Craig Schaaf, 2011, 28 pp
Diverse Gardens and Gardeners,
John Jeavons came back from a Mid-West teaching visit raving about this book. Want to have ripe tomatoes early? Craig successfully grows red tomatoes and harvests them as early as April 24. He does this in a region where temperatures regularly drop to as low as 2 degrees Fahrenheit after tomato seedlings are planted! Craig Schaaf's booklet describes how with detailed text and clear color photos.
Craig's golden Rule farm is located in Kaleva, Michigan, pretty far north in the state, (about as far north as Green Bay across Lake Michigan) and about as far north as central Maine. So we are talking about early tomatoes nearly anywhere!
How They do It
They grow all their transplants in seed blocks. They grow these tomatoes under four layers of cover: an outer hoophouse, an inner hoophouse, a 12' X 36' cold frame within this (that you get work inside of) and finally 4' X 12' cold frames. They also use jars of water in cold spots. Craig claims that every layer amounts to 1.5 garden zones. Several pictures show how they do it. A practical and pretty complete little book. Craig is very willing to talk, share and collaborate with other growers.