Let’s start off with eggs. I have been meaning to mention it here for quite a while. Eggs. I read from Nourishing Tradition by Sally Fallon that you can tell the quality of eggs by poaching them. The good ones hold together, the bad ones go to fluff. Therefore, if you have consistently getting fluffy poached eggs, you can’t stop blaming it on your lack of skill.

I have been buying organic free range eggs from Countdown for a while. And since day one I suspected there’s something fishy about them. The shells thin and brittle, the yolk is pale, the poaching is consistently fluffy to the point that I lose most of the egg whites and ended up with just a thin white coating the yolk. So much for paying premium price for certified organic free range eggs from a supermarket.

Now, I’ve got my 7 days a week supply of un-certified organic free range eggs from a lady I used to work for. She lived about 15 minutes or so away, and I have the eggs dropped off in my mailbox every Monday. They consistently poached beautifully, and the yolks are a beautiful orange! And that’s my eggy experience!

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Tomatoes are setting fruits! This in the picture is Indigo Rose from Kings Seeds. It sets deep purple tomatoes right from the start! The whole plant is a bit odd, its got a much darker purple tinge on the foliage and stems, as if frost bitten. It wasn’t the most impressive variety I have so far, I think a few more years of selection would probably help.

The Black Cherry variety from Koanga Gardens followed by Oaxacan Jewel from Kings Seeds are at their very best in terms of vigor. They seems to be going for it despite the cold Spring, outgrowing their counterparts. Both BC and OJ have rootstock potential.

I figured out how to easily multiplied your tomato seedlings after observing the results from Grant’s sloppy transplanting of the seedlings I gave him. You can get 3  plants out of just 1! Let the seedlings grow until a set of laterals appear on the lowest tiers. Don’t pinch it out but let them grow a wee bit. Then transplant them into a larger growing medium taking care to purposefully bury about half of the laterals below the surface. Leave it for 3 to 4 weeks, you can pinch out the laterals on the primary stem except for the one that you buried. Carefully dig out the soil around the base of the stem until you come upon where the lateral joined with the stem, the lateral would have rooted by now, carefully chip it away from the stem. 2 laterals, means 2 more plants! This technique is useful if you don’t have enough space on the heat tray to start seedlings off.

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My tomato rootstock seed saving program seems like its going to work!

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The laterals are steadily growing out of the rootstock! I hope they will flower, bear some fruit, and I can save some seeds. I have another crazy idea of over-wintering them, and then applying the technique I described above, have an early start and propagate the rootstock asexually.

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I have replaced half of the bell peppers with nursery stocks. The ones I raised from seeds were beaten to pulp by the labour day hail, and subsequent frost and cold weather does not help either. Far left is yellow bell peppers, then orange, then red, then dark purple. I might give raising them from seed again next season, but I don’t really have the right micro climate to compete with nursery stock. It might actually be wiser to buy it from garden centers when the weather is right and plant it out direct.

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I went down to the orchard yesterday to do some digging. I dug up some cherry rootstock suckers with roots on them and pot them up. I hope to bud or graft onto them for next season.

I have a rather insane idea after reading Commercial Cherry Production by Peter Dodd. It was printed in 1998 and it is now out of print. It must be a damn good book because from Amazon, a second hand version is being sold for USD270++! Thought I managed to buy one for a fraction of that price. Damn happy! Anyway, back to the insane idea, the top quality fruit zone is 1 meter from the outside of the canopy. Therefore, to intensively create a top quality fruit zone, I would sort of espalier the tree, and let it grow out to the each side by 1 meter, essentially creating a 2 meter thick espaliered cherry hedgerow of only 2m height. Why only 2m? Eliminate the use of ladder, and also the ability to incorporate multi-row bird netting adapted from vineyard! Vigour needs to be managed, rootstock selection, growth retardant, espalier training, etc. I have also been thinking about using marigold as a ground cover, which can potentially serve as a natural growth retardant. I have read about marigold and some other herbs, when mass planted, will hamper the growth of plants nearby.

Did I mentioned we got cold Southerlies, hail, sleet, and rain on the very last day of Spring? Where’s the warming promises of global warming?!