The Itinerant Farmer

“Itinerant Farming” – an oxymoron?

Few professions require one to be bound to the land more than farming.  “Grow where you live” makes sense for so many reasons.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I moved twice in 2015, in the middle of the growing season.  I landed in a small room in a small house on 2.5 acres of land with the understanding that I would pretty much take over a large garden and earth-sheltered greenhouse.  Last week I got some unexpected news:  I am prohibited from growing ANYTHING where I live.  The property owners have decided to let everything go fallow this year.  So I’m scrambling to adjust my plans.

Now I’m looking at growing at 3 locations, located 20 minutes away, 2 hours away, and 3-1/2 hours away.  All on land belonging to relatives.  They get free seeds, free seedlings, much of the labor, and all the fresh veggies they can possibly eat.  I get to borrow land, free water, and to collect seeds.  And I get to live out of my suitcase for the next several months!

Anyhow, over the past week I’ve planted about 2,000 seeds, mostly tomatoes.  In February I planted peppers.

Here’s what the setup looks like in Kanab (2 hours away)

Seed starting 3-23-2016 ESeed starting 3-23-2016 D

And here is what the setup looks like in a cool basement (20 minutes away), using a 400-watt metal halide light and mylar fabric to help retain heat and light:

Seed starting 3-28-2016 A

These are extra early and dwarf varieties coming up.  The first up was Stupice – 12 of 12 up within 4 days of planting!  And some giant pumpkins started (but where to grow them??)

This weekend I finally finished packaging most of the squash seeds from the 2015 harvest.  But there are still several plates drying, and a few more winter squash from which I have not extracted seeds yet.  I really cannot comprehend boredom…

Here’s the list of tomato varieties I’m growing this year:

GIANT TOMATOES – Those that have been documented to grow to 3+ lbs.; lineage included:

Belmonte (1.556 DT 2011) X Big Zac (2.962 DT 2012)(F1)(0.874 DT 2014)
Bezrazmernyi (1.698 DT 2012) X Big Zac (4.57 MacCoy 2013)(F2)(1.720 DT 2015)
Bezrazmernyi (1.698 DT 2012) X Big Zac (5.50 Johnston/Butler 2012)(F1)(1.676 DT 2014)
Big Zac (1.736 DT 2011)
Big Zac (1.822 DT 2012)
Big Zac (2.044 DT 2014)
Big Zac (2.416 DT 2015)
Big Zac (2.602 DT 2012)
Big Zac (2.986 Montalvo 2015)
Big Zac (4.670 DT 2014)
Big Zac (4.80 Foss 2014)
Big Zac (5.50 Martin 2014)
Big Zac (5.67 Marley 2014)
Big Zac (5.84 Foss 2014)
Big Zac (6.01 Boudyo 2013)
Big Zac (6.16 Foss 2014)
Big Zac (6.88 MacCoy 2014)
Big Zac (7.10 Foss 2014)
Big Zac (8.41 MacCoy 2014)
Big Zac (9.5 MacCoy 2014)(multiple fruits almost joined)
Bigzarro (3.754 DT 14)
Brutus Magnum (2.006 DT 2012) X Big Zac (4.57 MacCoy 2013)(F2)(1.470 DT 2015)
Church (3.206 DT 12)
Delicious (1.224 DT 2012)(4th gen. Gordon Graham)
Delicious (1.874 DT 2011)(5.41 Landry 2011)
Delicious (2.314 DT 2014)(4.78 Lorson 2012)
Delicious (2.686 DT 2014)(5th gen. Gordon Graham)
Delicious (3.205 DT 2014)(6.51 Meisner 2011)
Delicious (3.50 Matesa 2012)(6.51 Meisner 2011)
Delicious (4.04 J/B 2012)(7.33 Hunt 2010)
Delicious (4.20 Lyons 2012)(4.25 Lyons 2010)
Delicious (6.51 Meisner 2011)
Domingo (3.010 Schielke 14)
Domingo (4.647 DT 14)
Domingo (5.75 Marley 14)
Domingo (Vincenzo Domingo 14)
Hoy (~3 Kott 2011) X Delicious (6.51 Meisner 2011)(F2)(1.988 DT 2015)
MegaMarv (2.678 DT 12)
Michael’s Portuguese Monster (1.932 DT 11)
Michael’s Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 12)
Michael’s Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) X MegaMarv (4.23 Wahl 2012)(F2)(2.030 DT 2015)
Michael’s Portuguese Monster (2.610 DT 2012) X Delicious (6.51 Meisner 2011)(F2)(3.698 DT 2015)
Michael’s Portuguese Monster (IL LO N)
Rebecca Sebastian’s Bull Bag X Big Zac (4.57 MacCoy 2013)(F2)(__ Johnson 2015)
Rebecca Sebastian’s Bull Bag X Big Zac (4.57 MacCoy 2013)(F2)(1.724 DT 2015)
Shuntukski Velikan (1.978 DT 2012) X Big Zac (3.75 Catapano 2007)(F2)(2.174 DT 2015)
Steakhouse (F2) (0.868 DT 15)
Wes (1.718 DT 2012) X Big Zac (4.57 MacCoy 2013)(F2)(1.242 DT 2015)
Zaczilla (F1) (Zaccaria)
ZacZilla (F2) (1.080 DT 15)

