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Your Small Kitchen Garden Seed Giveaway 2011

This is a paste tomato from which I harvested seeds for the giveaway. Yes, I fermented the seeds to kill bacteria and fungus, so they’re not likely to introduce disease to your garden. I believe this is an Andes tomato. It contains very little moisture and few seeds… it’s mostly meat. It tastes terrific raw, in salads, dehydrated, canned, and sauced. The plants are indeterminate, and I pluck suckers. In a bad growing season a plant yields 15 or more 8- to 12-oz tomatoes; in a good growing season, about 30.

THE FREE SEED OFFER CLOSED ON FEBRUARY 13, 2011 as stated originally at the end of this post. Chances are that I’ll have more seeds to give away for the 2012 growing season. Please check back in January or February of 2012.

FREE SEEDS! Your Small Kitchen Garden blog is celebrating its second annual seed giveaway. You might guess from the blog that I love to grow vegetables and fruit, and that I love to share my love for kitchen gardening with others. By giving away seeds, I hope to encourage other people to grow food and maybe share the wonder of it.

Last year, I gave away packets that contained seeds to grow Neck Pumpkins, Blue Hubbard squash, and Paste Tomatoes (probably of the Andes variety). I’m doing it again! Here are the details:

Small Kitchen Garden Free Seed Sets

The offer I’m about to describe ends on Sunday, February 13, 2011. A “set” of seeds contains three packets—enough to grow one hill of neck pumpkins, one hill of blue hubbard squash, and at least 20 paste tomato plants.

I’m not sure how many sets of seeds there will be as I haven’t yet butchered the blue hubbard squash. I anticipate approximately 45 complete seed sets to give away, but I’ll send some partial sets if I run out of one type of seeds. As things went last year, I ran out of blue hubbard squash seeds first and mailed a few sets that contained just neck pumpkin and paste tomato seeds. This year’s outcome depends on how many people qualify for seed sets.

One sad caveat: Seeds are available only to folks in the United States and Canada. I reviewed Australian import rules last year and realized if I tried to do that for every country, I’d be at it until the fall harvest… so US and Canada only, please.

The thing in this photo that looks like a big butternut squash is a neck pumpkin. It is remarkably like butternut (also shown): very resistant to Squash Vine Borer, orange flesh, tastes like butternut. These things can grow to 20 or 30 lbs, though my largest this year was about 12 pounds.

Earn Squash and Tomatoes from Your Small Kitchen Garden

Technically, I suppose I’m not giving away seeds; there are strings. Here’s what I ask for you to qualify for free seeds:

1. Leave a comment in response to this blog post. In it, tell me something about your preferences for tomatoes or squash. Tell me, perhaps, which you prefer, how you use them, or whether you’ve grown them… and make me laugh.

The blue hubbard squash in this photo is about a quarter the size of my chocolate lab. Thankfully, the dog didn’t fall asleep next to it or she might have awakened as a pod dog. This is a challenging squash to grow; it is very susceptible to Squash Vine Borer; all my blue hubbard plants succumbed without producing viable fruit in 2010. This year I’ll plant outdoors at the end of July… and I may use floating row covers to keep insects from laying eggs on the plants. If you get a few blue hubbard squashes from your plants, they could be more than 20lbs each. The meat of a blue hubbard is a rainbow of colors and has one of the best squash flavors I’ve ever tasted.

2. Complete and submit a form on the Contact Us page. If you want to receive seeds, I’ll need your snail mail address, so enter it into the form. Make sure you use the same email address on the Contact Us form that you use when you write your comment. Also, if you plan to promote your entry (read items 3, 4, and 5 below), please identify in the form the Twitter and Facebook identities you’ll use—and/or identify the URL of the blog on which you’ll post a link.

If you do items 1 and 2, you’ll go to the end of my mailing list to receive seeds. I’ll mail seeds on a first-come-first served basis until I run out of seed sets… but there are some twists. You can move up on the mailing list by doing any or all of the following:

3. If you’re on Twitter, tweet a link to this giveaway that includes the hash tag #skgseeds.

4. If you’re on Facebook, post a link to this giveaway and include the hash tag #skgseeds in the text.

Each day that you Tweet or post on Facebook as explained in items 3 and 4, you’ll move up one place on the mailing list. The most you can move up in a calendar day is two places—one for Tweeting, and one for a Facebook post.

