Heirloom Tomatoes – Planting by the Signs

So, ok, tonight’s the night.

For several years now, I’ve mounted a big heirloom tomato effort in my back yard. I am not sure how I started down the heirloom path, but I’m glad I did. I am fortunate that I have, in my neighborhood, an excellent heirloom mentor, Craig LeHoullier, who is a member of the Seed Savers Exchange. 

My mother reminded me this weekend that my grandfather in the mountains planted his garden by the signs published in the Greer’s Almanac. I can recall as a child reading Greer’s in my grandfather’s den, and what I read then seemed somewhat mysterious and scandalous, with numerous strange pictographs and signs. Alas, I believe Greer’s is history, but the “planting by the signs” method lives on on the internet, and I guess in the mountains too.   

Today, May 1, the moon is waxing in Scorpio where I live. This is a good sign for planting tomatoes. So I did. I planted 21 tomato plants after work today. All of them heirloom varieties and in a totally organic environment. Not that you ask, but here are the varieities:  Cherokee Purple, Cherokee Green and Cherokee Chocolate (all from Craig and great producers here in NC); Eva Purple Ball; Black Krim, Kellogg’s Breakfast; Green Giant; Akers West Virginia; Yellow Pear; Stump of the World; and Nepal. Coming soon from CA are the Hillbilly plants (Craig does not like them so I have to out-source that variety). I will have to plant the Hillbilly plants against the signs, since they are scheduled to arrive in the waning moon. I hope they are up to it.

I will post from time to time as to how things are going. Those who live in the neighborhood will be most interested, as they could be the recipients of the fruits of my labors. 

Stay tuned. 


2 Responses to Heirloom Tomatoes – Planting by the Signs

  1. Dana says:

    I doubt this comment will be directed at you in particular, Barbara, since I suspect you’ve already read the book, but if anyone else out there is also fond of naturally grown heirloom foods, they should read All Over Creation by Ruth Ozeki. At the end, even I wanted to be out there, radically saving seeds from corporate evildoers, and I have a horrible black thumb.

    (And also her other book, My Year of Meats, because it’s awesome, but not as relavent to this post.)

    Oh, hey, her website has a list of links to, amongst other things, sites about seeds and farming politics.

  2. […] Tomatoes: Centerfold Here are some pictures of last year’s crop of heirloom tomatoes from B Barron, taken in goshawk’s kitchen. (We all live in the same neighborhood.) They were […]

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