Episode 7 – Epic Tomatoes: Interview with Author Craig LeHoullier
Guest: Craig LeHoullier
Craig trained as a chemist so when he was laid off it made sense to keep using his scientific mind. And because this is not an episode of Breaking Bad, Craig turned to tomatoes. He has been actively involved in the Dwarf Tomato project for 15 years, is devoted to breeding and growing these great new “Heirloom” tomatoes, and grows in various unconventional ways using straw bales and plastic bags. “This [raising and breeding tomatoes] is much more satisfying, fulfilling and enjoyable [than the corporate world] says Craig in this interview.
When he is not growing tomatoes, Craig is writing about them and about gardening generally. In this interview he explains why he is breeding tomatoes, how he grows up to 150 different types on his driveway, and how he waters everything by hand. One of his favourite introductions is Dwarf Sweet Sue (named for his wife). It is 6-8 oz, yellow with a pink blush, dwarf tomato (about 4-5 feet tall) with a magnificent flavour.
Craig also tells us how he found and named the popular Cherokee Purple tomato. Many of Craig’s seeds are for sale at Victory Seeds (https://www.victoryseeds.com/) and he encourages growers everywhere to go to Victory Seeds and report their success with the new dwarf tomato varieties they grow this year.
If you are interested in getting seeds of the fabulous long keeper tomato Donna was still eating in February and March look for Clare’s Long keeper tomatoes at Prairie Seeds in Saskatchewan https://prseeds.ca/seed_categories/solanaceae-nightshades/tomatoes/long-keeper/
Craig’s Website: https://www.craiglehoullier.com/intro
Donna is Helping Gardener’s Grow through her interviews with various interesting growers and gardeners. Want to build soil, grow food in extraordinary ways or raise the world’s most expensive spice? Listen in and subscribe. In every podcast interview we talk about food, include a question selected by our producer Robyn and highlight the lesson learned in our Gardening Gold segment at the end. To ask a question about the current or past episodes go to [email protected].
Music in every episode is by Donna’s son, Brennan Anderson, school teacher and musician in Smithers, British Columbia, Canada.
Producer Robyn Buchanan can be reached at https://www.westcoastgardener.com/
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