Sunday, March 15, 2009


We planted most of our tomato seeds this morning. None of them were from seeds we'd saved -- those few will go in later this month.

Today's batch included some organic tomato seed from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange that DH picked up at Countryside Natural Products last week. Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter, Brandywine, Arkansas Traveler and the smaller Yellow Pear tomatoes, which DS and I like to pop straight off the vine, filled about 30 cells each.

After DH went to work, DS planted this year's Tomatosphere tomato seed (Heinz 9478 - a plum tomato hybrid). Tomatosphere is an educational outreach program co-sponsored by the Canadian Space Agency, Heinz Canada Ltd., etc. This is the first year DS has participated -- we're signed up as a group with some other homeschooling families. He received two packets of seed as part of this year's blind study. One is a control group and the other batch was exposed to a simulation of the atmosphere on Mars.

He'll monitor their germination and any growth till they produce their first tomatoes. Then we submit his results so they can be compiled with all the other students' reports. After he turns in his summary, he'll learn which of the two packets was the control group, too. And, of course, any tomatoes produced will be absorbed into our usual canning and preserving process.

I'm not wild about planting the F1 hybrids when we hope to save tomato seeds this year but they'll go into a bed at least 50 yards from the other tomatoes so that should lessen the chance of cross-pollination. And DS is excited about the experiment which outweighs any qualms I might have.

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