Kremer Family Garden – 2023

Isaac Kremer/ March 3, 2023/ family, garden, Writing/ 0 comments

Note: the story of how our family garden came to be is here. Below are brief updates from the garden.

2023-Feb-26: We started a new grow operation with approximately 300 seeds of 12 different varieties. These included favorites that we re-plant from seeds collected, year after year. There were also at least three new varieties of tomatoes – one is a large yellow tomato that we found while dining at the Addams Tavern in Westfield and really liked; an orange tomato with red blotches that we found at the farmers market in Waltham, Massachusetts; and a red Roma tomato from Isle La Motte in Vermont that we happened across while doing a 10 mile bike ride around the island.

ColorSizeVarietyRecent source
RedMediumCampariMetuchen, NJ
RedLargeMidland RedMetuchen, NJ
RedLargeRutgers (Solanum lycopersicum)Metuchen, NJ
YellowLargeAddams TavernWestfield, NJ
PinkCherryMetuchen, NJ
RedCherryMetuchen, NJ
Orange with red blotchMediumWaltham, MA
RedMediumRomaIsle La Motte, VT
BlackCherryMetuchen, NJ
YellowCherryCotton candyMetuchen, NJ
YellowCherryMetuchen, NJ
YellowCherryCotton candyMetuchen, NJ

2023-Mar-03: After closely following the plantings all week long, the first ten sprouts sprung up through the soil today. We expect many more to follow.

2023-Mar-12: Leaves for the more mature plants are starting to show. Eventually the two leaves that started growth will fall off. Now two weeks after first sowing seeds we are seeing good growth and over 200 plants. Will soon transfer to the 3.3 inch square pots prior to planting outdoors.

2023-Mar-19: Moved first batch planted three weeks prior to the dining room where we have two large double-hung windows that get plenty of sunlight. Started two additional seed trays with around 150 seeds total upstairs. This will stagger the plant growth stage and hopefully allow for later season fruiting. Two of the varieties were collected by Chrissy when she was in Maryland.

ColorSizeShapeVarietyRecent source
RedLargeRoundMetuchen, NJ
Black-redCherryMidnight SnackWittman, MD
OrangeCherrySun SugarWittman, MD
Yellow-orangeMediumRoundMetuchen, NJ
RedHeirloomKremer varietyMetuchen, NJ
Yellow-greenHeirloomMetuchen, NJ
RedMediumRoundMetuchen, NJ

The heirloom varieties date from among the first seeds we collected in 2019 and that were planted for the first time in 2020 and every subsequent year. This is the fifth season that we will be growing these varieties.

2023-Mar-26: The second batch is starting to sprout. As of this morning we had around 8 seedlings.

2023-Apr: Third batch.

2023-Apr: Fourth batch.

2023-Jun-10: Last of the tomatoes given away.

2023-Jun-13: IB3 and IB4 is a red cherry tomato that we have been growing in Metuchen. This is from seeds collected in 2019. That most likely makes this a plant from our first garden. This year we started the seeds on Feb 26. The plant is slender and among the first to bloom. Fruit is on a branch alternating on each side. We counted 13 flowers on the first of seven branches flowering. Seven flowers have given way to fruit. There are 59 observable flowers total. Fruit has a pear like shape. Leaf is asymmetrical with the left side moving further down the branch than the right side. Anyone with this variety in your garden please share your field observations.

2023-06-18: IIE1B started March 19. This is a red heirloom that we found at the Midland Farmers Market in Michigan. While walking through the market this and the green and yellow striped heirloom stopped us in our tracks. Good Stead Farm was the farmer. Every year since then we have grown these in Metuchen. There is a wonderful bunching to this tomato, with each segment like a balloon about to burst. When sliced it created a beautiful pattern. We love to eat this tomato with eggs cooked over medium. The size has not gotten as large as we want. This year we are trimming some of the secondary growth not on the main branch to see if this increases fruit size. The leaf has a spearhead shape with four or five lobes on each side. We observed six fruiting branches about to flower. Pictured is current growth and a not yet ripened fruit from last season.

2023-06-24: IID3 is a black-red cherry called Midnight Snack. Chrissy found it in Wittman, Maryland last year. This is the first year we’ve grown it. The stalks have a deeper black color, and young leaves have dark veining. The fruit, however, is the star. Can’t wait to harvest the first of these.

2023-07-11: Garden is progressing nicely. Plants are now close to nine feet tall and the tops need to be reached by a ladder.

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About Isaac Kremer

A nationally recognized downtown revitalization leader, downtowns Isaac managed achieved $350 million of investment, 1,300 jobs created, and were 2X Great American Main Street Award Semifinalist and a 1X GAMSA winner in 2023. His work has been featured in Newsday, NJBIZ, ROI-NJ, TapInto, and USA Today. Isaac is a Main Street America Revitalization Professional (MSARP) with additional certifications from the National Parks Service, Project for Public Spaces, and the National Development Council.

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