Field Trip!
Seedling Sale at Tree & Twig



A couple of Saturdays ago, on the famed Victoria Day weekend actually, I dragged my mother to Linda Crago’s annual seedling sale.  Later in the day, my mother dragged me to a quilting store. She doesn’t like gardening.  I don’t like quilting.

My mother bought enough vegetable seedlings to oxygenate one of the smaller planets, and I bought a quilting book.  I’m not sure how it happened, it’s all a bit  hazy to both of us.

You may remember Linda as the owner of  Tree & Twig, the heirloom vegetable farm I featured last summer.   Every May long weekend she sells thousands of her heirloom tomato seedlings, along with a select few other vegetables.  The sale is 3 days long.  We got there 2 hours into the first day.  She was already sold out of 3 of the things I was looking for.

It’s a very popular sale.

My mother wanted a cucumber.  “A regular cucumber dammit.  What the hell is this?  I don’t even know.  I’m gonna buy it.  Do you think this is a cucumber?”  Linda to the rescue. She swooped in, in her Tomato Whisperer tee shirt, handed my mother a regular cucumber and disappeared into thin air.

To me that’s the fun of the sale.  It’s full of things you’ve either never heard of or could never find anywhere else.


Collage 3


Linda Crago W- Text


The place was packed with clusters of frenzied people.  Groups of people running from the white tomato section to the reds, to the blacks.  At one point I’m pretty sure a woman fainted.  But who wouldn’t at the sight of a thin skinned, multi colour, striated, acidic, early ripening tomato?  Who, I ask??


Collage 1


While I was plotting and planning this year’s Front Yard Vegetable garden I reserved about 20 square feet for some of the things from Linda’s sale.  I didn’t know what they would be, I only knew I’d be getting something.  And I did …




We spent about an hour at the farm and an hour at the quilting store.  Vegetables?  Picked, placed, and planted.  The quilting book?  Picked, placed and planted.  In the bookcase. Where it shall remain until some time after the vegetables are harvested.




  1. Marti says:

    You look remarkably covered from the whole “barefoot, bad hair, in self-leveling cement” incident, I see.

    Did I miss seeing what were the “three things that I wanted” but she was out of?

  2. Kim says:

    I LOVE the Tomato Whisperer’s t-shirt. LOVE it! Alas, I could never wear it. Mine could only say Tomato Eater and who would wear that??? Maybe one day my t-shirt could say Tomato Whisperer’s Tomatoes Eater. That’s about as close as I could get to the fabulousness of that t-shirt. Sigh. Not even on the same planet.

    • Karen says:

      LOL!! I like it. Tomato Whisperer’s Tomatoes Eater. Linda has a new “Tomato” t-shirt for the start of every tomato season (the plant sale). What it will be is the talk of the tomato people from far and wide. My favourite is one from a couple of years ago that just says “tomato”. Either the t-shirt or the lettering is red … I can’t remember. I love it either way. ~ karen!

      • Sera says:

        I totally want both the t-shirts: Tomato whisperer’s tomato eater AND tomato.
        I could never pull off the prestige of tomato whisperer. Although it is the one thing I have been able to consistently grow well for the last three years. This year, I am up to 7 plants! We shall see how they fare.

        Also, I commend your aplomb for wearing white to a garden sale. Every year I go to our Tilth sale and every year I have managed to smear mud on some part of me. This year I gave up and got a bag full of cinnamon sugar mini-donuts for waiting in line. Dirt AND sugar!

  3. Angela says:

    You look particularly lovely in that photo! Not a ketchup stain in sight (and no mukluks, either), so I’m assuming you wore a different outfit to the Christie’s sale. When is that post, by the way? Because the Christie’s post and the Christmas wrapping post are some that I look forward to each year.

    • Karen says:

      Angela – The Christie’s post probably won’t be up until next week, and it might even be 2 posts! Possibly 3, LOL. I got a lot of great things and took a lot of great pictures so it’s taking a while to go through them all. ~ karen!

  4. Laura Bee says:

    You look beautiful, but white in a garden? I know you probably didn’t go home & plant in that sweater, but that’s brave. I’m a denim & lumberjacket kind of garden shopper. I like to hug my plants.

  5. ev says:

    Wow, I almost hate going to a really good nursery–I want to buy one of each of the veg;s! We are retired and don’t NEED a bunch of plants at all! Spouse is terrible picky eater, so I don’t do much interesting cooking. Sure do like the growing though! Maybe your quilting book will produce baby quilts!

  6. Jody says:

    What quilt shop did you go to??? You must have been somewhat intrigued to get a book.

    • Karen says:

      We went to the Quilting Bee in Fonthill. The book is really nice. It’s full of quilts that are a slightly contemporary take on traditional quilt patterns. There’s one in particular that caught my eye. It’s different from any quilt I’ve ever seen. I’m going to try to make it, or a version of it and post about it. ~ karen

  7. RosieW says:

    What fun going to such a wonderful nursery with CHOICES

    • Karen says:

      RosieW – LOL, it’s not so much a nursery as Linda’s backyard. 🙂 She’s a CSA farmer and has a LOT of space. ~ karen!

  8. Jennifer R says:

    My daughter and I were there too! I can’t wait to see the different coloured tomatoes in the summer. We also bought the lemon cucumber. I hope it takes like cucumber 🙂

  9. Mary Kay says:

    Karen – I am so jealous that you have such a great place to get so many different and cool veggie plants. How does one go about finding a similar place in their area. We have got to have something likes this in Ohio some where.