5. Finally, you can get a top spot on my seed giveaway mailing list by posting something about the giveaway—along with a link to this page—on your own blog. What do I mean by “top spot?” I mean I’ll build a mailing list of bloggers who post links on their blogs. I’ll mail seeds to the entire list of bloggers (in the order that they post) before I mail to any other entrants.

At Least Get on the List!

Don’t let all these options throw you. At least leave a comment and post your snail mail address on a Contact Us form (items 1 and 2). Chances are you’ll get at least some paste tomato seeds. Of course, when you get your seeds, I hope you’ll think of me during the growing season and provide an occasional update—perhaps with a photo. I was pleased to hear from a few of last year’s winners. I enjoyed that my friend over at gardenmom29 posted photos of her neck pumpkins… I’m pretty sure the two in the 5th photo in her blog post grew from seeds she got in last year’s giveaway.

The seed giveaway ends on Sunday, February 13. I’ll mail seed packets in the week after that.

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40 Responses to “Your Small Kitchen Garden Seed Giveaway 2011”

  • My preference would be squash. I actually tried to grow all three last year (from your seeds), but the ground squirrels got to the plants and destroyed everything! Since then, I’ve been working on my super-duper squirrel-deterrent system. It seems to be working okay thus far, so I’m hopeful…

  • btw, that hashtag requirement really limits the nice things I can say about you! ;-)

  • Renee:

    Hello!

    I just did my first 8′x8′ small garden plot last year and found this blog while researching for this coming year.

    I tried to grow yellow squash last year, but they all rotted before maturing… possibly didn’t get fertilized. I got lots of tomatoes, though!

    If I get on the seed list this year, you don’t have to send me a whole set, I have a small garden, so 20 paste tomato plants would be a little much – but if it’s trouble for you to vary the sets, I’ll just give the extras away to friends :)

    Hmm… to make you laugh… how about these pics of a greedy groundhog trying to get my veggies last year?
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/59064186@N00/4704318674/in/photostream/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/59064186@N00/4704318296/in/photostream/

    Thanks!

  • Hey, Dan. I’d love to have another chance with that Blue Hubbard squash and the butternuts too, as I didn’t get any results last year either. But I saved my own paste seeds from last year, so I’m good on those.

    I expect I’ll be promoting too, at least on Twitter and FB, maybe on my blog too.

    Thanks ever so much.

  • shala_darkstone:

    Hi, I love planting tomatoes and summer squash. I never tried winter squash before. The paste tomatoes look really interesting!
    Here’s my tweet – http://twitter.com/#!/shala_darkstone/status/29545573442916352
    I shared this giveaway on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/shala.darkstone/posts/183975821625408

  • Count me in! I had great success with your seeds last yer.

  • Sorry, got too excited and didn’t read the directions – I’d prefer tomatoes, please, since I saved out my own neck pumpkin seeds and hopefully I did it right so they’ll germinate.

  • Nell:

    Hello, Daniel –

    Well, I hope I’m near the top of the regular list, as I am hopeless when it comes to using Facebook. Maybe I’ll try to figure it out! Meanwhile, I’m really hoping for the tomato seeds, and the squashes look fab, too — I always grow butternuts, and I’ve tried “Blue Ballet” (the mini Hubbard). My 92 yr old Dad talks about Hubbards from his youth that were huge and wonderful, so I’m curious to try that one, too!

  • Those tomatoes are amazing!! Would love to get my hands on some of those seeds. Last year was actually my first year gardening. I finally have a kitchen window box, a balcony and and a driveway area that gets a decent amount of sun. I primarily grew tomatoes (cherries and an heirloom mix), peppers (jalepeno, bell, pepperocini, etc) and pickling cukes, as I’m big on canning preserves for the winter. Last year I built my own Earth Boxes, and even though it wasn’t a good year and I started late, the yield was fantastic. SO excited to see what this year brings!

    I’ll let others know on Twitter, FB, and my blog. Thanks!

