Hi everyone! Thank you for coming. My name is Robyn and I am a tomato fanatic in Saskatoon. Whether you are here because you love tomatoes too, or you’re a new gardener, I hope this can become a place where we can help each other out!
I’m starting this because it’s going to be a hard spring, and a hard summer, for all of us. My personal challenges in the last month are that I no longer have a “job” (I’m a freelancer and my only contract was cut off) and I feel helpless and anxious that I can no longer connect with my older family members in person, during a time they may be feeling especially lonely. I know we all have different challenges right now, and they will continue to evolve over the coming months.
Life is always challenging, and always brings suffering – but we rely on the large and small joys to help us cope. Summer is often a time when the larger joys are concentrated – family vacations, weddings, camping trips with friends, gathering for ice cream on a patio. It is unlikely that we will have access to these larger joys in summer 2020. The small joys are going to have to step it up this year.
For me and countless others, gardening is a small joy that spans over half the year and as a result, becomes a large joy. I want to share that joy with you this year, and I want to spark it in you too if it’s not something you’ve experienced. We need gardening this year, more than ever.
But why tomatoes? Tomatoes were my gateway plant, a decade ago when I first started gardening. They are extremely forgiving and easy to grow, and there are so many incredible varieties to try out. You can grow them literally anywhere that gets sun – for my first few years of tomato growing, I did not have a garden. I planted them in 10” plastic pots and they grew 5’ tall and were absolutely magnificent! Tomatoes are still the number one plant I look forward to growing each year. I have a lot to say about them! If you’re going to grow stuff for the first time this summer, I suggest you start with tomatoes – even if you don’t like eating them raw, there’s probably a way you can use them, or a friend, family member, or neighbour you can share them with.
I am hoping this site will evolve and grow and become what it needs to be as we figure things out over the seasons. But right now, my goals are to:
- Give you some tips on how to get started with your tomato plants – either starting from seed, or selecting which varieties to buy from a nursery
- Point out some good local resources for obtaining plants, seeds, and gardening education
- Connect tomato fans with other tomato fans who might have seeds or plants to swap, in a safe and socially distant manner
- Profile/review different tomato varieties
- Share tips and challenges as we grow our gardens together in 2020
Right now is the perfect time to start tomato seeds. In the next two weeks I’ll be posting a “Getting Started” series, mainly for those new to growing tomatoes, but if you are an experienced grower please share tips or feedback in the comments! I’m not an expert by any stretch, but I’ve found some things that work well, and would love to hear what works for other people.