Pizza Making Forum

General Topics => Ingredients & Resources => Sauce Ingredients => Topic started by: RHawthorne on April 29, 2022, 12:17:27 PM

Title: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: RHawthorne on April 29, 2022, 12:17:27 PM
So about three weeks ago, I grabbed a packet of organic San Marzano seeds on impulse (mostly just because I had never even seen them before), and I'm also thinking about growing basil (again). I'm really not a very experienced gardener, and the space I have to use is not huge, but this is something I'm willing to take on and I'm looking for some good pro tips. When I grew basil in the past, I was never all that pleased with it. It hit the basic flavor profile, but it always leaned towards the minty side and just wasn't all that potent. Likewise with potted basil plants I had bought from stores; it was okay, but not great. I have no experience at all with growing tomatoes. I know the basics: give them full sun, give them their own pot and a trellis for the vines to grow on. I can look up this kind of info elsewhere online and I will, but I was hoping maybe some experienced gardeners on the forum could chime in on the best ways of growing either of these things, since I'm already at the best place to get info for all things pizza related. Thanks in advance for any responses.
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: ButteredPizza on April 29, 2022, 02:52:19 PM
FWIW, San Marzano tomatoes can be tricky to grow.  I've tried growing standard and "super san marzano" for a few years and eventually gave up, they readily suffer from blossom end rot if something is slightly out of wack (weather, nutrients, watering, etc) where other varieties have no issues.  Many people do grow them and successfully, so don't let my comments discourage you :)
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: RHawthorne on April 29, 2022, 03:24:28 PM
FWIW, San Marzano tomatoes can be tricky to grow.  I've tried growing standard and "super san marzano" for a few years and eventually gave up, they readily suffer from blossom end rot if something is slightly out of wack (weather, nutrients, watering, etc) where other varieties have no issues.  Many people do grow them and successfully, so don't let my comments discourage you :)
OK, Iím at a place right now where I can buy gardening supplies to get the tomatoes started. Have you got any suggestions for anything I should pick up while Iím here?
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: 02ebz06 on April 29, 2022, 03:50:04 PM
You will probably have to deal with tomato worms.
Whether you want to use pesticides or other methods would be up to you.
You can Google methods and pick one.
Probably need top soil and stakes to tie the main branch to as it grows.
If not staked or trellised, tomatoes lying on the ground can rot.

Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: RHawthorne on April 29, 2022, 04:19:31 PM
You will probably have to deal with tomato worms.
Whether you want to use pesticides or other methods would be up to you.
You can Google methods and pick one.
Probably need top soil and stakes to tie the main branch to as it grows.
If not staked or trellised, tomatoes lying on the ground can rot.
I got a tomato cage but I still need a pot. Now the next question for me is what the best kind of soil is. I know that San Marzanos in Italy grow in volcanic soil, but Iím not sure if that can be bought at a store like the one Iím at now.
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: frankenfab on April 30, 2022, 07:33:41 AM
I have grown a lot of tomatoes the past few years. I grow them in 55 gallon plastic barrels cut in half.

Don't worry about the volcanic soil. You can get Miracle Grow garden soil "for container's" at Lowe's or Home Depot. If you have local Farmer's Co-Op, you might be able to get worm casings to add to your soil. A little sand helps, too.

I am fortunate in that I live on 32 heavily wooded acres. I take my tractor with blade in to the woods and scrape up a pile of top soil, which is full of worms and their casings. That's all I use now, with some sand added.

As far as nutritional maintenance, Texas Tomato Food is all you need:

https://www.amazon.com/Urban-Farm-Fertilizers-Competition-Fertilizer/dp/B005LVOX1K/ref=sr_1_4?crid=2YRZISLOIQMQV&keywords=texas+tomato+food&qid=1651317761&s=lawn-garden&sprefix=Texas+Tomato+Food%2Clawngarden%2C103&sr=1-4
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: frankenfab on April 30, 2022, 07:45:16 AM
I actually have to go scrape up dirt and get some plants in barrels today.