    • Karen says:

      Mary Kay – Word of mouth is the best way, but other than that start looking around for local CSA farmers. That’s where you buy a share of a farmer’s crop and get your vegetables delivered to you once a week (or you pick them up). It usually costs between $200 and $400 for a season of vegetables. Farmers like that may do something similar to Linda in terms of selling their seedlings at the beginning of the year. Linda is quite special though in her love of heirloom and interesting tomatoes. She travels the world buying rare seeds. ~ karen!

  10. karol says:

    Love the pix, especially the one of Linda where she is photobombed by an old guys butt. LOL And… your mom is adorable.

  11. Linda says:

    Thanks for coming down Karen and bringing your mom along. Hope it is a great year in the garden…let me know!

  12. Looks like an awesome place to shop! My sister and I usually do the greenhouse tours seeking the plant that she NEEDS every year. Always a good time. Cheers.

  13. marika says:

    May I ask what the quilting book is? I have a feeling it’s Denyse Schmidt’s Modern Quilts Traditional Inspiration. But that’s a wild guess.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Omg. HOW did you guess that? You’re exactly right! There are a lot of books that claim to have contemporary quilts, but they aren’t really contemporary … or nice … They’re usually just really bold colours and bizarre patterns. THIS book however, truly has contemporary quilts that are completely and totally stunning. STUNNING. ~ karen!

      • Stephanie says:

        Eager to see what you end up making: Denise is great inspiration to follow. I’m surprised you’ve resisted quilting for this long, being such a DIY-er and all. Just wait ’til you put that first me-made quilt on your bed or over your lap… wonderfully satisfying.

      • Jasmine says:

        I have wanted to try quilting for years, but never found a pattern that made me take the plunge. Honestly, the last thing I need is another hobby! This book might just have the right stuff. Beautiful designs that I would like to display and use. Uh oh…

  14. marika says:

    I have the same book and if I were to guess you were to pick any quilting book I have looked at, it would be that one. I’m very picky about crafting books. So many are just BAD. But I really like that one. And I like the stories about the quilts (particularly orange peel). There are SO many I love. I’m currently plugging away at the Hawaiian appliqué quilt. It’s my travel project. Then there is a list of about 7 other quilts that are high on my to-do list. I can’t wait to see which one you decide to make. -marika

    • Karen says:

      LOL. That is just hard to believe! You’re like a quilting savant! 🙂 I love those Hawaiian appliqué quilts. Centsational Girl just did a post on making pillows using that technique. ~ karen!

  15. mickey says:

    Great photo of you and Betty.

  16. marika says:

    I will check out the post. Thanks!

  17. What a fun outing, and your pictures were great! I love the picture of you and your mom – you look like two peas in a pod…probably the Little Marvel English Peas variety 🙂

  18. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    You wore white to go to the farm and buy plants..sigh..I bet you didn’t get dirty either..huh..Betty is looking very nice..haven’t seen a pic of her for a do look so much like her..Did you plant that Sweet Potato Squash that I told you about last year?? I am looking for a plant to try it otherwise I will just have to buy it a the Fruit & Veggie stand where I discovered it..They haven’t been set up for anything yet or I would ask them if I could buy a plant from them..Nothing like fresh produce..the best part of Spring & Summer!!!

    • Nancy Blue Moon says:

      Oh yeah!! I would love 3 posts on the Christie’s show..always look forward to that!

    • Karen says:

      Nancy – I *did* plant the Delicata squash as a matter of fact! I just put the seeds in, in the hopes that I’ve planted them late enough to avoid squash bugs and vine borers. I’m going to plant again at the end of June. My seeds are Cubit’s! ~ karen

      • Nancy Blue Moon says:

        Great!! I think you will really like them..I was like addicted to them last year..couldn’t get enough..I’m trying to look at Cubit’s but your sponsors are not showing up at the side..just a big empty box where they usually are???

        • Karen says:

          Strange. Just try reloading your page. Because the ads are here on my screen. They maybe just didn’t load properly. You can also go to any of my other pages to see if they load properly. ~ karen!

        • Nancy Blue Moon says:

          Nope..none of it is working..I will get my son to check it out for me..he is my

  19. Maybe I didn’t read your earlier posts closely enough but Tree and Twig has an annual seedling sale?! Whoopee! I’m still (hopefully) a year away from adding a vegetable garden to the farm, but this is totally on my list for next year now. Thanks!

  20. Linda S says:

    Ahhhh, but does she raise chickens? I thought I saw a coop or two in the background of the photos. Maybe not, as I understand chickens favor young tender seedlings, and there goes the profit. I love Linda’s tee shirt, and I hope she takes Kim’s idea for next year and has some shirts printed up for sale that say “Tomato Whisperer’s Tomato Eater”. I’m seeing profits big enough to move her into another tax bracket!!

  21. karol says:

    “Tomato, Tomahto” would be a good shirt.

  22. Nancy says:

    I think it’s AWESOME that you get to spend time with your mom doing ‘things’.

  23. Janelle says:

    Quilting! Squeeeeeeeee! Denyse Schmidt is awesome.

  24. Jennifer says:

    I’m trying Spanish River Carbonatite in my garden for the first time this year. I hear it is really amazing stuff so I’m looking forward to seeing what it does to my heirloom tomatoes (which were already pretty darned impressive last year, IMHO!)

    • Karen says:

      I’m so excited to see how it works too! If I had more room I’d do a few test plants. Some with and some without. But sadly, I don’t have the room. It took a while to figure out how much to use … apparently it’s only a tablespoon in the hole and a tablespoon sprinkled on top, so not a lot at all! ~ karen

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