Planting for high density living

We're in a little bit of withdrawal, as we just did our final Farmer's Market last weekend. We may do some winter crops, but otherwise, we'll start the cycle again next year. That ought to give us time to mend various pulled muscles, bruises, and assorted other physical insults one of us has logged. However, we are keeping up this blog in the meantime with updates about our own planting, as well as that of some of our customers. We want to emphasize that anyone, with even the barest amount of space, can grow their own.

For example, one of our clever customers is growing them indoors. As you can see from the picture on the right, Maria simply lined up the tomato plants (on the sill in black pots) and let them climb up/be supported through the horizontal black shelving. This window is a solarium, so the plants get light from three directions. You can just see the developing fruits -- at 11 on the clock face angle from the light colored pot with the Asian motif. The picture below shows the baby fruit in close up.

In addition, Maria hand-pollinated the flowers -- it took maybe 2-3 minutes! She just tickled the stamens, i.e. the pollen-bearing structures, which are inside the flower petals. Then, she moved to another flower and repeated till she had touched all the flowers. Her actions substitute for the bees who usually do the pollination and without which there is no fruit.

For you Topsy-Turvy fans, see this article in the New York Times about growing upside down. As the article implies, there are lots of ways to grow the tomatoes upside down.
As for us, Kelley has dug out her backyard and planted all the varieties of tomatoes. This is just as it sounds, and we'll describe the process -- with pictures -- in the next post.