Appalachia Through My Eyes Gardening

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Winding Down the Greenhouse

tomato and pepper plants in greenhouse

This time of the year we start winding down the greenhouse. Although I’m happy to be planting the things I’ve nurtured for several months, there’s also a bittersweetness about putting the vegetables out in the garden. As silly as it sounds it is as if I’m pushing my plant children out into the big ole world and hoping they can make it without my daily assistance.

We’ve planted 68 tomato plants thus far. That will be the majority of the ones we grow. As the greenhouse continues to empty when I share plants with Granny, Chatter, and friends I’m sure I’ll find a place to tuck a few more tomatoes in the garden here and there.

Some of our favorite varieties to grow are Cherokee Purple, Arkansas Traveler, Mountain Princess, Black Cherry, Juliet, Cream and Sausage, and Carolyn and David’s Orange Tommy-Toe.

I can never resist trying a few new varieties. This year we’re trying Golden Nugget, Yellow Gooseberry, Black Russian, Speckled Roman, and Giant Italian Paste.


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  • Reply
    Pastor Lon
    May 11, 2022 at 9:40 am

    Pushing the children out of the nest!! Great analogy Miss Tipper. Yes mam we love this time of the year when everything is blooming and greening up and popping as we are trying to get our gardens planted. We are running behind this year due to the weather mainly, but are about to push our children (Mater Plants) out into the BIG GARDEN this week as well. Really enjoyed this post, thanks for sharing. GOD BLESS YOU ALL. ❤️

  • Reply
    Kathy Patterson
    May 10, 2022 at 4:04 pm

    I have never hear of cream and sausage tomatoes either. We like Cherokee Purple, Mortgage Lifter, Mr. Stripe, and Roma.
    The new tomatoes to me I will have to try. They sound good. My grandmother was the tomato expert. She had ox hearts, climbing tomatoes, Big Orange Tomatoes plus yellow pear tomatoes. We like a tomato that covers the whole slice of bread for our tomato sandwiches. We like canned tomatoes for soups, chili, and snacks. Kathy Patterson

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 10, 2022 at 1:17 pm

    This is such an exciting time of year…and I don’t even have a garden. Everything is turning green, and I love to watch it. Tipper, I was by your house earlier today and made sure to check on the Malabar Spinach, it’s looking very good. We love our spinach!
    It’s just thrilling to see everything coming up in Tipper’s lovely garden

    • Reply
      Pastor Lon
      May 11, 2022 at 9:45 am

      Hello Miss Cindy, Pastor Lon here, I hope you are doing well mam. We have been praying for you and your family. Yes mam I agree this is such a special time of the year when all of GOD’S CREATION is coming to life again all around us. So therapeutic for one’s soul. Hope you had a Happy Mothers Day! ❤️☀️

  • Reply
    Ron Bass
    May 10, 2022 at 12:52 pm

    Loved “pushing my plant children out into the world”, it definitely does seem that way.

  • Reply
    Tammye R.
    May 10, 2022 at 12:22 pm

    I have a berries and cream tommy toe size tomato seed pack they are coming up in my cups. They are supposed to be a creamy yellow with blue streaks. I’m anxious to try them! Tipper you have to show those Italian paste tomatoes when they fruit up.

  • Reply
    Angelyn McLain
    May 10, 2022 at 12:04 pm

    We are trying to get our summer garden in too. The spring is doing great though and I am pleased with it and the salads are so good!
    My tomatoes are a little behind cause I was late starting the seed but it will catch up as we stay warmer. I am ready to have it all in and that gives me a sigh of relief, even though the work is just beginning. I hope that we all have a beautiful harvest.

  • Reply
    May 10, 2022 at 11:26 am

    I know the feeling of pushing the little seedlings out the door to survive with all the problems they face outside of a controlled environment. I never had a greenhouse, so I grew many plants on a large table in front of a large sunny window. There was a string of haphazard lights, and one had a clip I could move about. The plants and lights were moved around using my haphazard system drummed up by some research. Hardening them off was a chore with carrying them out on the porch to sun, then checking the weather to make sure there was no frost warning, otherwise I had to trot them back in. Generally, these were very large strong plants I had repotted, and was ever so relieved to finally get those plants outside and out of my house into the ground. It was a tiny bit emotional when I would go out and see a cutworm had cut off a seedling. It taught me so much about waste, and I fully realize how much effort goes into each and every vegetable. When that jar of tomatoes was setting on my shelf, it represented an enormous amount of work. I am not complaining as I loved every minute of it, but I do buy my plants now. Your efforts to not only grow vegetables, but for you to teach about them is so very appreciated.