BIG TOMATOES – Those that have been documented, or at least claimed, to grow to 2+ lbs:

Alice’s Egypt
Amana Orange
Aunt Ruby’s German Green
Belarusian Heart
Big McHenry
Black Mountain Pink
Brandywine from Croatia, RL
Brazilian Giant
Butler Skinner
Carol Chyko’s Big Paste
Casey’s Pure Yellow
Claude Brown’s Yellow Giant
Coeur de Boeuf de Nice
DaCosta’s Portuguese
De Weese Streaked
DelMar (F2)
DelZac (F2)
Dikaya Roza
Flathead Monster Orange
Flathead Monster Pink
Florida Pink
Fred Limbaugh Potato Top
Geante de Hutt
George’s Greek Beefsteak
German Giant
German Red Strawberry
Giant Belgium
Giant Colossal
Gold Medal
Goose Rock
Grandfather Ashlock
Great White
Hawaiian Pineapple
Heart of Ashgabat
Huge Giant Yellow
Hungarian Heart
Israeli 2 Pounder
Jerry’s German Giant
Joe’s Portuguese
Lara’s Giant
Leadbeatter’s Lunker
Libanaise des Montagnes
Malcolm Lincoln
Mario’s Oxheart
Mayo’s Delight
Mexican Giant
Mr. Tartar’s German
Mushroom Basket
Nicky Crain
Olena Ukrainian
Palmira’s Northern Italian
Plate Du Portugal
Polish C
Red Belly
Rhoades Heirloom
Rozovyi Myod
Shilling Giant
Siberian Giant
Steakhouse (F1)
Stripes of Syrnath
Toedebush Pink
Vechnyi Zov
Veras Paradeiser
Volovsko Srce Slovenian
White Wonder
Wolford Wonder
World’s Largest
Zagadka Prirody
Zore’s Big Red


Dwarf Mr. Snow
Dwarf Wild Fred
Earl of Edgecombe
Early Girl (F2)
Forest Fire
Fourth of July (F3)
Husky Pink OP
Krainiy Sever
Large Lucky Red
Matchless (Austin)
New Big Dwarf
Orange Pixie
Purple Reign
Rosalie’s Early Orange
Rosella Purple
Sibirskiy Skorospelyi
Sleeping Lady
Summertime Gold
Tasmanian Chocolate
Ultra Skorospelyi
Uralskiy Ranniy
Yukon Quest

