Projects Put on Pause

Over the past few years I have been developing and publishing lists which many growers may find helpful. These files are supplemental to the main website and to this blog, and are available for anybody to view:

DT Shared Files

The Big Tomato List – many contributors have helped in documenting 322 varieties which have been grown to at least 2 lbs. (or some at least credible claims)

Very Productive Varietes – obviously biased by where I have grown, soil conditions, weather, etc.

Heat Tolerant Varieties – those which have done well for me in summers of 95-105° F, along with many which have been reported by other growers to do well in areas like Phoenix Arizona, Las Vegas, South Texas, etc.

Dwarf, micro-dwarf, and compact determinate varieties, more or less suited to growing in containers or small spaces.

Extra early varieties – 85+ varieties that can ripen within 65 days of transplanting if weather remains warm.

Container varieties – 105 varieties suitable for growing in 1- to 3-gallon pots

Tastiest Tomatoes – 241 wonderfully delicious varieties, and counting…

An overview of how to successfully grow giant tomatoes.

In mid-January I “took off” four days to attend the Utah Farm and Food Conference. It was a very positive experience, but I was already struggling mightily to keep up. Regrettably, some growers have had to wait for a week or more to receive their seeds. But now, finally, on the last day of January, I am very close to being caught up with seed request. Sharing seeds with other growers is the most rewarding part of operating Delectation of Tomatoes, so no regrets on that account! I just need to continue learning how to refine and streamline my seed packaging process.

Though I’m not typically prone to bragging, there is one thing that I am very VERY good at — better than almost anybody you will ever meet!

Yes, I sense your cringing…

I am REALLY good at: overestimating my abilities.

Anyhow, following are just high priority projects put on pause in January until I can generate the time, become more efficient, sleep less, create more energy, let go of more things in life, or some combination of these.

Completing processing of melons, cucumbers, squash, eggplant, etc. harvested several months ago (I did manage to process one watermelon – see below)

Alphabetizing and collating tomato seeds havested in 2021 with those harvest in 2009-2020. (Alphabetizing completed, and collating completed through the letter L, but I took off three days from more pressing tasks to get this one half done).

Assessing which tomato varieties need to be grown again in 2022. (I got through the letter A while collating seeds, but that project took ten hours and put me a day behind on more pressing tasks)

Conducting a complete inventory and reorganization of tomato seeds.

Data entry from inventory of seeds harvested in 2021. (I got through the letter A, but it took about 3 hours away from more pressing tasks)

Planting garlic (four months behind now)

Taking care of pepper and other plants in the cellar (I’ve not even looked at them in 6 weeks)

Complete and submit plans to the County Inspector for finishing the greenhouse that I abandoned last spring.

Initiate a crowd-funding project for installing a large high tunnel (40 ft. X 100 ft.), estimated minimum cost of $20,000 – something that would take me 20 years to pay for on my own, but would generate enough revenue through sales of fresh produce to pay for itself in 2-3 years.

Last tomato harvested from the main tomato growing season of 2021 (not counting long-keeper and micro-dwarf varieties), likely Pederson’s Beefsteak:, consumed on January 16th, and still quite tasty!

A long-keeper variety, or at least is acting like it, Yunnat (Russian, Юннат, translates to “Youth”, with about 10 tomatoes still ripening very slowly. This is one of just a few cases over the years where I’ve observed seed germinating inside of a rotting tomato. This is particularly interesting, since these tomatoes have been stored where temperatures state been 45-60°. And growth documented, for at least one seedling!

A very delicious watermelon, harvested on October 9th, not cut open until January 25th – that’s 108 days on the shelf, almost like a winter squash! The flavor was still very good: sweet, juicy, delicious. Texture was just a little off, but nothing to dissuade me, as I love a good melon!

Watermelon, Grandeur (F2?), 108 days from harvest

There are still over 100 cucumbers, melons, eggplants, squash, etc. waiting for me to extract seeds. I also processed a Guatemalan Green-Fleshed Ayote squash for seeds, and it turned out to be one of the most delicious squash I’ve ever eaten! Unfortunately, none of the seeds were mature, and the flesh only had hints of green. Purple in the photo is mold.

Microdwarf tomato project pretty much neglected for months. Too cold, too many fungus gnats, too much benign neglect. But one variety stood out as resilient and hardy, despite the bad treatment: Gold Pearl, still producing!

Gold Pearl (microdwarf)

Back to the primary project this time of year – supplying other growers with seeds of some amazing varieties! Just more fun than I deserve to have! LOL

Thanks for supporting the preservation and propagation of heirloom tomato varieties!