Tall tomato proves productive

A Biodynamic Gardening

Globe Staff Writer

Reprinted by permission of the
Daily Globe of Ironwood, MI

A biodynamic gardening experiment is bearing fruit in two counties, Iron County, Wisconsin, and Gogebic County, Michigan, just across the state line. Cherry tomatoes as big as golf balls, ratatouille tomatoes weighing in at over three pounds and pear-plum tomato plants 9 feet tall drooping with fruit bear witness to L.A. Rotheraine's claim that his special seeds and hilling system increase yields


That's master gardener Bill Lambie of Hurley, Wis., hefting a three-pound ratatouille tomato on the vine next to his house.

Lambie planted Selke cherry, pear-plum and ratatouille tomatoes alongside his house, at the Norrie Park community gardens and in a big backyard garden at the Ironwood Township home of master gardener Gordon Frase. The layers of compost, manure, dirt and rotting produce fed the plants, which are yielding a big crop of big tomatoes. The May 12 snowstorm killed off one tomato plant. Lambie sprays the plants with a "field spray" used by Rotheraine and Neem and Karanja oils, two organic pesticides.

Frase planted a conventional Celebrity tomato in the layers of compost, with less success, according to Lambie. A Town of Kimball, Wis., gardener who planted the Rotheraine plants without the special hilling and compost has a good crop, although the plants aren't much taller than others in his garden. Lambie first planted the biodynamic tomato seeds in 2005. A single cherry tomato plant grew 11 feet tall and produced more than 300 tomatoes.


Reprinted by permission of the Daily Globe of Ironwood, MI

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Published Wednesday, October 12, 2005 11:49:41 AM Central Time