MAIN CROP – Primarily for seed production, selling produce and consumption

1884 Purple
Aker’s West Virginia
Amazon Chocolate
Angela Giant
Anna Russian
Bangladesh Heart
Banjan Roomii
Bear Creek
Beefsteak, Yellow
Beijing Yellow
Big Sungold Select
Big Yellow, Simpson
Blaby Special
Black and Brown Boar
Black Creme
Black Master
Blanche Yan
Bob’s Boomtown Titty
Borracho de Aretxabaleta
Brandywine of Croatia, PL
Brandywine, Pawer’s
Brandywine, Yellow, Platfoot strain
Brazilian Beauty
Buffalo Heart Giant
Butter and Bull Heart
Cesu Agrais
Cherry Roma
Chocolate Champion
Chocolate Stripes
Chudo Sada
Chyornyi Slon
Cleota Yellow
Coastal Pride
Cow’s Tit
Daniel Burson
Delano Green Ripe
Dutka’s Pink
Dwarf Russian Swirl
Eastham Pink Heirloom
Eva Purple Ball
Fish Lake Oxheart
Fleur de Reagir
Fruity Cherry
Georgia Green
German Pink
Gezahnte Buhrer-Keel
Giant Green Zebra
Giant Heart Climber
Gramma Climenhagen
Grandma Baker’s
Grape Sausage
Gregori’s Altai
Grosse De Perthuis
GWR Wild Thyme
Homestead 24-F
Honey Giant
Isis Brandy
Ispanskiy Gigant
Iva’s Red Berry
Jaune Saint Vincent
Jersey Giant
Jim Dandy
Joe Thieneman’s Australian Heart
Joe’s Plum
Juliet (F4), long
Kanauss Oxheart
Kellogg’s West Virginia
Kennington’s Big Red
Knauss Oxheart
Kozula #135
Kozula #18 (F5)
Kozula #37
Kukla’s Portuguese Beefsteak
Lemon Giant
Lime Green Salad
Livingston’s Gold Ball
Maddy Rose
Magyar Piroska
Malakhitovaya Shkatulka
Malinovyi Charodei
Margaret Curtain
Marizol Bratka
Maryland Large Red
Maylor Roth’s Orange
Mexican Yellow
Michaela’s Pink Oxheart
Mikada Orange
Miss Kennedy
Momotaro (OP)
Monica (F3)
Mont Athos
Mortgage Lifter, Estler’s
Mortgage Lifter, Pesta Strain
Mountain Gold
Mrs. Benson
Negrillo de Almoguera
New Jersey Champion
Noire Charbonneuse
Nonna Antonina
Old Fashioned Oxheart
Olga’s Biggest
Orange Bourgoin
Orange Russian 117
Orange Torpedo
Orange Tree
OSU Oblonde Avec Teton
Our Own Pink
Oxheart Yellow
Peaches and Cream
Perth Pride
Pink Petticoat
Pink Thai Egg
Pleine de Chair
Polish Ellis
Polish Pink
Prudens Purple X Indian Stripe (F5)
Purple Elgin GWR
Rasp Large Red
Raspberry Lyanna
Red Barn
Red Pear Abruzzese
Red Robin
Rosa de Barbastro
Rosado y Rojo
Rosalie’s Big Rosy
Rosalie’s Large Paste
Rosi Mari
Rozovye Gryozy
Rufus Carrigan’s Mexican Pink
Russian Oxheart
Schlicht’s Orange Cherry
Sean’s Yellow Dwarf
Serendipity Striped
Slovenian Bull’s Heart
Snag’s Pride
Sosulka Krasnaya
South Tyrolean Beefsteak
Stakeless (F4)
Stoina’s Bulgarian
Striped German
Striped Sweetheart Dark
Sub-Arctic Maxi
Sub-Arctic Plenty
Sugar Plum Fairy
Summer Sunrise
Summer Sweet Gold
Summertime Green
Sun Gold (F3)
Sunbursts (F3)
Sunrise Bumblebee
Sunset’s Red Horizon
Sunsugar (F3)
Sunsugar (F4)
Super Choice
Super Italian Paste
Super Marzano (F1)
Super Sioux
Supersauce (F2)
Sweet Scarlet Dwarf
Tekin’s Bulgarian Pink
Tennessee Suited
Teschchin Yazyk
Tollison’s German
Tom Boy
Tree’s Bottom Yellow
Tumbling Tom
Ukrainian Heart, TN MU J
Ukrainian Pear
Vater Rein
Waltingers Fleisch aus Indien
West Virginia 63
West Virginia Penitentiary
Wild Thyme Purple
Work Release Paste
Yasha Yugoslavian
Yellow Giant
Yellow Out Red In
Yoder’s German Pink
Yoder’s Red Beefsteak
Zheltij Delikates
Zluta Kytice

That’s only 396 varieties/lineages – the fewest I’ve grown by far since 2012!  But with all the traveling involved, I’m already feeling overwhelmed…

= = = = = = = = = = =

Update April 03, 2016 – Phase Two begun!  The early and dwarf varieties are not potted up, 14 trays worth.  Going into the potting mix are these OMRI listed amendments:

Soil amendements OMRI 4-2-2016 ASoil amendements OMRI 4-2-2016 MSoil amendements OMRI 4-2-2016 HSoil amendements OMRI 4-2-2016 ESoil amendements OMRI 4-2-2016 GSoil amendements OMRI 4-2-2016 FSoil amendements OMRI 4-2-2016 CSoil amendements OMRI 4-2-2016 S rev

Well, I guess the potting soil and bone meal are not actually OMRI listed.  Anyway, mixed with a very old concrete mixer.  Recipe is available if your would like:

Here is the first plug tray of early and dwarf tomato varieties, potted up 14 days after planting seeds into 14 trays and put under metal halide lights.  Walls are large pieces of cardboard covered with mylar fabric.

Seedling potting up metal halide mylar 4-3-2016 B

Two weeks from seed is on the early side, but I think most of them will take just fine.



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