    Each year I enjoy again the miracle of watching a tiny seed or plant produce something spectacular. I think potatoes may be my favorite to peek through. They appear so strong and ready to greet the world. Yeah, I’m kind of corny, but enjoying my journey!

  • Reply
    May 10, 2022 at 9:56 am

    I seeded a lot of tomatoes too this year, sadly I didn’t count. I have a lot in the ground already, gave some to family, friends and still have some that either need to get in ground or give away. I didn’t mean to seed this many. I actually seeded and when they didn’t sprout, I planted more. Then I found other variety of seeds I wanted to try, so I seeded them too. The seeds I thought didn’t come up did, just way later than expected, so that’s why I ended up with so many tomato plants now. I have Beef Steak, Roma, San Marzano, Yellow Pear, Large Cherry, Brandywine, Black Krim, Cherokee Purple, Jubilee, Brad’s Atomic Grape and a Heirloom Mix which the package said has Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Green Zebra, White Wonder, and Nebraska Wedding. Since the Heirloom mix seeds were not marked, I’m calling them my “Surprise” tomatoes. I have noticed the leaves on the Brandywine plants look different from the other tomato plants, I have been able to pick out the Brandywine plants from the Heirloom mix plants. I’m thankful there wasn’t but a lot of them from the mix seeds that grew. Most of these varieties I never tried before, so I’m excited to taste them all so I’ll know which ones to plant in the future. I’ve never planted different tomato varieties before so trying something other than Beef Steak, Roma, Yellow Pear and Cherry tomatoes is really out of my norm. I’m excited and hoping they all produce!

  • Reply
    May 10, 2022 at 9:15 am

    My sister told my friend she thinks I plant way too many tomato plants. I have never planted 68, close to 50 is what she calls too many. I have four or five heirloom varieties I plant every year. All tomato lovers must try Cherokee Purple, Brandywine, Aunt Martha, and my favorite, Akers W. VA. My teacher friend is in charge of the local high school greenhouse. Last year, I bought a tray of tomato plants that students forgot to label. Most of them turned out to be Tie-Dye, the heaviest producer I have ever grown but not the tastiest.

  • Reply
    Margie G
    May 10, 2022 at 8:50 am

    The garden fills and the greenhouse emptied out. Now the “wee ones” are going to have to be strong as they reach high toward the sunshine ( let’s hope lots of sun.) The varieties of tomatoes you planted sound interesting. All this gardening seems to be trial and experience in my opinion. But heres a song and a prayer EVERY ONE OF YOU GARDENING BP& A readers will have a successful and bountiful garden this year!!! That is my hope and desire for all! Have a blessed day and take time to enjoy a little nature. The city man told me we had 4.5 inches of water coming down for about 4 hours here on Friday. There’s not a city in the nation ( according to him) that can take that sort of deluge…. smh at people who still think nothing nefarious is going on…

  • Reply
    Mary W
    May 10, 2022 at 8:47 am

    You have planted so much potential – sounds like you will need plenty of jars and lids! The Season of Plenty is just around the corner. I think of Spring as the Season of Hope as it sure brings out our joy for the future. Never does bed feel better than after a good spring workout, also. Blessings of hard work.

  • Reply
    Larry Paul Eddings
    May 10, 2022 at 8:38 am

    Homegrown tomatoes are a wonderful treat. Cherokee Purple tomatoes have become my favorite.

  • Reply
    May 10, 2022 at 8:25 am

    Do you make tomato jam? Several years ago I came across a recipe for gooseberry jam with a link to a source for the yellow gooseberry tomato seeds. The tomatoes were a big hit with my family . We made the jam and shared some with family and friends. Everybody loved it. There are several recipes for the jam on you tube. Hope you will try it this summer and like it as much as we do.
    I have grown sausage tomato in the past and liked it. Will have to try cream and sausage now.
    I look forward to blind pig each morning and watch all your you tube videos. Thanks for all you do to preserve old times and especially old values.