This is my first year growing from seed. I ordered some Calabrian Chili seeds this year to add to my pepper portfolio, very excited about them.

Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: TXCraig1 on April 30, 2022, 09:30:57 AM
It's getting a bit late to start tomatoes from seeds, even in Michigan.
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: foreplease on April 30, 2022, 09:54:01 AM
It's getting a bit late to start tomatoes from seeds, even in Michigan.
Due to poor planning, I direct sewed 4 different varieties in mid-June year before last and they did well into October. We are having a cold spring (snowed here the last 2 Sundays). I think May 22 is our average last-frost date. It doesnít look as if I am going to plant any tomatoes this year. If I do, mid-May wouldnít scare me.


I have never been very good at starting things indoors and taking care of them properly.
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: RHawthorne on April 30, 2022, 04:55:57 PM
I have grown a lot of tomatoes the past few years. I grow them in 55 gallon plastic barrels cut in half.

Don't worry about the volcanic soil. You can get Miracle Grow garden soil "for container's" at Lowe's or Home Depot. If you have local Farmer's Co-Op, you might be able to get worm casings to add to your soil. A little sand helps, too.

I am fortunate in that I live on 32 heavily wooded acres. I take my tractor with blade in to the woods and scrape up a pile of top soil, which is full of worms and their casings. That's all I use now, with some sand added.

As far as nutritional maintenance, Texas Tomato Food is all you need:

https://www.amazon.com/Urban-Farm-Fertilizers-Competition-Fertilizer/dp/B005LVOX1K/ref=sr_1_4?crid=2YRZISLOIQMQV&keywords=texas+tomato+food&qid=1651317761&s=lawn-garden&sprefix=Texas+Tomato+Food%2Clawngarden%2C103&sr=1-4
I ended up getting a 3 gallon pot and soil that is what I think you're referring to. I'm not sure where I could get worm casings around here but I'll keep that in mind. I put that product you linked on my shopping list. Now I just need to decide when to plant the seeds, for the tomatoes and the basil both. I'm guessing the same soil I got for the tomatoes might be fine for the basil, but I don't know what else to give it in the way of nutrients. I'm sure it can't be all that complicated, but I really want to do it right. Thanks for all the info.
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: RHawthorne on April 30, 2022, 04:58:07 PM
I actually have to go scrape up dirt and get some plants in barrels today.

This is my first year growing from seed. I ordered some Calabrian Chili seeds this year to add to my pepper portfolio, very excited about them.
That sounds pretty appealing, too. If I'm not too mistaken, those are fairly small peppers with a mild to medium heat to them. Sounds like something useful for pizza and salsa both.
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: ButteredPizza on May 04, 2022, 02:36:39 PM
3 gallon pot with san marzano tomatoes will be stretching it.. well, for your first time, just have fun, and hopefully you'll get a few tomatoes :).  With the small pot, as it grows, you will need to check the soil at least twice a day, if it appears to be loosing moisture, water it.  Consider some fertilizer, and look to make sure it has calcium in it - for the small pot, organic may work but will be advanced stuff.  I would recommend standard, water-soluble stuff, it will give you better results (the box stores and nurseries should have a water-soluble fertilizer for tomatoes, as your first time, anything should be fine).  The concern here will be blossom end rot with this variety.
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: RHawthorne on May 04, 2022, 03:00:41 PM
3 gallon pot with san marzano tomatoes will be stretching it.. well, for your first time, just have fun, and hopefully you'll get a few tomatoes :).  With the small pot, as it grows, you will need to check the soil at least twice a day, if it appears to be loosing moisture, water it.  Consider some fertilizer, and look to make sure it has calcium in it - for the small pot, organic may work but will be advanced stuff.  I would recommend standard, water-soluble stuff, it will give you better results (the box stores and nurseries should have a water-soluble fertilizer for tomatoes, as your first time, anything should be fine).  The concern here will be blossom end rot with this variety.
I got Miracle Gro soil which already has fertilizer in it, and I got a 3 gallon pot because that was the recommended size for the amount of soil I got. I still haven't planted them, and I plan on doing so within the next couple of days.
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: stickyD on May 04, 2022, 03:08:47 PM
So about three weeks ago, I grabbed a packet of organic San Marzano seeds on impulse (mostly just because I had never even seen them before), and I'm also thinking about growing basil (again). I'm really not a very experienced gardener, and the space I have to use is not huge, but this is something I'm willing to take on and I'm looking for some good pro tips. When I grew basil in the past, I was never all that pleased with it. It hit the basic flavor profile, but it always leaned towards the minty side and just wasn't all that potent. Likewise with potted basil plants I had bought from stores; it was okay, but not great. I have no experience at all with growing tomatoes. I know the basics: give them full sun, give them their own pot and a trellis for the vines to grow on. I can look up this kind of info elsewhere online and I will, but I was hoping maybe some experienced gardeners on the forum could chime in on the best ways of growing either of these things, since I'm already at the best place to get info for all things pizza related. Thanks in advance for any responses.

