April 17 - Sept. 10, 2005 Tomato Factory

photos from Stan Schaap and Susan Kramer

We thought you'd enjoy seeing the tomato greenhouse that started as a cold frame! Last summer we had so much rain that our tomatoes rotted before ripening, so this year we hope to raise them beginning tomorrow in their own greenhouse. Stan designed and built the greenhouse and Susan has raised 12 tomato plants from seed which are now 7 inches tall. We'll add pix to this page later in the summer to share the results of our experiment.


1. April 17, 2005. Stan is showing the finished tomato factory with a front panel that slides out to make tomato pickin' easier! The unit is against a south-facing wall.

2. April 17, 2005. Stan securing the framing to tent-post type anchors buried below the concrete. The walls are made of thin plexiglass.

4. April 17, 2005. These are 25 liter - 25 quart bags of compost which Susan is planting the tomatoes into directly - 4 plants per bag. The 1 foot square paver is the step down into the cold frame.

5. Below pix is our window box garden from 2001 - outside our kitchen window in our apt. in Amsterdam - our first try with tomatoes planted into bags of store-bought compost. This was a west-facing wall but did not get direct sunlight - rather, only reflected light from the building opposite the window.

6. April 18, 2005. About 7pm. Today Susan planted the 12 tomato plants - see cuts in top of bag for plants - this idea came from a BBC (British Broadcasting Channel) program.

7. May 8, 2005. The tomatoes are growing well and the rest of the garden is in a strong Spring growth spurt. A variety of agapanthus in the foreground.

8. June 12, 2005. A close up of the tomatoes after 7.5 weeks in the greenhouse. That's Swiss chard in the garden plot to the left. The tomatoes have blossoms now.

9. June 12, 2005. A close up of the trellis-pergola made of bangkirai - from Indonesia, similar to teak. To the left, the fan shaped trellis is supporting grapes. Below it are strawberries. Going up the left hand vertical support is the new wisteria plant. To the right in foreground is mature Swiss chard I'm letting go to seed to be able to plant again. In the background sitting at the table is Susan.

10. August 12, 2005. Tomatoes fully grown but still green. At the left is a green bean teepee with vines that climbed to the top of the plum tree, and just a little further to the left is the giant sunflower - see next picture.

11. September 10, 2005. Some or our tomato crop - we harvested 80 tomatoes. We pulled up the vines and now have red swiss chard growing for winter. We'll put the top back on soon.

12. September 10, 2005. This single sunflower (the flower about 5 feet off the ground) to the left of tomato factory is a natural feeding station to our local population of coalmees - the largest members in the bluetit family.  See the ripe green beans hanging from the plum tree :-)

more family photos:
Old family photos from Susan http://www.susankramer.com/familypix5.html
Hoffman and Melocik family photos
Pa's 83rd Birthday, January 23, 2004
Ma's Tapestries in Castricum  http://www.susankramer.com/familypix27.html
Kitchen remodel  http://www.susankramer.com/familypix28.html

California - Sarada and Sean's wedding Sept. 2004  http://www.susankramer.com/familypix30.html

Christmas Time 2004 http://www.susankramer.com/familypix31.html
March 1, 2005 Snow Storm  http://www.susankramer.com/familypix32.html
Tomato Factory  http://www.susankramer.com/familypix33.html
May birthdays  http://www.susankramer.com/familypix34.html
Family Reunion June 2005  http://www.susankramer.com/familypix35.html
Family Reunion Delmar, DE 2005  http://www.susankramer.com/familypix36.html

email and web site: stan@powertoshare.com--http://www.powertoshare.com
email and web site: susan@susankramer.com--http://www.susankramer.com