Back when the weather was still cold and dreary, I put in a very special order with SeedSavers: a six-pack of heirloom tomato seedlings, scheduled for shipping between May 5 and 7.
On Thursday, the seedlings arrived. I had been a little nervous about ordering them, because I have read on various blogs about the horror of having a live plant arrive, only to discover its been mistreated along the way. While I know I could run out and buy more tomato seedlings somewhere else, I’d been anticipating these particular seedlings for weeks.
I was pleased to note, when they arrived, that they had been certified healthy. Thank you, Robert A. Dahl, Supervisor, Plant Protection. You rule, sir, no matter what anyone else tells you. I thank you for watching out for injurious pests, I thank you for making sure these were produced outside of Japanese beetle season (and I admit that I have no idea when Japanese beetle season is, anyway), and I thank you for walking around a greenhouse in the great state of Wisconsin, looking at tomato seedlings and determining their relative health.
The weather outside could not have been more beautiful, so I took the box right outside and opened it up. There, inside six cardboard tubes, sat my seedlings, each one looking healthier than the next. These were better than any seedling I’d bought last year, and they came from a box rather than a temporary Quonset hut.
They even smelled like tomato plants, that green, juicy smell tantalizing me with thoughts of the tomatoes to come. This year, I’m starting these bad boys across the yard in a spot where I think they’ll thrive from the beginning. I can’t wait to watch them grow.
I set them in the tray from one of my other pots and watered them enough to get them through the dinner hour. Then, as the sun set over the yard, I planted all six. Stupice. Amish Paste. Brandywine. Gold Medal. Green Zebra. Mexican Midget.
The names sound like the Big Tomato Circus has finally come to town. Trust me…I’ve had my ticket in my pocket since they went on sale.
Photo credit for image of me: Mary Beth Bishop