Sunday, June 5, 2011

Michael Pollan - It is not just an author, but also a tomato.

I have always delighted in growing exotic, heirloom tomatoes. Especially the kind you never find in a store. Some do well, some do not. Some taste great, some are barley edible. All of them are fun to grow and make the wait for tomatoes exciting and ripe with anticipation. This year I have 24 different tomatoes in my back yard garden. Some of these I have grown before and continue to grow because of their combination of production and taste. One I have not grown before is the “Michael Pollan”.

According to
'Michael Pollan' is an odd shaped mutant! (The tomato that is.) Egg shaped fruits are yellow with green stripes & some have little “nubbins” on the ends. Related to ‘Green Zebra’ but with a milder taste & a good amount of sweetness. Very popular in taste tests. Plus the bloom on this variety is reported to be quite showy. Nice! Named after the amazing author & teacher -whose books we highly recommend.

Michael Pollan is a famous author dealing with health, the environment and food’s influence on both. He has been immortalized with his own heirloom tomato with the nom de plume “Michael Pollan”.

The tomato also has a reputation for blossom end rot. Blossom end rot is generally caused by a lack of calcium in the soil and irregular watering. The lack of calcium can be due to poor watering practices or by a basic lack of calcium in the soil. I always plant my tomatoes with ground up egg shells and make sure I use a good fertilizer as well. I also hand water with an eye to temperature and weather. I got my “Michael Pollan” at the Tomato Mania event at the Quail Botanical Gardens. If you have never attended this event in the spring, I highly recommend it. The plant went into the ground on April 2nd. As of June 1st, the plant was nearly 5 feet tall. It has an abundance of blossoms. I mean lots and lots of blossoms. I am hopefull for a bountiful harvest and the tomatoes taste as good as their reputation. In any event, it has been fun to grow and anticipation runs high for some great tasting tomatoes.

Michael Pollan with multitude of blossoms.

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