Aside from that - future blogs will feature some highlight of the 2012 season - both in terms of what excelled, and what was disappointing. Because that's what gardening is about - always a mix of the delights, the went-as-expected, and the failures. It was actually an excellent year, if a bit unusual. And, as I said already, quite exhausting!
But there has actually been much more keeping me busy than finishing off this year's garden. Seed Savers Exchange members are now receiving their Heritage Farm Companion, Harvest Edition, for which I wrote an article introducing the Dwarf Tomato Project. It was a fun piece to write and I've already received quite a bit of interest from SSE members who wish to join the project.
I've also agreed to write an article on tomatoes, focusing on favorites in each color category for The American Gardener magazine. The article is in progress, and I am now completing a set of interviews with some of the more ambitious tomato growers around. It will probably run in the magazine next spring.
I will be providing a few hands-on workshops for the West Point on the Eno Park Cultural Heritage Programs in 2013; an overview of heirloom tomatoes and seed starting in late January, tomato stories and cultural info (transplanting, container gardening, etc) in mid April, and seed saving and best uses for tomatoes, later in 2013, to be scheduled. These arose from a visit Sue and I made to the South Durham Farmers market and some chats with a few of the vendors. My hope is that the workshops will attract local heirloom growers and CSAs so we can have discussions about varieties that the customers will find most favorable - helping to create a win-win between customers and vendors.
Finally - and this is what I am both most excited about, as well as most involved, time-wise - I just signed a contract with Storey Publishing for my first tomato book, collaborating with my daughter, Sara. This first book will be a more general, handbook-type tomato book covering a wide variety of tomato-relevant topics. It will be a great challenge, and work is well underway. The text part of the book is due next June, and the photos will follow - hence the book is liable to be a 2014 release. There is much work to be done between now and then....but I do think I will be fully occupied for the foreseeable future!
Wish me luck....this is, I suppose, my formal transition from Pharma consultant to garden writer. And, I am thinking, it's about time!