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Friday, August 03, 2012

Excellent Taste / Drunken Weaving

I missed the Greater Kansas City Tomato Tasting last year, can't recall why but I struggle to think of something that would have been worth skipping it.

Tomorrow morning I ride out at 7:00 a.m. on my bike with some not quite labeled tomatoes. I have an idea about the varieties, the Carbon is obvious, so is the Yellow Pear and Black Cherry. I'm pretty sure about the Pale Perfect Pearl, Aunt Ruby's German Green, and Barracker's Favorite.

But not certain. My fist year growing heirlooms I documented to a tedious excess, every pruned branch, every ripening fruit. Then there was the year I divided my time between two houses, followed by the year I got married right when you're supposed to put a garden in.

I had a partial, half-ass map at one time, but I can't find it. I'm riding out to the tasting with a couple pounds of excellent tomatoes but I can't prove the pedigree of any of them, really.

Anyway, the process of harvesting for the tasting lead to me retying and staking the plants. I did a lot of pruning, and had to deal with Japanese and Thai teenagers in the case of a couple of plants (the youth in Asia are my last resort, but when I fear a plant will take down fifteen neighbors, it's gotta go).

My stakes didn't get as deep as I'd liked, and some are pretty old and rotten. All the plants I grow are indeterminate heirlooms, might get four feet high, might get twelve. Anyway, I was tying and pruning and realized that two of the stakes were leaning in opposite directions, so I tied them to each other. Then I remembered a staking scheme I saw online called the 'Florida weave' that involved lacing tomatoes through a fence. My plants seemed more like a pack of intoxicated sailors struggling to help each other back to ship before their liberty expires. So after much interconnecting of fates, I give you the Drunken Weave.

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