I’m convinced that every year we’ll mess something up horribly. For us, this year, it was tomatoes. Boy we blew it! Way back in February, for inexplicable reasons, we started three-times more tomato plants than we needed. This meant we spent 3x more time and 3x more energy than we should have. This inane effort left [...]
I love our tiny tractor. Sure it’s tippy and I’ve often worried about rolling it, but it makes almost all our farm tasks much, much easier. We’ve spent the last couple weeks frantically transplanting our summer crops and the tractor has helped a bunch. When transplanting we run the irrigation as much as we can, turning [...]
What a difference a year makes. Twelve months ago we were struggling through the most horrible tomato season imaginable. (It’s here: My first ever post!) This year it’s a whole new story. Now we’re swimming in tomatoes, like Scrooge McDuck backstroking through his big vault of money. I can’t believe how well they’re coming and how good they taste. What’s more, we’re selling out every week at market. It’s great.
I’d like to take all the credit for our turnaround. And I’d like to blame all of last year’s crappiness on environmental conditions. It’s been a long season. I deserve the props and could use the validation. So I’m tempted. But that wouldn’t be true. We made plenty of mistakes last year. We deserve as much blame as does the weather. And this year the conditions have been much better, granting us a natural advantage. That being said, this year we’ve done a lot to influence the outcome and improve our results.
Continue reading Our New Tomato System and Linguine with Roast Heirloom Tomatoes
For us, summer started a few weeks ago, in mid-March, during a snow storm that would ultimately drop more than 12-inches. Early on we declared a snow day and spent a morning planting almost 1,000 tomato and pepper plants in our basement grow room. Without question this will be the most important planting session of our growing year. Baring grievous misfortune or outrageous happenstance, tomatoes will be our largest dollar crop by a significant margin (just as they are for almost all mixed veggie farms). Sold as both plants and fruit, they could account for up to a full 5th of our income. In no small way, the financial success of our farm depends on our success with tomatoes. The peppers are important too. While they won’t drive as much income as the tomatoes, they are essential to our presenting a vibrant and interesting market stand. We focus on growing unusual varieties with great flavors and colors. So when the pepper come good, they will help us build a colorful, vibrant and delicious market stand.
Continue reading Tomato Soup and the Big Seed Out
It’s been a terrible year for tomatoes. Right from the start the weather was awful. We had weeks and weeks of drought followed by weeks of heavy, monsoon like rain. I’ve never seen anything like it. Over and over again, there would be no rain for weeks, forcing us to irrigate, then [...]