Velocious, Voracious Chronometer

Calendar tells me it’s 2022 already – how is that possible? It seems the clock is not only whizzing by, but doing so with an insatiable appetite, consuming, devouring everything in its path — like the Langoliers…

Say what? Time to start thinking seriously about the next growing season? Well at least I’ve mostly completed tasks from the last one.

On December 12th, I finally finished, essentially, STAGE 2 (see November 2021 blog post for descriptions of stages) of processing tomatoes for seed saving, with only 34 batches left, and most of these were microdwarf varieties, grown indoors under artificial lights.

On December 25th, STAGE 3 was completed, and on December 31st, STAGE 4 completed and a good start on STAGE 5. STAGE 6 is the most time-consuming of all. But I have some ideas for batch processing, for making the first significant, large-scale update to the website since 2016.

Indoor microdwarf tomato project pretty much ended because of low temperatures (tomatoes are subtropical plants, after all), fungus gnats, benign neglect, and the reality that they are determinate varieties. The electric toothbrush got many good workouts. But when the temperatures are in the 45-55° range, good blossom formation and fruit set might be a little much to hope for. Here are just a few of the microdwarf plants before final harvesting:

There have been several significant snowstorms in the past few weeks – a very good thing! Will it be enough to get the region out of severe drought conditions?

For some reason, the local deer seem to have a particular affinity for the compost pile.

A very white JWST Launch Day (25 December) – another reminder of Sagan’s powerful Pale Blue Dot speech.

Several critters have been taking refuge inside, where it’s relatively warm, such as this hobo spider, Eratigena agrestis (Not at all certain of identity, as I am not an arachnologist and did not take the time…)[maybe the belief that I sleep alone is just a comforting delusion]:

On December 30th, I started in earnest processing cucurbits for seed extraction. So many distractions since these were harvested on October 9th! The saddest part is that most of these are too ripe (or rotting) for tasting, though the seeds should be just fine. It’s cool enough indoors that there is little chance the seeds have even “considered” trying to germinate.

There remain a few batches of tomatoes leftover into 2022, including a few microdwarf and long-keeper varieties, specifically Purple Smudge Orange Flesh and Yunnat.

Following is a list of the most delectable tomato varieties harvested in 2021, at least according to one set of taste buds (this is a big part of my quest: discover wonderful varieties from around the world and help make them available to other gardeners…). These all scored 8.5 out of 10 or higher on my taste scale, so these would all come “highly recommended” by me:

Alice’s Dream
Altaiskiy Oranzhevyi
Ambrosia Gold
Ananas Noire
Apricot Zebra
Artisan Blush Tiger
Beaverlodge Plum
Big Braggart
Black Fire
Brandywine, Apricot
Buckman’s Beauty
Bunte Pflaume
Canestrino di Lucca 
Champagne Bubbles
Cherokee Chocolate
Cherokee Lime Stripes
Chocolate Cherry
Coastal Yellow Egg
Coeur de Strie de Pessac
Coeur de Surpriz
Copper River
Criollo Argentino
Dagma’s Perfection
Ded Ivan
Dr. Wyche’s Yellow
Earl’s Faux
Elgin Pink
Fourth of July (PL, OP)
Gary’O Sena
German Pink
Ghost Cherry
Great White
Hazel Mae
Imur Prior Beta
Italian Heirloom
Italian Sweet
Ivory Pear
Jabuchar Velika Plana
Kapidag Red
Kozula #156
Kvadratnyi iz Irana
Loxton Lad
Lucky Cross
Lyagushka Tsarevna
Maddeline’s Vine Candy
Mayo’s Delight
Meri’s Croatian
Midnight In Moscow
Nahuelbuta Pink
Neves Azorean Red
Oaxacan Jewel
Orange Paruche
Orangevyi Orangutang
Oud Holland
Pederson’s Beefsteak
Pink Berkeley Tie-dye
Pink Jazz
Purple Reign
Reinhart’s Chocolate Heart
Rosalie’s Big Rosy
Rose Beauty
Rosella Purple
RW Cephei
Schlicht’s Orange Cherry
Serdtse Tibeta
Sergant Peppers X Libanaise des Montagnes
Summer Cider Apricot
Sweet Sue
Tel-Aviv Train
The Musketeers
Uluru Ochre
Vater Rhein na Sinyuke
Virginia Sweets
Waltingers Fleisch aus Indien
West Virginia Straw
White Cherry
Yablochniy Dugosel’skiy
Yasha Yugoslavian
Yoder’s German Pink
Zolotyie Gory Medeo
Zurcher Original

Note that about half of these are offered for the first time by Delectation of Tomatoes. Please navigate here for requesting seeds (and thereby contributing significantly to the preservation of heirloom seeds from around the world):

Delectation of Tomatoes, List of Tomato seeds available

This essentially final list includes 2,565 varieties, including 254 new varieties.

Major pressing tasks (aside from filling seed requests – but that’s the fun part!) include:

  • Extract seeds from cucurbits, eggplants, etc.
  • Finish entering data from seed saving project
  • Collate all inventory seed packets from the 2021 season with those from prior years
  • Name more than 15,000 photos so they can be found quickly – getting some fantastic help with this seemingly overwhelming project from John N. – huge THANK YOU to John!
  • Write up descriptions of more than 1,000 varieties, link with photos, and upload to website
  • Massive update and overhaul of the website.
  • Prepare for local seed swaps by prepackaging, massively
  • Try to find time to sleep (oops, that doesn’t belong here…)