All the tomato plants have been handed out, 25 in total. 12 Giant Beefsteak, 7 Old Virginia and 6 Big Red. I’ve asked everybody who received them to give me feedback, good or bad.
Later, when the plants had all gone one of my co-workers approached me and said they would buy any spare tomatoes that I had. They didn’t want any plants, they just wanted to buy the tomatoes from me. This got me asking myself what I was doing here with this small project of mine, and what I was trying to achieve.
The first year I grew tomatoes I had a bumper crop. I didn’t do anything special, it was just one of those years. I had spares so I took them into work and left them in the lunchroom, along with a small moneybox, and asked people to donate whatever they could and the money would go to the local Humane Society. The tomatoes were popular, money was left in the box and everyone benefited.
I then thought that, if I could get more people interested in growing their own heirloom tomatoes and encourage them to save the seeds I would be doing my bit to propagate these old varieties and help spread them around. Also, I hoped that when people ate them they would realize how tasteless and overpriced the ones were that they were purchasing from Wal-Mart and such.
Last year I gave away around a dozen plants and one person did actually save the seeds, grow more plants and pass them out to THEIR friends and relations. Hey, some went to Oklahoma City. I was proud!
This year I’ve tried to expand the project a little by growing more plants, but the idea is still the same. What I want from all this is information. Feedback on what works and what doesn’t in this area. I hope to find out which varieties work best and build on it. Maybe some of mine will fail to bear fruit, maybe all.
But perhaps if we are lucky we will get some of each type so we can exchange seeds between us if necessary. I’d prefer to pass on spare fruit to people who didn’t have success with their plants (but at least tried) as an encouragement for them to try again. By doing this they would get seeds from the fruit too, and hopefully grow their own the following year. All that I’d request would be the same small donation for the Humane Society.