Local Organic Tomatoes - Not Just for the Rich and Famous Anymore

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An Edmontonian's backyard tomato crop, 2010

The term elitist has been popping up more and more in the media when describing local organic food. I think that using the term displays a lack of imagination and out-of-the-box thinking (to use a tired term).

We just hauled in this year’s tomato crop (I described starting the tomatoes from seed earlier in the year). We transplanted them in late May in 30-40 square feet of garden space. I picked a few weeds along the way (like, 50), but we hardly paid them any mind until today.

With fewer hot days in late summer than usual, it was a bad year for tomatoes in Edmonton. Late blight took all of a neighbour’s tomatoes, and we lost most of our crop at the community garden to blight as well (seems that the cool wet weather is what causes it). Also, usually by this time at least half of our tomatoes are red, but we've only picked three red ones to date. No matter - covering them with newspaper will enable them to ripen on their own, and I for one can’t tell the difference between on ripened inside and one ripened outside.

So in a bad year we grew 10 gallons of local organic tomatoes with minimal effort, for $5-10 worth of seed. And, for those without a yard there are a plethora of community gardens in this city.

What exactly is elitist about local organic food again?

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"a bad year for tomatoes" is an understatement...the summer never arrived this year. Our tomatoes are the color of cucumbers... but, hey, the lawn has never been greener. ;-)

I think people will label someone as an "elitist" when they brag a bit about something they enjoy and want to share with others, usually when that something seems foreign or like it would be too much effort for the other party.

I recently posted in my own blog about my first year experience growing an organic garden. My fiancee and I both found the experience very rewarding. There's nothing elite about us, we're pretty average (I work in software development, she's works in banking), it hardly cost us anything, the amount of work wasn't even that much, and there's nothing that tastes as good as something that you grew yourselves.

If I just hope others can find as much enjoyment and fulfillment as we have, I hope that doesn't make me an elitist.

I would like to figure out how to grow tomatoes myself, though, I'll have to read up on your earlier post to get an idea how to do it.

Yeah,people say the same thing about homeschooling.

I brought heirloom tomatoes a friend gave me in BC,in the back of a rental truck here to Edmonton. They survived the trip and gifted me with a glorious (but green) bounty!

conrad,
my mom and i are wondering if we should pick our tomatoes now, we are wondering why you picked yours so early.

Hi Reba!

I picked mine early out of fear. People all over are losing their entire crops over night. I would pull them in now if I were you.

Or they'll catch the blight.

I totally agree. Pick you tomatoes now! Before the harsh Alberta fall takes them :)

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