Summer has got to be on the way so we headed off to Farmers Market to get some tomato plants. Just to the west of us, they are calling for four to six inches of snow tonight. I am still determined to plant my tomato plants on Monday. I would plant them Sunday but the forecast low is 35 degrees Fahrenheit which is even worse that the 37 they are calling for tonight. It's already 45 at 11 pm.
When we got to market we bought some great Seven Grain bread from On the Rise Bakery. Then we stopped by the Garden Mountain Farm stall where Mike Hubbard was explaining some of the challenges faced by small meat processors. We decided to try some of his Wisconsin style (different recipe though) Bratwurst. We have yet to have one of the Garden Mountain sausages that wasn't delicious. I can't wait to throw them on the grill tomorrow after church. Since the high isn't supposed to even make it to fifty, it will be a little different than the two days we experienced 88 on the deck this week.
As you can see there were strawberries from Georgia at the market. I love watching things move closer and closer to us. After checking out all the flowers and herbs, we got serious about tomato plants. After some consultation with the plant grower, we decided to go with Jet Star. This is the information that I found on the web at the Yankee Gardner site describing all the different varieties.
Jet Star Hybrid Tomato Plants are strong and very vigorous growers, that will out-yield open pollinated types. Jet Star Hybrid plants produces big yields of large, globe-shaped, low-acid tomatoes early in the season. Sturdy plants are fairly compact but do best when staked. Resistant to Verticillium and Fusarium. (Pomme D'Amour, Tomate, Pomodoro)
I always stake our tomatoes, so given some heat, I just might get that magical fourth of July tomato like I did in the summer of 2003. We missed by less than a week last summer. I plan to post detailed tomato growing instructions perhaps Monday. I don't want my spring tomato growing ritual to be forgotten by the kids. If you want to have a look at the type of plants I favor check out the Jet Star photo and the Purple stalk photo. I like to see a little purple on the stems, and I favor smaller but sturdy plants due to all the wind that we get.
After getting all our loot back to the car, we took some recycling then stopped by Provisions, a local gourmet cooking shop, hoping to find a replacement for the vacuum coffee pot. We struck out, so I guess I will have to order one over the Internet and suffer through the Bunn for a few more days. Maybe we'll just go out to breakfast.
I dropped by Cutaway for a haircut and then we visited the Roanoke Natural Foods Cooperative for some Copper Hill Farms eggs and headed home for a Saturday afternoon nap. I want to write more about Cutaway and the unfair situation in Wyoming that Jim, my barber has struggled with for years, but that we have to wait.
If you want to check out the market photos, including some great ones of some Columbine blooms, they are posted at my Late April Farmers Market set on flickr. The first picture is Mike Hubbard doing a great job of explain the meat packing issue. One of the great things about the market is get to hear news and stories before they make it to the newspaper.
Tonight we went to see Sahara, the Dirk Pitt movie, but more on that tomorrow. The leaves are pretty well out, except for the Walnut trees with are just starting. This is a great picture of spring marching up the mountains. It was taken from the Hidden Valley Golf course looking towards Twelve O'Clock Knob Mountain.