  • Hi,
    I’ve really enjoyed your site. I began reading it about a month ago when I was looking for information about ripening tomatoes off the vine. Your discussions proved to be quite helpful and accurate.

    I’ve had an RSS feed to SKG posted on my blog ever since, so I guess that should count for something in the competition!

    Thanks for doing this; it’s really cool and so in keeping with the true spirit of Kitchen Gardening!

  • salman:

    Hi, i love to grow squash, i never have grown it. (i definitely will share photos !!)

  • I LOVE growing gourds! Last year was a very wet year and mine didn’t do so well but I grow everything from rouge de etamp to blue moon, little dippers and turbans, little white jacks and HUGE cinderellas! I LOVE setting up a huge display of them on my front porch in the fall, all the different colors and shapes! (But I also love making and freezing big batches of tomato sauce!)

  • Hi Dan, Thanks for the chance at some seeds. I’m always game to try something new in the garden. It would be nice to have a squash that isn’t prone to being destroyed by bugs, beetles or other pesties before they can even set a fruit. I’ve had miserable success the last couple years, but it won’t keep me from trying. And those tomatos…never seen a paste so large. Makes me want to go buy a seed strainer right now in anticipation! @SolakNC

  • Hi Daniel,

    Id love to grow some long neck squash. No, wait, the tomatoes. No, the squash! Decisions, decisions.

    See you on Twitter!

  • I grew Roma tomatoes this past summer with little success. I would like to try a paste tomato. the long neck squash isn’t something I’ve tried before. Looks pretty awesome.

  • Bren:

    how cool is this Dan?!!! I’m all about seeds so I love reading this information.
    My squash gets a nice squirt down with soap and water and that keeps the bugs away. Love reading what everyone else is doing too!

  • Love your creative seed giveaway I’d also love to grow the tomatoes and long neck squash so I’ll do my best to tweet you out and make it to the top of your list.#skgseeds

  • TZ:

    Hi Dan, This is a really nice thing you are doing with your givaways in addition to the info in your blog. I have a nice little garden hacked out of the wildeness (weeds and sticker bushes) that I have to constantly protect from deer and racoons, so I feel like a pioneer. I also have pretty orange moths that look like wasps, which I find out are the reason all of my pumpkins and squash die a horrible death, so I would really like to try the longneck squash. I also have a good sized heirloom tomato collection so it would be fun to try your paste.

    I don’t keep a website etc, but here are som pics of my stuff

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/51251503@N03/

    Cheers,

    Todd Zimmerman

  • So *that’s* where Gardenmom29 got some of her fun squash from last year! I was especially intrigued by the blue hubbards… what a strange-looking vegetable!

    I didn’t grow much squash last year. Space was at a premium, so I couldn’t spare much for the space hogs. I’m expanding the garden this year, so I’ll have more space for squash. And I’m all about the funky plants!

    I grew a lot of tomatoes last year, but with all of the rain we had in Iowa, the heirlooms weren’t happy. I’m hoping for a better year, and I’d love to try your paste tomatoes.

    Thanks for this great opportunity and for sharing the seed-love!

  • I’m new to the site…lots of great info, especially about the tomatoes! I’ve grown both squash and tomatoes, but only the standard varieties that are commonly sold in stores like Yellow Straightneck squash and Beefsteak or Roma tomatoes. This year I’d like to branch out and try some others. The Andes tomato sounds absolutely delicious, and thanks for the giveaways your doing with the seeds!
    I don’t know if it’ll make you laugh, but my first year gardening, the patch was overrun with fire ants. I sat down in the garden to pick some produce, and suddenly my rear was burning! The ants had crawled up my shorts and were biting my toosh. Some insects are certainly beneficial…ants are not one of them.

  • I included the seed giveaway in my blog post about garden preparations: http://eathealthylivewell.blogspot.com/2011/01/gardening-prep-supplies.html

  • I’d love to try tomatoes from seed!

  • Bren:

    was my soap story silly enough?!

  • I would like Tomato’s! Since tomato’s are what drive me and I am a nut for them! I love canning sauce for my family! Oh and I would need them to make my most amazing salsa! I would also like your blue hubbard squash! It was amazing and like a goofball I forgot to save seed! Blue hubbards remind me of a freakish brain gone wrong! Since I am already strange, I might as well grow strange looking food! Plus I just know they will love my rabbit poo juice! Happy gardening and seed saving!

