Wild Men on the North Fork

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Bill Simpson: another approach to high altitude gardening

August 17, 2010

Bill Simpson sent in this note in July.

December 19, 2010

Partner Linda sends this link to ''Climate-Ready' Crop Patents Threaten Biodiversity', by Anna Archibald on MotherEarthNews.Com. I have never thought it was a good idea for genes to be patentable. What next? If it becomes possible, I want the pantents for air and water. Then I will rule you all.

I am working on new pages for this site which will be revealed in January. In the meantime, I would like to remind you that recipes are available [Click Here] for Million Dollar Fudge and for our family favorite: Dutch Apple Cake.


Bill Simpson send this year end review of his garden. I would note that his tomatoes turned out better than mine did, and that he had a surprisingly good year with his watermelons.

As you can see above, Bill uses concrete block to surround his peppers. This keeps off wind, and the blocks radiate heat, absorbed during the day, to the peppers all night long. The peppers seem to love this. Bill also plants his tomatoes using the same system.

Bill's Tomatoes:

Bill Simpson plants mostly determinate tomatoes. He trials new varieties each year and he keeps extensive records.

Bill had his best luck in 2004 with: Bush Early Girl (above), a determinate tomato available from Totally Tomatoes and others.

Bill Simpson trialed some indeterminate tomatoes in 2004: Jetsetter, Early Goliath, and New Yorker. He reports:

"All 3 were nice big plants with good sized tomatoes. In the beginning of September we were only picking one or two ripe tomatoes off any of these plants, at any time. The New Yorker was more prone to diseases."

Bill will probably not plant these three varieties in the future.

Bill's 2004 Determinate Tomato Results, from worst to best:

Manitoba This determinate tomato was a total bust. All 6 plants in different locations had problems. They didn't like our place.
Siberia Determinate, plum tomato. It did OK , but gave us no reason to plant it next year.
Pilgrim Determinate plant with good medium size fruit. We had some of the plants grow twice as big as other Pilgrim plants. The plants really loaded up on tomatoes. We will plant this one again. We found we were picking multiple tomatoes before September.
Bush Early Girl Determinate plant, looks a lot like the Pilgrim plant. This is somewhat of a small plant with tons of tomatoes . We probly got a dozen tomatoes off each plant before September. This was this year's big winner for us. We'll plant a lot of these next year.


"In the past, Burpee's Northern Tomato has been number one on our list. What they have now is Burpee Northern Exposure, a semi-determinate! I don't know how different it is from what we've grown in the past, but it looks like we need to try it next year. Without having a green house I can't see me spending much time on indeterminate plants."

Bill Simpson is doing fine with his determinate tomatoes. He should stick with what works for him. Thanks for the potatoes, Bill. They were delicious.

Click here to email Fred Jacquot