Wednesday, March 5, 2014

#Heirloom #Tomatoes and #Garden Therapy by Karen Rose Smith

For the past few years I've planted heirloom tomato seeds to fill our garden, as well as our friends and family's gardens, with lush plants that produce terrifically tasty tomatoes.  Each year, I use one or two of my favorite varieties and also add new ones.  Since tomatoes are one of my main staples for soups and sauces, I like to have my freezer stocked full.  Most years I can freeze enough to take us through the winter.

Last summer we had a particularly weak growing season.  So I bought tomatoes from a local vegetable stand to see us through. But this year I'm hoping for a bumper crop again.  My varieties this year consist of three favorites--Marianna's Peace--a huge beefsteak, Anna Russian--a heart-shaped wonderfully tangy tomato, and Big Italian Plum.  In addition I'll plant these seeds too--Brandywine--Suddath's, Missouri Pink Love Apple, Amana Orange, Beauty and Lilian's Yellow Heirloom.

Heirloom tomatoes have history and the seeds have been handed down through generations.  Although I've purchased from several sources, Tomato Fest  seeds always seem to do the best.  They are organically harvested.

Raising tomatoes isn't only practical and economical for us, but it's therapeutic for me.  I have arthritis and fibromyalgia, and winter is usually my worst pain season.  Starting seeds in March gives me a jump on spring as well as a therapy-type past time.  Standing, planting, reaching, lifting in all stages from the gentlest with seedlings to the quart pots by May enable me to transition from winter to spring to summer gradually with physical activity.  

I'd love to hear about your experience with heirloom tomatoes and planting them in your gardens!  Let's hope we have a produce friendly year.

©2014 Karen Rose Smith

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