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Back to February 2018 Newsletter

Farewell to a Mountain Tomato Grower

Andy Pollock, a gardener who should be an inspiration to all of us, passed away last fall and left a legacy that seed savers will continue to honour with every new growing season.

A native of Manitoba, Andy lived for much of his life in the interior of BC, gardening and working various jobs. He became known for his cooking, his passion for garlic and tomatoes, his teaching, his art, and his sense of humour.

Among his many gifts, he also had a knack for tomato breeding. Living in a mountainous and high-altitude region, Andy had to use every trick to extend his short gardening season. Surprise frosts are common in mountain areas, but he used those to his advantage. As he explained, he purposely let the frost get into his greenhouse, so regular tomatoes would be killed but "frost-hardy" specimens would survive. One of his favourites, his own selection from Bonny Best, survived many light frosts that would kill any other tomato plant.

Through this kind of forced selection, repeated over thirty seasons, Andy developed his pride and joy, the Pollock tomato. 

You can read more about the Pollock tomato at http://northword.ca/features/growing-the-northern-tomato-if-you-havent-got-40-years-to-grow-your-own-str 

As a long-time member of Seeds of Diversity, Andy offered seeds of his Pollock tomato through our seed exchange. He wanted others to try it, and he received many positive reports back from gardeners who were impressed by the reliability and productivity of his tomato. In Andy's words, "you can't argue with success".

Andy left many friends in the seed saving community. We will miss his delightful phone calls, his tireless championing of his high-altitude selection methods, and his modest pride that he succeeded in doing what so many people insisted was impossible - breeding a frost-resistant tropical plant. That is a legacy that seed savers must perpetuate.

 

From Seeds of Diversity, we offer our fondest wishes to Andy's family and friends as they celebrate his life, and grieve his loss. 

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Where can you get seeds of the Pollock tomato?

Search our Member Seed Directory at seeds.ca/seed-directory

Used our Ecological Seed Finder at seeds.ca/seedfinder

 

Back to February 2018 Newsletter

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