For the toms, you need a greenhouse or hoop house to pull this off, but even then, in MI I doubt you will ever match the sun and warmth in Italy. Having written this, I have a handful of SM starts growing now, and our zone is similar to yours, and I do it for fun. But your venture should still prove fruitful!

Basil needs constant pruning, to promote the soft, flavorful (not bitter or minty) leaves we love. It loves sun but if it's a little too breezy the plant hardens up and is not as luxurious. Again a nice green house does wonders. Or a small hoop house, or a place in a sunny window in the kitchen.

Welcome to gardening!!!! Best thing in my life.





Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: RHawthorne on May 04, 2022, 09:57:11 PM
For the toms, you need a greenhouse or hoop house to pull this off, but even then, in MI I doubt you will ever match the sun and warmth in Italy. Having written this, I have a handful of SM starts growing now, and our zone is similar to yours, and I do it for fun. But your venture should still prove fruitful!

Basil needs constant pruning, to promote the soft, flavorful (not bitter or minty) leaves we love. It loves sun but if it's a little too breezy the plant hardens up and is not as luxurious. Again a nice green house does wonders. Or a small hoop house, or a place in a sunny window in the kitchen.

Welcome to gardening!!!! Best thing in my life.
Gardening is something I definitely don't have a lot of experience with, so I'm not expecting amazing results with these crops right away. Hot and sunny summers are not unheard of where I live, but there's no doubt that the overall climate here is nothing like it is in Italy. I've got some learning to do.
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: stickyD on May 05, 2022, 05:11:04 AM
Gardening is something I definitely don't have a lot of experience with, so I'm not expecting amazing results with these crops right away. Hot and sunny summers are not unheard of where I live, but there's no doubt that the overall climate here is nothing like it is in Italy. I've got some learning to do.

Not sure what literature you have but we found this to be a great book when we were starting out continue to use it:

https://www.amazon.com/Vegetable-Gardeners-Bible-2nd-R-D/dp/160342475X

Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: ButteredPizza on May 05, 2022, 03:04:08 PM
I got Miracle Gro soil which already has fertilizer in it, and I got a 3 gallon pot because that was the recommended size for the amount of soil I got. I still haven't planted them, and I plan on doing so within the next couple of days.
Post photos of its growth once potted   8)
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: frankenfab on May 05, 2022, 03:24:22 PM
What really got me in to tomatoes, and gave me great success was Craig LeHoullier's book, available on Amazon, and his YouTube videos.
His dense planting method for seeds works so well.

