The Juicy Traveler

Tomatoes are not a travel story you say? Well in Southeast Missouri, this old gardener plans her travels around the gardening season.

Yes, that was me getting out of the car and taking pictures of acres of tomatoes in Homestead,FL. I have been known to stop just to smell the orange blossoms near Merritt Island. Plant City Florida’s strawberry festival, is a vacation stop for me. But now I’m back to good old MO.

February is when I read seed catalogs and plan for spring in Missouri. I’m ordering heirloom tomato plants from Abundant Acres. If you like the idea of buying locally grown plants from a Missouri business, shop online at Abundant Acres. Meet the owners and growers Randel and Pam Argella when you stop by Bakersville during the April and May festivals at Baker Creek Seed Company in Mansfield Missouri. More about the 9th Annual Spring Planting Festival, later.

Randel and Pam Agrella only sell plants online. They grow hardy healthy heirlooms that are well packaged and ready to plant as soon as they harden off and acclimate to your garden.

Randel recommended I grow indeterminate Delicious tomatoes, if I wanted to win the neighborhood biggest tomato contest. Delicious is a good all purpose red tomato and it holds the world record for the largest tomato. Much to my dismay the secret to growing the biggest tomato is clearly written right there in the description of Delicious tomatoes for any body and everybody to read.

When gardening season gets here, my travels are limited to how far I can go and get back before the plants need watering. Day trips, long weekends, fairs and festivals are this gardeners version of summer vacation. Oh, and visiting local farmers markets, orchards and garden centers.

My next trip will be a beauty. I’m going to the Missouri Botanical Garden Orchid Show. The orchid show closes March 15, 2009.

Other early spring trips include:
9th Annual Spring Planting Festival Sunday and Monday, May 3 & 4, 2009 10am – 7pm (both days)

Cape Girardeau Storytelling Festival April 3,4, and 5.

My best cabin fever cure in Southeast Missouri is going some place warm, like Orlando. Winter 2009 has been so cold in Southeast Missouri that I fled to Orlando for nearly three weeks. Even in these frightening economic times there are still travel bargains. I’ll share frugal ways for the budget conscious to take a vacation, including one of the best bets for accommodations. It’s not your typical hotel stay.

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