till/back to eden, especially if you have support form the city to get mulch.

I'm guessing you want to start with a market tomato like Rutgers.
I was thinking that each person participating could determine if a pot was necessary or make a spot in the flower garden, or make a small, very small garden.

For two years now one person along main street has set up a tube that winds like a snake to grow. Looks odd and out of place, but kudos for effort.

One big pot; soil to fill, 3 tall stakes.......
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Old January 20, 2018   #10
Black Krim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilaGardener View Post
Kids love cherry tomatoes and they are pretty vigorous and disease resistant. Of course that is the total opposite of short . . .

lol, when this first popped into my mind, I bought yellow pear. It is what variety a teacher selected as a school project. So the first my kids grew, and what pulled me back into gardening.
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Old January 20, 2018   #11
Black Krim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nancyruhl View Post
As you read all the various threads, you see how much work and money and effort people put into caging and staking large indeterminate tomato plants. My vote would be for a red or pink dwarf that can be easily staked and often puts out just as many tomatoes, albeit closer together. I don't know how far north in New England you are, but where I am we don't get those 16 foot tall plants our southern neighbors sometimes show off anyway. The dwarfs can be grown in container easily, as well, for those who don't have "gardens".

Now, if you are considering a cherry, I grew out Rev Michael Keyes (seeds from Marsha, thanks again) which is a multiflora red grape shaped tomato, and that baby put out more fruit than we could keep up with. I don't think even one of them cracked, either. I did grow it in a container, but it did require a lot of support for those heavy branches. Very good robust flavor, as well.
Im with you on size. Just for the reasons you mentioned.
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Old January 20, 2018   #12
Black Krim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worth1 View Post
Not red not pink.
Black Plum you wont be sorry.
Red rocket is another good choice.

Worth
ok Worth, why......? Most folks only know redd or pinks. Does Black plum look pink or red despite the black in the name?
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Old January 20, 2018   #13
Black Krim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxjohnson View Post
Florida weave is a really cheap way to trellis.
Good idea!

The irony is that while many folks are short on good food, access to the internet is top notch.
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Old January 20, 2018   #14
Black Krim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MickyT View Post
I wish you lots of success in this venture, whatever shape or form it may develop into.

There’s a pretty cool initiative here in Vancouver:

http://solefoodfarms.com/our-story

Also interesting:

https://www.ted.com/talks/ron_finley...ral_la/up-next
OMG this man made me cry....

He has the
karisma to organize people and stand up to crap......he started by motivating a small group to start and maintain garden space.

Around here the two areas maintained are by a garden club and grow pretty flowers, beautiful for sure but not edible.

I am trying to reach those that have a bit of space, it only takes asking the landlord, to then make a little plot, or just use pots.

In the past I have tried to help a friend, putting in 20 hours to build a raised bed only to have her move. Better if SHE puts in the work...Im no Ron Finley......yet.
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Old January 20, 2018   #15
Black Krim
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THank you everyone for your input--still looking for the right tomato.
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