  • Mika:

    Hi!

    I would love to grow the paste tomatoes. If you don’t choose me, I’ll cry myself to sleep.*

    *This may or may not be true.

  • Tomatoes: fresh, the only way I like ‘em cooked is in sauce (pasta & pizza).

    Squash: I’ve really only cooked pumpkin, acorn & butternut winter squashes. I love acorn squash stuffed with diced apples and craisins with a sprinkle of brown sugar & a pat of butter.

    Growing: This year I had about 20 tomato plants – slicing, plum & grape. I attempted butternut squash too, but all of my squash had some sort of issue where the stems just shriveled up, sometimes accompanied with a greyish powder.

    This winter, our wild New England weather has me singing, “99 inches of snow on the ground, 99 inches of snow! Melt one down, drain to the Sound, 98 inches of snow on the ground” My family is sure I’ve lost my mind – and perhaps I have, but once I can dig in the garden again, all will be right with the world. :)

  • Jennie:

    I LOVE that neck pumpkin! It looks amazing! I’ve never really tried growing paste tomatoes before. Last year I grew cherry tomatoes and a goliath tomato right up next to my house, and they ended up growing as tall as the roof.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • circulating:

    My preferences for tomatoes or squash? Yes for both! I prefer the more the merrier, love to use them separate or together, or have grown them both out the wazoo… ;) My grandmother grew neck pumpkins and truly have not seen them since. Am so intrigued by blue hubbard squash and would love to give it a try. And know that it is time to get serious about tomatoes and grow paste for better processing. Thanks for the offer of seeds. I tweeted already and will again.

  • Have never grown Blue Hubbard Squash! As for tomatoes, well can you ever really have enough? Giggles So excited about your book finally going to press!

  • Daniel, I’d love to have a small garden. Years ago when we had our foster kids to help us, we tried some tomatoes, broccoli, string beans, and a little corn.
    Our land is so rocky and full of shale, we had buckets of the hard stuff as we tried to get the soil prepared.
    Our tomatoes did fairly well; the other veggies didn’t mature. So sad. :(

  • Those Andes tomatoes look wonderful! I am still trying to get my garden going, but between the demands of my 2 year old daughter and the challenges of dealing with all the deer, groundhogs and other critters, I have yet to plan anything in my yard, just containers on the deck so far. I got some hanging tomato planters on clearance last fall, so I’m looking forward to trying those.

    With the brutal winter here in New England, all I’ve been able to think about lately is gardening :)

  • Oh no, I’m almost out of time!!!! And oddly enough, the blog post I’m working on called “If It’s For Free, It’s For Me!” is wonderfully perfect to promote your giveaway. I was going to publish tomorrow, but I’ll try to get it out by tonight instead, warning everyone that the seed giveaway is ending.

    As for me, I would love to get some tomato seeds. I’m obsessed with growing different varieties every year. My favorite is a seed I’ve been saving over the last 10 years called “sugar snacker”, a yellow/orange cherry. Delicious!

    Now, time for me to get writing…..

  • Jennie:

    Got my seeds in the mail today, yippee! I’m so excited to try them out that I want to plant them right now, but unfortunately they would die. It’s still frozen out there. *sigh*… Anyway, thanks for the fun new seeds!

  • Kimberly Grant:

    Thank you so much for the free seeds. I recieved them this weekend. I’m so excited for spring to get here so I can get the squash and long neck pumpkins in and start my tomato seeds.

  • Nell:

    The season is over — ! Thank you so much for the seeds — the tomatoes were wonderful, and I got 5 giant neck pumpkins. The Hubbard seeds were damaged — ? — anyway, I didn’t really have room for another squash this year.
    If it didn’t rain EVERY day in August I would’ve had an even better tomato crop, but they eventually succumbed to rot and blight. I got a good number of tomatoes anyway — hope next year is a bit drier (funny thing for a gardener to wish for!)

  • S. K.:

    Will you have any seeds for giveaway in 2012? Thanks

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