I can't get MetroMix 360 anymore, so I used Miracle Grow seed starting mix this year, and I bought some bricks of coco coir from Amazon to make my own seedling mix. I use miracle grow potting mix for vegetables when I transplant the seedlings in to 12 ounce plastic cups from Sam's club. I melt a drain hole in the bottom of the cups with a pencil type soldering iron.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoYgX3y5ptQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLbeZEcz3sw&t=250s







Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: frankenfab on May 05, 2022, 03:29:49 PM
Some of the peppers and tomatoes I did this year:
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: RHawthorne on May 07, 2022, 11:22:31 AM
Update: I'm going to plant today or tomorrow (hopefully today), and I'm realizing that I don't even know the answer to the most basic question:  do I plant one seed for one plant? The directions on the package of tomato seeds say to plant the seeds 24" apart, but I'm only using a 3 gallon pot, so if that's the case, I would think that one seed would be all it can really handle. Should I even bother with the 3 gallon bucket, or do I need to get a bigger one? Also, I've heard it mentioned that worm casings would be helpful, but does anyone have any suggestions for anything else I should add to the soil before planting the seed? I'm using Miracle Gro seed start soil with fertilizer, but it's not necessarily tailor made for tomatoes. I want to add anything I need to before planting the seed(s). Also, these are heirloom SM's, if that makes any difference.
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: texmex on May 07, 2022, 11:45:14 AM
Update: I'm going to plant today or tomorrow (hopefully today), and I'm realizing that I don't even know the answer to the most basic question:  do I plant one seed for one plant? The directions on the package of tomato seeds say to plant the seeds 24" apart, but I'm only using a 3 gallon pot, so if that's the case, I would think that one seed would be all it can really handle. Should I even bother with the 3 gallon bucket, or do I need to get a bigger one? Also, I've heard it mentioned that worm casings would be helpful, but does anyone have any suggestions for anything else I should add to the soil before planting the seed? I'm using Miracle Gro seed start soil with fertilizer, but it's not necessarily tailor made for tomatoes. I want to add anything I need to before planting the seed(s). Also, these are heirloom SM's, if that makes any difference.
If you have just the 1 pot, you want to sow a few seeds since not all of them will germinate. You will be keeping only the most robust one, and can transplant the rest of the seedlings into more pots as they begin to crowd eachother out.
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: texmex on May 07, 2022, 11:51:21 AM
If you want to sow one seed, then cut a few holes in the bottom of small plastic cups, yogurt cups, etc. and use those to get your seedlings going. Then transplant to your large pot when the roots are starting to come thru the bottom holes. It pays to plant enough seeds, because you will be losing some plants. 
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: RHawthorne on May 07, 2022, 11:52:11 AM
If you have just the 1 pot, you want to sow a few seeds since not all of them will germinate. You will be keeping only the most robust one, and can transplant the rest of the seedlings into more pots as they begin to crowd eachother out.
So spacing them only a few inches apart won't create any problems?
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: texmex on May 07, 2022, 11:54:37 AM
So spacing them only a few inches apart won't create any problems?


Not to begin with....but the roots will intertwine, and you risk damaging them when culling.  You are getting a late start for tomatoes from seed.
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: RHawthorne on May 07, 2022, 12:14:25 PM

Not to begin with....but the roots will intertwine, and you risk damaging them when culling.  You are getting a late start for tomatoes from seed.
Everything I'm seeing online is telling me that this is a good time where I'm at. We were having cold nights up until just a couple of weeks ago. Should I just get a bigger pot?
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: texmex on May 07, 2022, 12:22:03 PM
Everything I'm seeing online is telling me that this is a good time where I'm at. We were having cold nights up until just a couple of weeks ago. Should I just get a bigger pot?


Aww, cool. I started extra late here, but my tomatoes can grow right into December some years. 
I would buy some small plastic drinking cups, or solo cups would work. Cut some drainage holes, fill wih potting mix, then plant some seeds in the cups. I usually place 3 seeds per cup. Then baby them until you are ready to transplant. By then you will have collected enough large pots to grow your little plants in.
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: texmex on May 07, 2022, 12:26:57 PM
For reference...I think this is a 12 ounce cup. snipped 6 holes along the bottom edges. The clear cups don't do as well as dark cups (dark holds warmth I guess), but it's fun to see the root growth.
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: 02ebz06 on May 07, 2022, 01:09:31 PM
For reference...I think this is a 12 ounce cup. snipped 6 holes along the bottom edges. The clear cups don't do as well as dark cups (dark holds warmth I guess), but it's fun to see the root growth.

