As of January 2020, new address and new location in East Carbon, Utah. Hopefully this will be my last move for a long while -- five moves in five years is a bit challenging for a farming business. I have been growing on as many as eight different garden sites per year, exchanging free labor, seeds, seedlings and fresh produce for garden space, water and the option to harvest seeds as needed.
Note: I often include a sample packet of seeds as a "business card". It is an insult to return these seeds (yes, this has happened, more than once...)! Obviously, I have plenty of seeds of that variety or I would not have sent them as a free sample. If you don't want them, please pass them along to other gardeners or school garden programs. Or try some guerrilla gardening!
I've been an avid gardener for 30 plus years with an emphasis on tomatoes, melons, peppers, and squash. This is a one-person operation: no seed reselling, no co-ops, no Seminis. All pictures are original and everything is raised using natural methods (not certified organic though - no time or patience for bureaucratic intrusion). Except for a few days per year with volunteers, my only significant help is with eating the excess garden produce that I do not need for seed propagation.
I have raised over 2,800 varieties of tomatoes (specializing in large-fruited varieties), 300 cucurbits, 400 peppers, 100 beans, and scores of others - around 4,000 total. Due to this rather overwhelming workload and constraints of time (not of ambition!), relatively few varieties have descriptions or photos yet. These will be published first at www.delecationoftomatoes.com or try an online search for "Google Sheets Delectation Tomatoes" for most recent lists. I attempted to save seeds from about 630 varieties of tomatoes in 2021 and managed a good crop of seeds of almost 600 of these.
This new, high desert climate (6,200' elevation) presents new challenges. It was very dry (often 5-10% humidity), virtually no moisture for months, temperatures 9° F above average, and virtually no pollinators around. Only one honeybee observed all season, and that was on October 3rd. So hand pollination was the major task for 1-2 hours every day. Still, dozens of varieties never set any fruit. I grew almost exclusively in pots and growbags in 2020 and 2021, as I did not have time to level and break ground for garden installation. Hopefully next year...
Much more information in monthly blog posts: https://delectationoftomatoes.wordpress.com/
Seeds of approximately 2,500 OP/heirloom tomato varieties are available now, plus 200 or so additional varieties in development in cooperation with other growers: intentional crosses, de-hybridization projects, grow-outs, etc. Plus 800+ additional varieties of other garden plant types that belong in the SSE catalog. Seeds of tomato varieties include: 390 received directly from growers in Russia; 180 dwarf and micro-dwarf; 320 BIG varieties (2 lb. plus potential); most varieties which have won major taste test competitions; 20 or so varieties which I have developed and named over the years; and a few that are probably quite rare or hard to find. I'm more than three years behind with inventory, database management, processing photographs (of 100,000 total), writing descriptions... So many wonderful varieties - I'm pleased to be able to share seeds so you get a chance to try out a few of them as well!
Standard SSE rates apply for smaller seeds. The cost to mail one, 2-ounce packet of bulky seeds (bean and corn in particular) through the USPS is $4.60 and requires a special trip to the post office. The $4.00 pricing recommended by SSE is a strong disincentive to grow and offer these seeds. So I've changed the pricing to $7.50 to put these on par with the pricing of smaller seeds. This is no longer just a hobby for me, as I am not supported by retirement income, a spouse's income, or investment income. Electronic payment preferred, snail mail is also fine. Seed requests filled 365 days of the year. Payment through the SSE system preferred. PayPal (email@example.com), credit card, Venmo (@Dale-Thurber) or cash are also fine. Personal checks are also accepted as a last resort, but my bank is located 2 hours away so I have to incur the extra time and expense of mailing a check to deposit it into my account. For a very few varieties, discounts are available for larger quantities. For more information, please drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or check out developing website: www.delectationoftomatoes.com.
I moved to East Carbon, Utah, in January, 2020. Elevation is 6,200'. It looks like the average growing season is around 110-130 days - way shorter that what I'm accustomed to. I plan to put in a high tunnel or a full, heated greenhouse as soon as I can manage. Native soil looks to have good potential: 51—Hernandez family - sandy loam down to 60", parent material: Alluvium derived from sandstone and shale, low salinity, calcium carbonate 35%. On site soil tests are needed.