Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sustainable Saturday -What About Bob

Today, in the Southern Tier of upstate New York, we were going to have a busy afternoon, so decided we would go to the Vestal Farmers Market.  We weren't going to have time for the New York Cheese Trail open house, but you can find our experiences on an earlier Trail here.

At the market, I bought Bob.

Bob is an heirloom tomato plant. The vendor explained that they don't know the name of the variety, but have been growing "Bob" for years.  It's a meaty orange paste tomato, but will get much bigger than normal paste tomatoes.  The plants she was selling were all grown by her, under lights.
(This sign at the vendor's booth made me feel old, though - I can remember when Rutger tomatoes were not "heirlooms".)  Bob appealed to me because, by saving seed, this grower has bred a tomato plant adapted to our area.  Let's hope this isn't a year where the late tomato blight hits.

The plant was strong and healthy.  Since it's a couple of weeks past when we would have normally planted tomatoes, we hope we will get a harvest from "Bob".  He cost $2.50 for the one plant.  I can't wait to learn more about "Bob" and, if he does well for us, I"ll let you know later this summer.

It must have been New York Tomato Day, because we stopped in our local supermarket to get a couple of items, and a woman was sampling fried green tomatoes.

You do not normally find fried green tomatoes being sampled in upstate New York.  That's more of a specialty in the southern United States.  When I lived in Florida, Texas and Arkansas, I definitely did not develop a taste for them (or okra, for that matter.)  But I tried the sample.  The batter was good.  The green tomatoes were - well, green tomatoes.

But the merchandising caught my eye.

Yes, the green tomatoes were being sold as a kit:  two green tomatoes, and the batter.  I didn't notice the price.

I turned the box over.  I was curious where these tomatoes originated from.


OK, it's true that Canada is closer to us than most of the United States is.  These tomatoes, apparently, are grown in a greenhouse in Ontario. So, I did a little research online and found out about the large greenhouse tomato industry in Ontario.  I also found out they eat fried green tomatoes in Canada.  

But, I think I will pass on the kit.  Instead, I will wait for Bob.

Did you go to your local farmer's market this week?


  1. Splendid! One of our favourite places to be...

  2. Haha! Never would have guessed that they like fried green tomatoes in Canada. Very funny. I've only had them once, in New Orleans and I have to admit I found them absolutely delicious (though I think it was mostly due to the remoulade sauce drizzled all over it).

  3. Oh, I do love a good farmers' market, Alana. And this one sounds superb! We only have one a month, and not in my town but a neighbouring one. But I love to go along and get some great local fruit and veg. We don't have many plants, though. But wishing you well as Bob gets used to his new home.

  4. Wonderful! Alana, if you like the "Bob" tomatoes, maybe we could swap seeds? I save heirloom seeds and have plenty I could share with you. But don't get me started: my favorite part of gardening season is tomato season!

  5. I did go to my local market this week. I bought a seedless cucumber a local woman grew in her own greenhouse, and we ate it for dinner on top of my very own garden lettuce. It was quite good! I also bought some purple petunias to use in my porch containers, for $1.00 per pack of five, and two little catnip plants at 50 cents a piece, just as a treat for our two kitties! I didn't buy anything from her this trip, but I had a nice long conversation with a woman who sells perennials and herbs. I've bought many things from her in the past, most recently blue flax, and they've all taken wonderfully. So many benefits to buying local!

    I don't think it's too late to plant your tomatoes. They'll take better and grow faster now, since the soil is warm. I just put my own, started from seed under lights in my basement, in the ground earlier this week. I am trying Rutgers for the first time, as well as Roma and Sweet 100s. Good luck with Bob! I'm eager to hear how he does for you! And yes, please no late blight this year!

  6. Congrats on the new member of the family. Hope Bob settles in well.


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