Shifting Gears

Unlike many homebrewers, DB and I do not brew year round. 😦

This is not because we don’t want to brew year round. This is because we are cheap frugal and keep the temperature in our house around 80 in the summer. And very few yeast like to live at 80 degrees. Note to self: Make sure next house has temperature controlled fermentation area so we can brew year round.

So in the summer months, DB and I shift from being obsessed with brewing to being obsessed with gardening. We have around 450 square feet of raised beds, not counting the various pots and grow bags and the hop area. (I think it may be a bit much for a family of 3 – one of whom isn’t even eating solids yet – but DB is desperate for another 100 square feet.)

2011 Garden Setup

Side Note: Remember how DB has 19 books on brewing and beer? He has 13 books on gardening – not counting the 3 gardening magazines he subscribes to, the various library books he checks out, the accordion file full of bits of information, and the assorted articles he prints off the Internet. This man loves his research…

In past years, I have shown markedly less interest in gardening than in brewing. So DB was beyond ecstatic when I said I wanted to be in charge of the tomatoes this year. I’ve always looked at those sets of plants you can get from growers like Burpee – you know, “Our best tomato collection ever!” – but have never gotten them. I call DB a “cultivar snob” because he spends hours researching disease resistance and heat tolerance and creates a list of the varieties we should get for our garden. The problem being – most of said varieties are very difficult to find. When the majority of the populace thinks that Better Boy is the height of tomato sophistication, most Lowes aren’t going to devote space to stocking BN602. (This is apparently the tomato for disease resistance. Somebody needs to clue Lowes in on what they’re missing… )

So needless to say, DB has never been impressed by the varieties offered in the tomato collections. But he was excited enough that I was excited to humor me and let me get one of those collections to try this year. Yesterday I ordered the Hall of Fame Tomato Collection from Burpee and I can’t wait to get them! I wasn’t able to find their disease resistance or heat tolerance or any of the other vital statistics DB requires, but they look tasty and I don’t have to spend hours driving to various gardening centers to find them.Which makes them winners in my book.

Who knows? Maybe this year will be such a tomato success that next year we can get a pepper collection, too. That would be awesome – do you have any idea how hard it is to find Chilhuacle or Bajillo pepper plants?


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