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Harvest Festival Countdown, Day 2: Tomatoes

October 20, 2009

Today, a farm vegetable that is nearing its end – the difficult but delicious tomato.

This wasn’t the best season for tomatoes. Late blight came early, causing many organic farmers to lose their tomato and potato crops entirely. Many other farmers had to make the choice between letting their cash crop go, and trying to combat late blight with expensive copper treatments. Late blight spores travel on clothing and in the wind, making all the more difficult to avoid.

At the farm, we avoided late blight by limiting how many people were allowed in our tomato hoop house, and completely prohibiting work on tomatoes and potatoes on the same day by the same person. We were very lucky and avoided the disease! And here’s one of our Sungolds to prove it:

Sungold

Tomato plants die with the first frost, so we’ll be clearing out the hoop house soon in preparation for the winter greens we’ll grow there. This photo is no match for the resplendent green canopy it was this summer, when late blight fears kept us from entering the hoop house to prune the plants:

Hoop House

The tomato’s time is over, but come back tomorrow for a plant that will reach maturity, instead of dying, with the first frost. See you then!

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