A Garden Interview With Tim Noyes

I recently met Tim Noyes at a Third Monday Meeting, and discovered he was a kindred gardener who also gardens with the same “above organic” standards that I pursue.  I  was so impressed with his knowledge of heirloom vegetable varieties, and the amazing tomatoes he brought to share!

Garden Interview WIth TIm Noyes

“I have been gardening for 8 years.  I consider myself a ‘variety explorer’.  The seed catalogues are full of interesting and beautiful vegetables that are not particularly adapted to our area.  My goals are different than most, because I want to find the vegetable specifically suited for NE Florida. I can risk my garden space for failure or less than productive varieties, so that we have more varieties to choose from.

I grow with what I call above organic standards no pesticides, no herbicides, and no fungicides.  This does not mean that I believe this is the only way- it just works for me to let me know if the plants can make it in the climate. If I were depending on the crops to preserve or sell, I would do what is needed to get them to market or freezer.  My goals though are different than most.  I do not stop at just the catalogues –  I look for native or tropical plants to extend the seasons in books and videos.  I do grow some standards, but I am always pushing the envelope with something new.”

Garden Interview WIth TIm Noyes

“The size of my garden is about 1000 square feet at the house, which does not include all the plants growing in containers or my gardens I care for throughout Gainesville.  I grow for both my family and for others in our lives.

My favorite thing about gardening  is sharing with others.  Whether it is sharing produce, sharing a new variety, or sharing a plant with others there is little that beats it.  I love to share my produce.  I used to sell my produce, but I found sharing my produce with others gave me a lot more satisfaction.

I love to grow everything, but if I had to pick one favorite, it would be tomatoes.  It is the gateway vegetable to gardening.  There is also such a wide variety of types, colors, sizes that you almost can not run out of new varieties.  I love sharing my tomato plants, and I have started a breeding program for varieties specific to this area.”

Garden Interview WIth TIm Noyes
“I grow from seeds mostly.  I like to have full control of the growing process.  I need to move my plants up at the right time, and I believe the beginning of the seedlings life is important in determining the success of the plant.  I like Baker Creek for their originality and variety, but you do not get a whole bunch of seeds for the cost.  I would say for starts the best place in town is Garden Gate – but I only get them for a client if I do not have them.

My biggest challenge is finding enough time.  I have all the space I could possibly need to trial plants, but I have an 8 to 5 job plus my side hustle on the weekends.  I can expand and grow in fields, but time is the limiting factor.  I always want to do things right, so I do not want to grow something that I can not finish to the end.”

Garden Interview WIth TIm Noyes

“My advice for getting started is:  Fail a lot!  There have been many seasons in which I made so many mistakes to the point that I felt I was never going to grow anything.   If you do fail, you can share and help others.  If all you do is throw seeds on the ground and walk away and it does well, you do not know anything about growing. I would also say stop asking how somebody does something and just do it.  There are a million things that we have said we wanted to do, but we wanted to know everything before trying.  We just do not end up doing it.  You will be surprised on what you can accomplish if you just try.”

Garden Interview WIth TIm Noyes

Sofrito

2 Medium  Tomatoes

1 Large Sweet Pepper

1 bunch of Green Onions

1 bulb of Garlic

1 bunch of Cilantro

1 or 2 hot peppers(optional)

It is pretty simple- just chop them all up and put them in a blender. We use it as a seasoning for meat or a dip for chips. It makes a great base for stews, beans, and other dishes.

Thank you, Tim!  Your garden is beautiful!

If you are also a gardener, and would be interested in having your garden featured, let’s be in touch!

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