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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Victory gardens

Everything old is new again:

Many claim that food prices are causing people to dust off their green thumbs, but whatever the reason, gardening is in.

The impact has been felt at seed companies nationwide and at area garden centers.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported in early June that W. Atlee Burpee & Co. had doubled its seed sales this year. The seed company, which started in 1876, has struggled in recent years as modern families moved away from growing their own food.

Growing your own food to stretch the family budget -- what a concept. Another reason could have been given -- it's a way to rely less on the increasingly less reliable food distribution system. And every time you pick dinner out of the back yard instead of going to the market -- you're using less gas. Get back to nature! Live simpler! Stick it to the oil man!

Sorry, got a little carried away. My extensive gardening experience has taught me two things: Peas take up more room than they're worth, and herbs are the most fun things to grow. Even a little window sill herb garden can really punch up the most ordinary dishes.


Bob G.
Mon, 07/07/2008 - 8:05am

Been there...doing that for YEARS.
Have loads of different lavenders, thymes, sage, oregano, and assorted perrenials.
Not bad for a "city boy"!

Personal note: when the frost hits, and whatever tomatoes are left on the vine fall and "die"...don't trust those buggers.
They will COME BACK (after you go and buy six new plants the following year...with a vengence!

Talk about a BUMPER CROP this year.
(wondering how I can power a car on TOMATO JUICE...LOL)



Harl Delos
Mon, 07/07/2008 - 8:52am

Depends on the variety you raise, Bob.

Most varieties of tomatoes are hybrids, and the volunteer maters you end up with the next year won't be the same variety.

Part of the variety characteristics are the color, shape, and size of the mater, and when in the year it arrives. More important are the letters that follow the name, the VF, etc. Those letters indicate what the plant is resistant to. If there's tobacco mosaic in the ground, and your variety is not resistant, you'll be very unhappy with the results.

And if a smoker has tended your garden any time in the last 30 years, you can be pretty sure that there will be tobacco mosaic virus there.

(My wife keeps asking me why I didn't plant watermelon. Me, I'm wondering how you *swallow* the things. Those blue pills are a lot easier to take with a glass of water, I understand.)

Bob G.
Mon, 07/07/2008 - 10:36am

I smoke a half pack a day, and my tomatoes are damn near as tall as my vining rose on the trellis (over 5 feet tall...so far) and they're JUST getting fruit on them!.
Who'da thunk?

Then again...the more initials on that "sign" they give you with the plant the better...
"Gimme that VFMHJKGRPOQZA variety"...that oughta last through a bloody nuclear winter!
(AND the next presidential election)



Bob G.
Mon, 07/07/2008 - 11:40am

Wow..speak of the devil...
The wife told me we have RIPE ones outside NOW, so I picked 'em (about a dozen, and this is JUST the beginning), and ate 'em...damn sweet too.