Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a courtyard garden. Which edibles will tolerate less than ideal growing conditions. Discovering how veggies can grow in partial shade.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

More from the New World

I have been intrigued by the varieties of tomatoes which grow in such a cold climate in Quebec, so I have done a little bit of googling. In the 1960s a plant breeder called Roger Doucet created some new varieties of tomatoes especially for the cold climate in Quebec where there are only 4 months without frost. These varieties are able to withstand colder temperatures in Spring. There were a number of new varieties created such as Ledoux, Canabec and Rosabec. I have brought one of these large beefsteak tomatoes home with me from the market, so will be saving seed to try next year.
I also went to visit a maple syrup factory in Canada. Here you can see that a simple tap is inserted into a Canadian Sugar Maple tree for just 6 weeks in Spring and the watery sap is extracted into these buckets. This sap is boiled down and reduced to make syrup. The statistics vary according to all our tour guides, but it takes about 40 litres of tree sap to make 1 litre of syrup. That's just about what one tree produces in the Spring.

The most frequently found local squash variety found in Canada appeared to be this dark green variety. So interesting to see fruit and vegetables which can grow in such a short season.

I couldn't resist taking a photo of this street furniture. Residents in Norfolk, Rhode Island are quite rightly encouraged to pick up after their doggies by taking one of these free MUTT MITTS from a dispenser in the high street!


At 10:27 PM, Blogger Ottawa Gardener said...

Ha ha! I see you've hopped the other way across the pond. I'll have to check out those tomato varieties that you mentioned. I can grow a wide array of squash here as we are lucky enough in Ottawa to average about 4 months frost free. My favourite however is Waltham's Butternut.

I've never been sugaring though we moved smack into the middle of maple sugar land. It would be fun to tap a tree just as an experiment. The sugar maples are fantastic this time a year with bright red leaves.

Thanks for the visit (to my blog and country).

At 10:55 AM, Blogger Dreadnought said...

Those Tomatoes look good, it will be good if you can get an early start with them next year.

At 7:38 PM, Blogger Nicole said...

That looks like a wonderful trip. I do hope you managed to collect and save a lot of seeds-as those British seed packets are absurd-I opened one packet of tomato seeds the other day and it had exactly 6 seeds! Don't talk about T&M seeds sales: its half price because almost nothing germinates.

At 9:57 PM, Blogger Rob said...

I'll be interested to see how you get on with your Canadian tomatoes next summer. If they grow outdoors I'll be even more interested!
Good luck.

At 12:39 AM, Blogger Christina said...

Those dark green squash are buttercup squash (probably Burgess Buttercup), and they have very sweet, very dry flesh. They're yummy!

At 5:42 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Christina - a big thank you, I was wondering which variety they were.


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