|Lawn Care For Busy People|
Tomatoes: History, Origin, Facts... or Fiction?
A tomato importer, John Nix, decided to challenge the law after scrutinizing the Tariff Act. His case relied on the fact that tomatoes were a fruit and not vegetable, therefore, it should not be subjected to the Tariff Act. Nix's objections brought the case to the Supreme Court in 1893. Although Nix had a solid case, the Supreme Court rejected the botanical facts and continued to refer to tomatoes as a vegetable.
The UK - Introduction of the tomato
The deadly nightshade (Atropus belladonna), in particular, resembled the tomato plant the most, and was used as a hallucinogenic drug, as well as for cosmetic purposes in various parts of Europe. In Latin, the name "belladonna"; literally means "beautiful woman." The women in medieval courts would apply drop of deadly nightshade extract to their eyes, dilating their pupils, a fashionable statement at the time.
When the deadly nightshade was taken for it's hallucinogenic properties, the consumer would experience visuals and a feeling of flying or weightlessness. German folklore suggests it was also used in witchcraft to evoke werewolves, a practice know as lycanthropy. The common name for tomatoes in Germany translates to "Wolf peach," which was simply another reason for Europeans to avoid the plant.
North America - Introduction of the tomato
Early efforts by merchants to sell tomatoes were not very successful. It is said that the fruit was brought to the liberal hamlet of Salem, Mass. in 1802 by a painter who also found it difficult persuading people to try the fruit. New Orleans cuisine was reported to have used tomatoes by 1812, however, doubts about the fruit lingered in some areas.
It's thought that doubts about the plant's edibility was laid to rest, when Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson announced that he will consume a bushel of tomatoes in front of the Boston courthouse at noon on September 26, 1820. Thousands of spectators turned out to watch the man commit suicide (At least, so they thought) by consuming the poisonous fruit. It is said that spectators were shocked when they realized the Colonel will survive after consuming numerous tomatoes. This story is from an old farm journal and may not be very reliable, however, it's quite entertaining.
Tomato popularity on the rise
Bruist, a seed merchant commented on the tomato in 1858 - "In taking retrospect of the last eighteen years, there is no vegetable on the catalogue that has obtained such popularity in so short a period as the one now under consideration. In 1828-29, it was almost detested; in ten years almost every variety of pill and panacea was extract of tomato. It now occupies as great a surface of ground as cabbage, and is cultivated the length and breadth of the country." - www.heirloomseeds.com
That year, Bruits had eight cultivatars listed in his catalogue. A few years later, in 1863, a popular seed catalogue had 23 cultivars listed. One of the listed cultivars was Trophy, the first modern-looking, large, red, smooth-skinned variety which was sold for $5.00 for a packet of 20 seeds.
Large scale breeding for desirable traits became common in the 1870s in both the US and UK. In fact, by the 1880s several hundred cultivars had been named and it was clear that tomato had grown on the western culture. According to a study conducted at Michigan Agricultural College in the late 1880s, 171 of the named cultivars represented only 61 truly unique varieties, many of which were only marginally different.
Because of tomatoes natural breeding process, early cultivars did not change much and were kept in a family or community for a long time, hence the name heirlooms. There are cultivars that dates back to over one hundred years that are still produced today. Most heirloom varieties are different in color, size and shape. Some varieties are black, red with black shoulders, dark purple, rainbow and green. In terms of size, some are the size of a cherry to larger varieties weighing over 2 lb.
Heirlooms - a story
Claming that his plants could feed a family of six, Charlie peddled the crops for a dollar per plant. Within four years, Charlie generated enough money to pay off the $4,000 dollars mortgage on his home, which led to the heirloom name "Mortgage Lifter."
Heirlooms - names & origins
Elbe was cultivated in 1889 near the Elbe River in Germany. Since the 1870s, the Amish in Pennsylvania cultivated the Amish Paste variety. Brandywine was also cultivated by Amish farmers near Brandywine Creek in Chester County Pennsylvania in 1885. The hills of Virginia is thought to be the origin of the Hillbilly variety. Old Virginia was cultivated in Virginia as well in the early 1900s. In 1953 Campbell Soup Co., introduced the Ace variety which is still popular for canning. On Edgar Allan Poe's estate, a cultivar found growing there bears his mother's maiden name, Hopkins.
Please bear in mind that these heirloom stories may be true or false, in part or whole, and may be inaccurate or exaggerated.
This article is courtest of HydroponicSearch.com - The Agriculture & Gardening Search Engine.
Backyard Bird--The Catbird
It's quiet now.
Pressure Washing Decks
A beautiful wooden deck, properly maintained, can add greatly to the aesthetic and resale values of a home.
Simple Lawnmower Maintenance
Do you have trouble starting your lawnmower up in the spring? Before deciding to take your lawnmower in for repair, try these few simple suggestions. After completing them most of the time your lawnmower will fire up and run like a champ.
Agio Patio Furniture
The fresh air of the early spring solstice and the celebration song of the earth call us to leave the safety and comfort of our indoor winter haven. We venture forth to explore the new life that is springing up all around us, and habitually look for a place to relax and absorb the sounds and smells swirling through the air. Agio Patio Furniture may be just the answer to true enjoyment of the new season's arrival.
