A ‘twist’ on growing tomatoes

Gordon Woods / Journal — Rob Roy and Barbara Twist in their garden at home in Clinton. The Twists have 245 tomato plants.

With some help, former egg farmer raises an abundant crop in his back yard

        "We started everything from seed back in March,” said Rob Roy Twist.  “Including the flowers.”

Driving through the neighborhoods of Clinton, it’s easy to assume many of the houses have vegetable gardens out back.  It’s not likely, though, many gardeners can claim they’re raising hundreds of tomato plants, in Twist’s case 245 plants.

“Dad’s grown tomatoes here for each of the past 15 years,” according to Twist’s son, Gary Twist. 

“With Gary’s help, we built a pretty nice little hot box, where we could regulate the heat real well,” said the 85-year-old Rob Roy.

They applied forced, intense light to get the seeds started.

Early germination wasn’t good, but it got better …a lot better.

“Pretty soon, he had 650 tomato plants he had to try to figure out what to do with,” said Gary.

Gary said someone made them aware of the local Clinton Youth Initiative program.  One of the group’s summer projects is a vegetable garden, located near Clinton YMCA.

Ginny Carter, the program’s coordinator, took about 80 of the plants for the kids to put into the ground. 

“It’s a wonderful program,” Rob Roy said about Youth Initiative. 

“I felt so close to the whole group.  They were so nice when they were here loading up the plants.”

• See the complete story in the Friday, 8/14 print edition of the Clinton Journal or right now in the Journal E-Edition for subscribers.

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