Wrap them in  black paper, then you can slide it off to peek.  ;D
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: caymus on May 07, 2022, 02:19:26 PM
Update: I'm going to plant today or tomorrow (hopefully today), and I'm realizing that I don't even know the answer to the most basic question:  do I plant one seed for one plant? The directions on the package of tomato seeds say to plant the seeds 24" apart, but I'm only using a 3 gallon pot, so if that's the case, I would think that one seed would be all it can really handle. Should I even bother with the 3 gallon bucket, or do I need to get a bigger one? Also, I've heard it mentioned that worm casings would be helpful, but does anyone have any suggestions for anything else I should add to the soil before planting the seed? I'm using Miracle Gro seed start soil with fertilizer, but it's not necessarily tailor made for tomatoes. I want to add anything I need to before planting the seed(s). Also, these are heirloom SM's, if that makes any difference.

 Only one plant per 3 gallon pot.  However, you will need to use multiple seeds (2 to 3) to make sure that one will germinate.  Most people will start the seedlings in small peat pot type containers and transplant.   
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: texmex on May 07, 2022, 02:31:37 PM
Gardening is so enjoyable if you can get into it.
Basil is easy easy easy to grow, just keep cutting it back!
I have been following this guy for quite awhile. Similar climate as ours, and he's entertaining.
https://youtu.be/pu4MT4fGvoI
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: TXCraig1 on May 07, 2022, 03:59:45 PM
Sprouting the seeds in small pots or paper/plastic cups so you have multiple chances for success. You'll algo get a much stronger root base this way. Plant 3 seeds to a cup then thin down to the strongest sprout. Then when the tomato is 6-8" tall depending on the size of the pot or cup you sprout in, replant the strongest it in the large pot. Plant the tomato deep! At least 2/3 of the plant should be under ground. More is better. You just need an inch or so of the top of the plant showing - just the top set of leaves.  All the plant underground will turn into roots and make for a much stronger plant that can produce more fruit.
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: Longs on May 07, 2022, 04:13:20 PM
Having lived in your area for many years, I used to grow my own tomatoes and various peppers (hot ones and bell peppers) for years.  I had really good luck with tomatoes there, especially cherry ones.  I had a bit less luck with peppers although they also grew decently.  The peppers not doing quite as well might have had more to do with my lack of knowledge on growing them than the actual growing climate.

Now that I live in South Carolina, I find my peppers seem to do better than my tomatoes.  I have read that tomatoes like cooler overnight temps (like in the 70's) and here in South Carolina there is a long stretch of summertime where overnight temps are more in the mid-80's and my tomato plants really slow down.  But the peppers don't seem to mind the warmer nights as much.

I have always grown most of my tomatoes and peppers in raised beds in a sunny part of my back yard with just a few on pots when I had more plants than would fit in the beds.  The bed plantings seem to do better than the potted ones but that might have been me not watering the pots regularly.  Pots tend to dry out faster.

I have planted from seeds with mixed results but mostly I bought starter plants and those seemed to thrive better there and also here in South Carolina.  I got most of my potted peppers and tomatoes when I lived in your area at Barbott's nursery just south of Lakeshore High School and on the same side of Cleveland Ave.  I haven't lived there for going on 7 yrs now so I cannot say if it still holds true but Barbott's always had much better plant prices than the big box stores (Lowe's, etc) and they seemed to grow better in that local area, too.  I would suspect that they got plant varieties that were more suited to the local area than Lowe's, Home Depot, etc with just get whatever plants the corporate buyers decide upon whether they are good for any particular region or not.  Seems like the big box stores have the same plant varieties there as I see here despite the different climate.