Mowing the Lawn
This is more of a follow up on my original article posted yesterday. As I have now finally managed to buy a new lawn mower, with safetey and usability in mind, I have been chopping away at that lawn this morning.
Avoiding Unsightly Algae
Excessive organic matter in the pond provides nutrients for algae, contributing to its growth. Algae can obscure the view of colorful fish, and more dangerously, it robs the water of valuable oxygen and releases harmful pollutants.
How to Control Poison Ivy
Poison ivy is found throughout southern Canada and most of the United States except Alaska and Hawaii. It is readily found along road sides, fences, railroads, and streams. But it can also be found in your own back yard. It is planted there in bird droppings from the birds who eat the berries of the plant.
The Garden As Healer
The word for 'paradise' comes from the Persian word for a garden and has always meant the same thing in every culture. It is representative of 'paradise on earth' and is our opportunity to own a little bit of heaven ? here and now. It has a restorative significance as a healer when we understand that gardens provide us with a place of sanctuary and well-being.
How to Grow Blueberries
Along with lip-smacking sweetness, flower and foliage are also worthy reasons to grow blueberries. White, bell-shaped blossoms make a lovely addition to a spring garden and fiery scarlet foliage adds drama to a fading autumn landscape. In addition to taste and appearance, blueberries are ripe with medical advantages; they help lower cholesterol and studies suggest that blueberries also reduce the risk of some cancers.
Trust Your Plants - They Know How To Grow!
I've done a lot of container gardening over the years, and one thing is a given for potted plants: it's a life of constant change. Moving around from one part of the garden, patio or sunroom to another, moving indoors and back outdoors again, and of course the inevitable periodic re-potting. It's a wonder that plants do so well given this life of constant upheaval, but the key seems to be to just tend to their basic needs and let them do what comes naturally.
Slugging It Out In The Trenches
In an effort to introduce a shaft of sunlight into a particularly gloomy conversation, I recently asked a gardening acquaintance of mine to explain the difference between a slug and a snail.
The Sundial - Garden Ornament or Exotic Timepiece?
Most of us regard a sundial as an attractive ornament for a park or garden. Their effectiveness as time keepers is highly variable
Fall Pond Cleaning
Doing a full pond cleaning during the colder winter months can be very stressful on your fish. However, if the pond is really dirty and full of 'muck' - then you may want to consider it because all of the decaying organic matter in the pond can cause problems if the pond ices over, and this begins to de-gas and rot.
Fall Garden Planning - Garden Plans for Next Spring and Ordering by Mail
It's August, the weather has cooled a bit here and the summer monsoons where I live in New Mexico have begun. The kids are starting back to school and I feel the onset of fall. I'm getting that garden planning itch again! It happens 2-3 times a year... This time, it's time to start ordering bulbs and perennials for fall planting. I'm always planning how my garden will look better next season and I suppose most of you do the same. Fall is the perfect time to plant for established growth next spring!
What to Feed Your Fish During Colder Winter Months
With air and water temperatures dropping in most parts of the country, now is the time to greatly reduce the amount of food you are feeding your fish.
The Tools of Rose Gardening
Like any job you tackle, it's always easier if you have the right tools. Before heading out to your rose garden, make sure you arm yourself with these basic rose gardening tools.
The Benefits of Landscaping
How much have you thought about landscaping? Do you know that a beautiful and well put together lawn has many benefits? Landscaping is lawn art and, like any other art form, it takes time, patience, and research to get your methods just right. So, what other benefits does landscaping provide besides just being "pretty"?
Garden Benches - What They Are
Putting in a flower garden or any garden for that matter takes time and dedication. However, the result is gorgeous color, magnificent fragrance, wonderful foods to eat, and an overall sense of accomplishment. Therefore, why stand back and admire your garden from afar when you can use a garden bench to be closer. The great thing about garden benches is that they can be any size and made from just about any material. For example, a garden bench can be made from scrap wood lying around the house, logs, wrought iron, concrete blocks, marble, rock, granite, railroad ties, and so on. You could easily take a few pieces of old scrap lumber or a nice big log and create a quiet place to sit. If you want something more elaborate for your garden bench, you can purchase one already made or have one built.
Feeding the Hummingbirds
Early in May here in west central Wisconsin, I can count on seeing a Ruby Throated Hummingbird hovering in front of my kitchen window, flitting back and forth, as if to say, "there was a hummingbird feeder RIGHT HERE last year. Where is it?"
Rose - The Flower of Love and Romance
What is the flower that everyone visualizes and associates with love or romance? ‘Rose’ is the instant answer by anyone. The rose is placed on a high pedestal by almost all the ancient civilizations which is indicated by the fact that the flower has been associated with numerous myths and legends. Numerous instances abound in the Greek, Roman, Hindu, Jew and Egyptian mythologies and legends. No wonder, the flower is a delight to the viewer and has made inroads into our everyday lives and true to its importance the rose has been acclaimed as the ‘queen of flowers’.
|home | site map|