Singing Gardener: Names of tomato seed winners are announced

Plus, Ted has an additional surprise

There’s good soil at Grandview, Man. Rose Swidzinski says her biggest Kelsey onion weighed 2-1/4 pounds. She had 25 of them that grew naturally in heavy clay soil without any additives and no special care. Only water was given as 2018 was a dry year in her area. A portion of Rose’s letter will be shared next column.

Have your ever felt like a town crier? Well I certainly have personally experienced something similar myself while projecting my voice from the top of my lungs on numerous occasions without any amplification or PA system. More on history of what a town crier is comes further along, but right now yours truly has a different duty to perform. In my designation as a writer, I’m now revealing the 12 names of winners for a packet each of Cosmonaut Volkov tomato seeds. Two of the winners enclosed pictures which I’ve scanned and are shown in this article.

Chris the Accordion Guy pulls the first winning entry from the tomato seed draw crock for a packet of Cosmonaut Volkov tomato seeds. photo: Ted Meseyton

I am truly amazed with the response from gardeners. My sincere and grateful thanks to Luz Martinez in the Grainews mail department for her assistance — to Chris the Accordion Guy for making the draws — and to Suzanne for addressing the envelopes and doing the inserts.

You probably didn’t expect this but I have a bit of a surprise. Had the good fortune to get some extra packets of other tomato seed varieties besides Cosmonaut Volkov. As a result, I asked Chris to make 10 additional random draws afterward for what I call consolation tomato seed winners.

The complete list of names drawn from the “draw crock” (that’s also used to make sauerkraut) begins right after my tip of the hat with congratulations going out to all of them.

Wherever you happen to be, it’s “hats off” time for a moment to our entire great big family of Grainews readers, including gardeners, farmers, city folk and country folk. My “howdy do” is also extended with a welcome aboard to anyone discovering us for the first time and taking a peek at what we have to say.

Cosmonaut Volkov – Tomato seed winners

1. Judy Renas, Maple Creek, Sask.
2. Bill Todosychuk, Westlock, Alta.

3. Sylvia Thorgilsson, Lundar, Man.
4. Margaret Arnett, Prince George, B.C.
5. Mrs. Mary Ellen Pakka, Sorrento, B.C.
6. Ms. Marcella Shewchuk, Rama, Sask.
7. Rose Swidzinski, Grandview, Man.
8. Jean Black, Proton Station, Ont.
9. Juliana Melenka, Lamont, Alta.
10. Christine Rushinka, Ethelbert, Man.
11. Joyce Nykipilo, Boyle, Alta.
12. Henry Buront, Melville, Sask.

Suprise winners of random tomato varieties

1. Eileen Deschepper, Gunn, Alta.
2. Mrs. Jeannette Dow, Moose Jaw, Sask.
3. Mrs. Gerda Marriott, Olds, Alta.
4. Hazel Melnyk, Dawson Creek, B.C.
5. Ms. Margo Eckberg, Rapid City, Man.
6. Mary Whitehead, McCreary, Man.
7. Frank and Geri Zabudny, Sandy Hook, Man.
8. Ian and Nancy Vitek, Canyon, B.C.
9. Mrs. Brenda Flamme, Carievale, Sask.
10. Eleanor Seib, Rosetown, Sask.

Total of 148 individual entries from B.C. to Ontario

Deepest appreciation is expressed from yours truly, Ted, to everyone who wrote, for a grand total of 148 individual entries received by mail. I am truly appreciative and humbly overwhelmed by your responses. All tomato seeds were mailed out on March 8 to individuals listed above and I would expect that some seeds have likely been started by now. I’m also checking all envelopes and sharing comments from readers both today and in future articles.

Judy Renas from Maple Creek, Sask., sent along this photo showing the interior of her greenhouse. She writes, “Hi Ted. Love your ‘stuff.’ I rip the column out before my husband reads the paper (2009-19) so far. Can’t wait for spring.” Judy also included a picture of a mother hen with her chicks. photo: Courtesy Judy Renas

Coming up are a few best dates, according to the moon, for pinching houseplants to hasten growth, pruning to quicken and improve growth on vines, shrubs and trees and to do grafting. Also, use these dates for seeding annual flowers in the greenhouse or cold frame and that includes tomatoes, leafy greens, vining crops, other vegetables that produce their yield above the ground and sprouting potatoes inside. The preferred best dates for aforesaid during April 2019 are: April 11, 12, 13, 14, 17 and 18. Seeding activities performed on dates provided are likely to yield greatest abundance and favourable results. Wait until after the full moon from between April 22 to April 30, 2019 for planting root crops such as beets, carrots, potatoes, onions, radishes and turnip.

The town crier – duties and functions

Long ago, before public address systems, microphones, amplifiers, sound systems and instant communication — there were town criers who were also bell ringers. In England holders of this prestigious job would make public announcements in the streets. Criers were often dressed elaborately, set by a tradition dating to the 18th century. The crier wore easily recognized attire consisting of a red and gold coat, white breeches, black boots and a tricorne hat with brim turned up on three sides and rang a bell. Upon attracting people’s attention the crier would thrice times yell out the words: “Oyez, Oyez, Oyez,” meaning, “Hear ye, Hear ye, Hear ye.” Later, written accounts from the early 19th century sometimes recorded the words as, “O yes, O yes, O yes.” The hand bell was a designated call to the people for their silence and attention while criers proclaimed announcements. During the period of widespread illiteracy in Europe, town criers were the chief means for communicating news to the townsfolk as many could not read or write. Proclamations, local bylaws, public business during food market days, advertisements and funeral announcements were all shouted out. They were not always men, either, as many town criers were women. Bells were not the only device used for getting attention. For example, in the Netherlands a gong was the instrument of choice, while in France a drum was used or a hunting horn in order to gain attention of the crowd. As stated earlier, in England, the crier who was also the bell ringer would yell, “Hear ye” — “Oyez.”

My previous work experience provided me the opportunity over many years to occasionally proclaim the words: “Hear ye, Hear ye, Hear ye,” and then read aloud prepared documents in a prescribed venue. Back then I sometimes thought of those experiences as somewhat similar to being a town crier.

Well we’ve reached the end of the page and there’s no spilled milk. Let’s get together again for another visual experience of words and pictures in the next Grainews issue on April 23.

About the author


Ted Meseyton

This is Ted Meseyton the Singing Gardener and Grow-It Poet from Portage la Prairie, Man. I salute all gardeners and farmers who help make our world a little safer and more ecologically balanced, and who toil to provide health-giving produce to others who cannot produce their own. It takes all sorts to make a world. One half of the world doesn’t know how the other half lives. The best physicians are Dr. Diet, Dr. Quiet and Dr. Merryman.



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