    • Reply
      May 10, 2022 at 7:44 pm

      Alic-I have made tomato jam but not in many years-I need to try it again 🙂

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    May 10, 2022 at 8:13 am

    No, it doesn’t sound silly. New plants from seed are babies and they need to be treated gently at first and even more so if planted early or late. And, as with children, there comes a time when they have to “sink, swim or drown” on their own. It is always an issue with me when I get spindly, brittle and pale plants to set out (because I do not grow several vegetables from seed). Grown in a nursery they have had too easy a life and are not ready for the cruel world but have to be planted anyway since their little dab of dirt requires them to be babied if not. Growing your own from seed lets you do it better.

    I have a garden question for you. Do folks up around Murphy speak of planting “slips”? And is the word in the DARE? The word occurs once in the KJV in Isaiah 17:10. Rather than give away how we used it when I was growing up, I’ll leave it with you to decide if you want to do a post, answer here or add to a vocabulary test. I’ll just say it has been many a year since I heard it said.

    • Reply
      May 10, 2022 at 7:45 pm

      Ron-the only slips I hear folks talk about are sweet potato slips. I will investigate some of my books and see if I can find out anything else about the usage 🙂

  • Reply
    May 10, 2022 at 7:59 am

    The Cherokee Purple tomato was my daughters favorite. She would take the tomatoes while some of her coworkers would bring the bread and the mayonnaise (had to be Dukes) and they would have tomato sandwich lunches together. After her death, It is hard for me to grow, eat, or even look at one of these tomatoes now. I have read of a hybrid tomato named Cherokee Carbon. It was developed from the Cherokee Purple and Carbon tomato. I did not know there was a tomato named carbon. I think Gurneys has the seed. It has won a lot lot of awards for way it tastes.

    I read Ed’s comment on yesterday’s blog and I have thought the same thing. During the depression a lot of people still lived in rural America and could at least grow or find a little bit of something to eat. I think more people live in cities or housing developments now with no way of growing food. I think a lot of the younger generations now don’t think beyond the grocery store. You know if you can be killed because someone didn’t like the way you looked at them, they wouldn’t hesitate to shoot you and steal if they were starving. My wife’s grandaddy, a fine Christian man, said the day would come when people have money but there will be nothing to buy. Seems to me like this time may have started.

    • Reply
      Patty Hansen
      May 10, 2022 at 7:58 pm

      Randy, I had to have the same comment/conversation with my mother. We raise hogs & every year we ask if they want to buy in on one to have their own pork, also raise chickens & keep telling them to get chickens (they have a hoot with mine). My mom told my dad she thought she could do better on pork prices at store. Our pork avg.s out to about $3 a lb. Well, now you can’t get it at the store for that on certain cuts. I finally told her, “all that money you’re saving, ain’t gonna be any good when there is NOTHING to buy. You’ll be saving a lot of money when there is no pork in the store.” then she wanted to know if it was ‘cost effective’ for me to raise my chickens for eggs. I said, ” Well its cost effective when I don’t have to use $4.60 a gal of gas to get to the store. I just put on my flip flops & go get me an egg. No, its not cost effective! Its called food security.” Needless to say, they decided to go in a hog & got a chicken coop & I am gifting them 3 laying hens & hatched them out some babies. I will defend my food with force if necessary, others should take note. Much love Randy & I always enjoy reading your comments.

  • Reply
    Glenda G. Page
    May 10, 2022 at 7:42 am

    I am sooo impressed with how many tomato plants you have started…gotta try some of the new ones you suggested. I would one day hope to have enough tomatoes that I can used them to can some sauces instead of purchasing them from the local market..of course that does help our local area. God Bless you and your, Tipper…can’t wait for the next book.

  • Reply
    Denise R
    May 10, 2022 at 7:26 am

    We’ve started planting our garden as well. I have lettuce growing in my large flower pots in front of our porch, and yesterday I finished covering our garden with landscape cloth which will help keep the weeds down. My husband worked on our electric wire leading to the electric fence charger since I broke it last fall when I was moving my herbs to another spot outside of the garden fence. We also set up most of the poles for the Rattlesnake pole beans we’re going to grow again this year. So glad I discovered those! Today will be a continuation of yesterday’s work as will the rest of the week. I look forward to harvesting all of the veggies to have to eat this summer and the rest of the year after they’re canned!

  • Reply
    May 10, 2022 at 7:23 am

    Cherokee Purple is one of our favorites. I haven’t heard of Cream and Sausage but I’d be willing to try it. Where can I get the seeds?

  • Reply
    May 10, 2022 at 7:20 am

    One of my favorite tomatoes is Garden Peach. I get the seeds from Sow True. I’ve never heard of Cream and Sausage; that’s an interesting name for a tomato.

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