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Member Introductions This is the `tell us about yourself` category. Please make an introductory post here, let us know a little about yourself. A perfect place to break the ice.


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Old 03-07-2016, 09:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Greetings all,


I am a farmer / restaurateur doing the farm 2 table thing... eat what you grow. I have always had an interest in rare and unusual plants, herbs, fruits and veggies and now with a complex of greenhouses underway I have been able to extend our very short growing seasons up here near Ottawa ON Canada and another location in upstate NY.

Right now we do a lot of educational tours for students so they can learn about what they eat. And I am here to learn from the members of this group and to also find interesting varieties of things to grow.

Its amazing to see when an inner-city school child learns that their french fries were once underground and that chocolate comes from a giant nut. And they are often at total disbelief when we show them heirloom varieties of fruits and veg unlike the perfect looking ones at the grocery stores.

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Old 03-07-2016, 10:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Hey, heirloom doesn't mean imperfect--just sometimes different looking. Better tasting? IMO it depends on how it was grown.

Welcome.
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Old 03-07-2016, 10:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I love my heirlooms. Far surpass store bought in many ways. My seminole pumpkins never show signs of disease and my wild tomatoes escape cultivation with ferocity.
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Old 03-07-2016, 11:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Hey, heirloom doesn't mean imperfect--just sometimes different looking. Better tasting? IMO it depends on how it was grown.

Welcome.
Hi there, Thank you for the welcome. Seems to be a lot of interesting and very nice people here.

You are absolutely correct about the growing conditions. IMO the growing conditions have as much affect on the flavour ( and appearance ) as the varietal. But I cant help but giggle sometimes when the school students are squeamish about picking an orange fresh from a tree that is yellow/green and lumpy, or pull out a carrot that is purple/black, and then when we harvest a clump of ginger and they have no idea what it is...but then we go to the test kitchen and make a stir fry and the kids love it... its those small rewards
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Old 03-07-2016, 12:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Welcome to the banana gang!.....
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Old 03-07-2016, 03:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi. Do you grow any bananas?
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Old 03-07-2016, 04:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Hi. Do you grow any bananas?
Indeed we do. They are only for the novelty and education. We have a couple Dwarf Apples, a Blue Java and a Rajapuri and a few that I can not identify so I will post photos shortly. Space is at a premium in the greenhouse, the taller varieties provide a nice shaded area for some undergrowth plants, but I am at the moment most interested in finding some interesting dwarf varieties.

Good Gardening to you....
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Old 03-07-2016, 04:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Indeed we do. They are only for the novelty and education. We have a couple Dwarf Apples, a Blue Java and a Rajapuri and a few that I can not identify so I will post photos shortly. Space is at a premium in the greenhouse, the taller varieties provide a nice shaded area for some undergrowth plants, but I am at the moment most interested in finding some interesting dwarf varieties.

Good Gardening to you....
It seams very interesting! Thank's! Ansious to see the pics...
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Old 03-07-2016, 05:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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... And they are often at total disbelief when we show them heirloom gourmet varieties of fruits and veg unlike the perfect looking ones at the grocery stores.
Here's what tomatoes look like at my grocery store.

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Old 03-07-2016, 05:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Here's what tomatoes look like at my grocery store.

Lucky you. Are you saving seeds? I've love some from the large yellow, the purple (Cherokee?), black (Japanese?) and any of the greens in that group. Heck. Who am I kidding? I'd love a few seeds from every single one!

A friend from up north gardens here; he's been at it longer and is better with this climate than I am. It's very dismaying how terrible supermarket tomatoes are here. Finding a "farmers" market isn't easy and guess what? They sell the same junk at high prices. Same junk is what Yankees tolerate every winter--tasteless orbs that never truly ripen or taste better than cardboard. I miss northern summer tomato season. Fingers crossed this is my year to harvest great tomatoes.
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Old 03-07-2016, 06:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
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... Are you saving seeds? ...
Although "heirloom" has a legally-binding meaning in the agricultural sale of some seed (wheat, for example) -- it has no statute definition in produce and hence it is simply an unbounded marketing buzzword.

So, what are sold as "heirloom" tomatoes in retail stores could easily be F1 hybrids that do not reproduce true from seed (I know of examples) and can also be GMO fruits.

Never fear, you can get great quality non-GMO seeds from these suppliers:
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Old 03-07-2016, 08:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Well, sure, you can buy seeds and I do; this year I added Persimmon and White Snowball to my stash. But I enjoy growing seeds gathered from many sources and don't discount grocery stores or salad bars. Sometimes you get lucky; sometimes you don't. But other than the very odd cherry that volunteered the year after I grew Better Boy back in the 80s, the fruits are both interesting and tasty. I have never planted another red "boy" again. Blech.
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Old 03-07-2016, 09:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Welcome to the club. Can't wait to see the picts of your setup.
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Old 03-09-2016, 01:09 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Welcome to the Banana Express.
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