Re: [tomato] Tomato Digest V1 #154

Thomas Giannou (
Sat, 27 Feb 1999 11:23:43 -0800

You have a good point.  I would suggest you take a look at the tons of
research findings that already exist out there on use of VAM Mycorrhiza with
tomato's.  That's what I did.  You think that just because I said I sold
mycorrhiza inoculant that my claims are "snake oil."  Well, your claims
don't match up with my personal results nor with the results that friends
and neighbors are getting.. nor with the pictures I have taken and the
documentation I have made in doing my own experimentation with this stuff.
I am a person who looks for results.  I've been around for years and have
looked at a lot of gimics and have not even considered a lot of them because
they make a lot of claims but have no evidence.   In fact, I am rather
surprised at all the junk people buy who, in my opinion ought to know
better.... they seem intelligent, are well educated, but still buy obvious
gimics that simply don't work and never have ever worked worth a hoot!   I
have gotten results and I have the evidence of those results... along with
research findings.  By the way, if you think you are going to find a "wide
range of observations" out of the scientific community or even the achedemic
community, you are going to be looking into a deep dark void for the most
part.  When they are doing experiments, for example, their scope is so
narrow that they simply can't see the forest because all they are looking at
is the twig.  I put more credence in gardeners who are observant and getting
results and are willing to share those results with others.  That's what
I've tried to do with you folks and then what do I get?  Snake oil?

Here's an example:  when my brother who basically dislikes even eating
tomato's, samples some of my cherry tomato's and eats a warm ripe beef steak
tomato from the garden with a little salt and pepper on it says, "This
tastes a heck of a lot better than what I usually experience.... I could
really get used to eating tomato's if they tasted like these!"  Then, I am
thinking... it's not just my opinion that those are really good tasting...
others are confirming it.   Another one:  a 75 year old lady next to my
friends who had grown cucumbers with VAM fungi remarked, "Those are the
sweetest cucumbers I have ever eaten."  Well, that 75 year old lady who has
been a gardener all her life is making a statement that tells me that the
influence of VAM fungi with those cucumber plants in a garden with a good
supply of organic material had a lot to do with why they were the sweetest
cukes she had ever tasted.  We found the same thing with Raspberries and

My wife bought me a microscope for Christmas along with a smaller microscope
for our seven year old son.  I found that I could take pictures using my
digital camera placed on the eyepiece of the microscope.  So, I decided to
take a look at some cross sections of several different plants we had
treated with VAM Mycorrhiza this past year... Maple, Roses, Raspberries,
Quaking Aspen, Spirea bushes.  I took samples from treated and untreated
stems and compared the differences.  I found there were a lot more and
larger Xylem vessels in all of the treated plants than the untreated plants.
I also found there were larger Phloem sieve tubes in the treated plants than
the untreated plants.  And I also noticed that the layers of tissue that
form the bark... for lack of a better word or words, were much better
developed and thicker in the treated plants than the untreated plants.  I
have those pictures on my web site if you want to take a look at them.
There is also a discussion present that makes a connection between those
structures and the external observations we make in looking at plants
treated with VAM fungi... larger root systems, larger leaves, much higher
levels of health, better tasting produce, resistance to environmental
stresses, resistance to diseases, fewer problems with bugs, etc.  If time
permits, I am going to do some similar comparisons with tomato stems this
year and see what the differences might be between treated and untreated
plants.  Some of the obvious external differences have been things like...
having to put in metal fense posts or very sturdy stakes to hold up really
large tomato plants that have 30 or more large tomato's on them.   One
friend had planted an early girl tomato plant with one of those wire frames
around it to support it.  I got together with some fellows from our church
to help her clean up her yard last fall and noticed that tomato plant had
grown about 12 feet or so and had bent that wire frame all up and was more
like a long vine in a hedge than a tomato plant.... loaded with tomato's.
One of the guy's said, look at what your stuff did to this tomato plant.

So what's my point here?  I don't care where you buy your VAM fungi... just
try it with tomato's and if you take care of everything properly... you will
become a "user" and a "believer" that there is nothing quite like using
products that naturally build up soils and cause a fair number of plants to
perform like nothing you have ever seen before.  I know for some that
ignorance is bliss and if it "sounds to good to be true" then "it always is"
is the attitude they will always have about everything that is different
than their usual routine.

I am going to try some with Oregon Spring Tomato plants... it is a variety
that was developed by the University of Oregon to grow in colder places with
short growing seasons.  It sets fruit early in cooler temps and is supposed
to be an open pollinated variety (if I remember correctly) and I'm hoping it
will replace the beef steak tomato's my wife is stuck on growing all the
time.  Besides, I want to try something that gets away from the taste of the
same old thing year after year.  As I have been reading posts by people who
have been growing a lot of varieties of tomato's in different parts of the
country, I get the distinct impression that I've been missing out on some
really good tasting tomato's out there.  But one thing that has always
baffled me are these people who say they have 50 or more tomato plants... if
they are growing that many plants, they must be swimming in that suff every
year or they are selling a lot of tomato's.  I can't imagine having that
many plants for home use.  If you ever put VAM fungi on that many plants and
got the results I got last year, what would a home owner do with all those

We just got an inch of snow this morning.

Thomas Giannou
Spokane, Washington

-----Original Message-----
From: ChuckWyatt/Md/Z7 <>
To: <>
Date: Saturday, February 27, 1999 10:17 AM
Subject: Re: [tomato] Tomato Digest V1 #154

>Hi Margaret,
>>> I'm sorry, but since you're selling the product, this sounds a lot like
>Like you, I am very skeptical about this new Bio whatever.  Tomatoes have
>gotten along quite well in the past without it. There seems to besome new
>flash in the pan every few years, doesn't there?
>If someone wants to pay a recognized expert to grow plants with and without
>this "miracle worker" I would like to see an INDEPENDANT review by an
>uninterested source, NOT one of the garden rags with which we are beset.
>Until that time, I remember tales of the days when bunko pedlers and snake
>oil salesmen rode their wagons from town to town.
>Good gardening,
>Chuck Wyatt