Evergreen Elm's Biodynamic Cherry Tomato Plant Era photo by Alan Hancock
From left, biodynamic gardeners Jim Oehler, L.A. Rotheraine, standing on ladder, Jeff Van Scooter and Brandi Buck stand in front of a 10 foot tall cherry tomato plant on Wednesday afternoon at the Evergreen Elm garden on
Elm Street. Rotheraine claims it is the strongest tomato plant on the Planet Earth. “With all the billions
of dollars that the genetic engineering seed companies spend, they cannot come close to producing
the unique seed that Evergreen Elm makes to create this plant,” Rotheraine said. Evergreen Elm
Executive Director Debbie Price said the agency has seeds available from the giant tomato plant.
Donations would be accepted.
A horticultural masterpiece in the ice box of Pennsylvania, the garden at Evergreen Elm not only produces some of the biggest all-natural vegetables around, it also provides essential therapy for the facility’s residents.
The biodynamic garden is grown by the combined efforts of Larry Rotheraine, program directors, community volunteers and several resident gardeners.
“Biodynamic agriculture is a return to common sense in gardening and farming,” Rotheraine said.
The blue-ribbon winning super vegetables are grown without the use of any chemicals or pesticides, he explained.
“All plants are condensed energy from the stars and planets,” Rotheraine said. "Ancient civilizations knew this and we are using this ancient wisdom."
For more than 20 years now, Rotheraine has worked one-on-one with residents of Evergreen Elm in the garden.
"Without the gardeners we would never have the success that we have had," Rotheraine said “It is the enthusiasm and love of gardening exhibited by Evergreen Elm’s gardeners as much as the biodynamic science that has created it.”
The time spent in the garden not only produces prize-winning veggies for the residents, it is very beneficial to their physical as well as mental health, said Evergreen Elm Supervisor Brandi Buck.
“We have seen decreases in anxiety and impulsive behavior,” Buck said. “The repetitious work is a good outlet for energy. And the pride and accomplishment of watching the vegetables grow and entering them in the fair makes them confident people.”
Everything grown in the Evergreen Elm garden including hot and sweet peppers, zucchini, sunflowers, three famous strains of tomatoes, as well as several types of herbs, to name just a few, is either sold to the public and local restaurants or used in meals in the facility, Gary Pugrant, head of Evergreen Elm, said.
“Everything they grow is amazing,” Pugrant said.
None of it would be possible, however, without the help of biodynamic gardener Bob Cummins, Rotheraine added.
“Every tomato plant and every squash plant at Evergreen Elm is the product of the generosity and greenhouse expertise of Bob,” Rotheraine said. “We make the seeds and he nurtures them in his greenhouse for us.”
With the massive amounts of rainfall this spring and the hot dry conditions of July, there is little doubt that the combinations of cosmic energies, caring individuals and hard work cultivated such a garden of wonder.
Fall and winter forces (left) combine with spring and summer forces (right) to create the productive bounties shown below. For more information see our article "Garden of Wonders ".
For more information about Evergreen Elm's biodynamic vegtables pictured above see our article "A Tale of Two Tomatoes".
Photo Credits: Mike Rowley and Roger Comes
Some members of Evergreen Elm's Biodynamic gardening team pose for us at their garden location in Bradford, PA on August 24th. The gardeners won big again in the August 2007 McKean County Fair competition. They won 24 first place blue ribbons, one third place white and two fourth place yellow ribbons out of 29 entries during the fair. Their Master Gardener, L.A. Rotheraine attributed their success this year to teamwork, hard work, and the Biodynamic Field and Garden Spray. Of the 24 blues, says Rotheraine, the most important for all biodynamic and organic growers throughout the world is the first place taken in the cherry tomato competition. Our Selke Biodynamic Cherry Tomato can become the standard bearer against the genetic engineering and terminator seed companies. It cannot be duplicated by the technology these companies use. Only the biodynamic agricultural science as deployed by Evergreen Elm and our special method of producing tomato seeds can create this superior plant.
Era photo by Francie Long
The garden at Evergreen Elm not only produces prize-winning produce, but is also therapeutic for the residents of the facility. From left are Evergreen Elm garden supervisor Brandi Buck, Residential Program Worker Pat Wiley (on the ladder) and resident gardeners, Betty Bailey and Patty Price showing off some of the super vegetables grown in the biodynamic garden.
L. A. Rotheraine, Evergreen Elm's Master Gardener gave Jeff Neatrour of Crosby a baby Selke Biodynamic Cherry Tomato Plant, through his friend Donny Gustafson. These are the results. Neatrour grew the plant from table scraps and soil. The plant reached 12 feet tall and Neatrour picked 2,828 tomatoes off the plant. The girl next to the plant is Neatrour's granddaughter, Payton Kaziska, 3.