Archive for September 6th, 2013


Brand loyalty. Farmers have it. For tractors, anyway. Around here, many of the local farmers favor John Deere. Their implement sheds are filled with green machines. Well, you know what they say. Nothing runs like a Deere.

When I asked my laconic hay supplier about tractors, he replied “New Holland.” All his equipment is bright blue.

After many years of service, our faithful Ford 2N tractor, older even than RailGuy himself, has been feeling rather sluggish. We decided it was time to look for something a bit newer to help out with miscellaneous chores on our 60 acres and settled on this International Harvester model.

When I mentioned the new purchase to a friend, she approved. “International Harvester! That’s what ours is! Good tractors!”

So far, RailGuy is pleased with the new addition.


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Most of the tomatoes are ripening now, which is a good thing because the temperature dropped to 4 C last night. Frosty nights are drawing near. It wasn’t a great year for tomatoes here. I think this was due to the rainy summer we experienced, with a paucity of the hot, sunny days I associate with tomato season. Still, we have enough to enjoy for a few weeks.

The dark tomatoes are Indigo Rose. They were on the small side, but perhaps in better weather they might have been bigger. This new variety was bred at Oregon State University for the antioxidant potential of the purple anthocyanins in the fruit. It is very plum-like, both on the outside and when sliced, with an orangy interior. It is open-pollinated, meaning you can save the seeds for next year.

The orange tomato is Indian Moon. This variety produced attractive, blemish-free fruit, but I only got a small number of tomatoes from my plants. For an orange tomato, I preferred Persimmon, which I grew a couple of years ago and reported on here.

The red tomatoes are Sub-Arctic Plenty. I grew them last year too. I had a better crop last summer, but the plants still did pretty well this year. I wrote about Sub-Arctic Plenty here.

The green tomato is Michael Pollan. It’s an indeterminate developed from Green Zebra. For a novelty tomato, I thought it did pretty well. It can be hard to tell when green tomatoes are ready to pick. These got a bit of an orange glow when they were ripe. It adds a nice shot of colour when sliced with other varieties on a plate.

Proving that taste is a personal thing, I liked the Michael Pollans the best, and thought the Indian Moons were a bit bland. RailGuy, on the other hand, liked the Indian Moons best and thought the Michael Pollans were bland. Go figure. You’ll have to grow them yourself and decide what you think. All together, they did make a very pretty, colourful platter.


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