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Letters To The Editor

Dear Editor,

My tomato plants grew like crazy, as high as some of my trees. Unfortunately off five plants, I got about fifteen tomatoes. Would you know why?

Dear Perplexed,
Right off the bat, my first thought is that your tomatoes were over-fertilized and there was too much nitrogen in the soil. You’ll grow robust, healthy plants but all that growth goes into the plant, not setting fruit. Other variables that can affect fruit setting in tomatoes are temperatures under 50 degrees F, nighttime temperatures over 70 degrees F, irregular watering, insects, and less than 8-10 hours or direction sunlight.

We had a wonderful radio show interview with Dr. Arlen Andersen who talked about growing vegetables, setting fruit on those vegetables, and many other things for successful gardening. It’s very informative and I think you and many others would be interested in either listening to the broadcast or printing out the transcript of the episode. You can find episode 42 of Off the Grid Radio here: //

The Editor



Dear Editor,
I just read your response to the inquiry regarding canning (hot water bath) on a ceramic top stove, and wondered if you had any suggestions for pressure canning (have noted that manufacturers NOT recommending their products for ceramics). I want to use pressure to can products not suitable for hot water bath canning, possibly usable in situations where we may have power outages.

Any information that you can provide will be much appreciated. Thank you!
Prepping like Crazy

Dear Prepping,
Two items come to mind—first of all, the Crisis Cooker. In addition to cooking with wood or charcoal, it also comes with a gas regulator and has the ability to run off a small propane tank or bottle, and that’s no different than using a gas stove. You can adjust the flame up or down to achieve the pressure you need. A gas burner like one would use outdoors for cooking great quantities of fish or a turkey is also an option. Of course, if you have a gas stove, you’re at home base already! While the ovens on newer models of gas stoves won’t work with the power out, the burners will still function.

And as one reader pointed out in a recent letter to the editor, Presto has redesigned their pressure canners so that they are suitable for ceramic top model stoves. You may want to check out their new canners.

The Editor

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