Good luck.  I am still putting my plants this year even here as we had a really cool spring with near-freezing overnight temps for a few weeks longer than we normally do.   Back in Michigan, I would generally plant the starter plants mid-May and here normally April 15th but this delayed planting this year because it was too cold at night until recently. 

Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: RHawthorne on May 07, 2022, 11:23:16 PM
I went and bought some plastic cups today. Tomorrow I will punch out some holes in the bottoms of them and plant the tomato seeds in soil in the cups- packed firmly, from what I gather. I think the soil I've got should already have enough fertilizer in it, but I will do further research on whatever kind of additional stuff I should give the plants once I transplant them into a bigger container. I don't have a lot of room for the plants, so I'm thinking maybe I'll go up to a 5 gallons pot, or maybe two smaller ones if space allows.
 As for the basil, it sounds like that's a lot less fussy, but I still really want to grow some good stuff. Everything I get in stores around here is either just okay or decent but not great, so I want to give it every chance to give me it's best. I'll take any recommendations on the best nutrients I should give it.
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: TXCraig1 on May 08, 2022, 11:58:37 AM
This is one of my favorites: https://www.growitalian.com/basil-bolloso-napoletano-13-8/

Basil is pretty much a weed. It doesn't need much help. Full sun and plenty of water.
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: RHawthorne on May 16, 2022, 02:36:20 PM
Eight days after planting the tomato seeds. Looks like Iíve got some sprouting happening.
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: Hanglow on May 17, 2022, 04:31:34 AM
Have a look at my mychorrizal fungi when you come to transplant it, tomatoes respond extremely well to it and you get much bigger root systems. Its sold here as "rootgrow". The advice I have seen for container size is 5 gallons for dwarf and bush toms and 10 gallons for determinates like san marzanos

I managed to get a few san marzanos off outside plants last year and live at higher latitudes with duller summers than you so you should be ok, although I think they are a late season type. You could also try buying a few from a nursery, the variation in tomatoes is amazing and those you can grow that are otherwise commercially unviable can be great

Heres some of my outside container ones, these are a mix of early russian bush tomatoes and a british bred blight resistant F1 variety as we almost always get late blight here outside. They each have at least 5 gallons of compost
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: RHawthorne on July 31, 2022, 08:48:12 AM
So I guess itís been about 11 weeks now since I planted my tomatoes and basil. I just started getting some little tomatoes growing within the last three or four days, and the basil is doing pretty well. I should probably get the basil out of the little cups theyíre still growing in and consolidate them into one large pot. I transplanted one of the plants into a pot and I can see that it looks greener than the others, although they all still smell a bit too minty for my liking. Hopefully they will mature.
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: RHawthorne on July 31, 2022, 01:54:21 PM
Hey, Texmex. I was just thinking a couple of hours ago that I hadn't noticed any comments from you in at least a couple of months. Glad to see you're still hanging around here.
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: texmex on August 01, 2022, 06:59:35 AM
Hey, Texmex. I was just thinking a couple of hours ago that I hadn't noticed any comments from you in at least a couple of months. Glad to see you're still hanging around here.
8)
Focus shifted to the band, and NOT cooking in this heat. Gigs have been calling and I need all the practice I can get.
Growing plants can be rewarding. Good to see yours took off! I have been clipping so much basil. It's better fresh...but I have saved a huge jar of dried now, and a lot of oregano as well..
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: RHawthorne on August 01, 2022, 09:22:08 AM
8)
Focus shifted to the band, and NOT cooking in this heat. Gigs have been calling and I need all the practice I can get.
Growing plants can be rewarding. Good to see yours took off! I have been clipping so much basil. It's better fresh...but I have saved a huge jar of dried now, and a lot of oregano as well..
Does your band have any recorded work online?
Title: Re: Growing tomatoes and basil
Post by: texmex on August 01, 2022, 10:26:06 AM
Does your band have any recorded work online?


We have constant difficulty with in home, diy recording technology, so mostly we've captured live video
https://www.facebook.com/reesasmonkey/videos
It us what it is. A barrel of fun chaos. :-D