Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Crop Updates...

As folks continue to ask, I'll explain again: Our heirloom tomatoes are grown in our old cold frame greenhouses.  We are able to plant them in early April and can harvest a good month before our field tomatoes start.  I hesitate to call them 'greenhouse' as our tomatoes are grown in field soil and compost - not synthetic soil.  We do not heat or 'light' the houses. We essentially use these houses to protect from overhead moisture and early frost and are able to squeak out the fruit early without being an energy using pig.  A lot of work goes into this process.  All by hand, as tractors do not fit in these houses, so cultivating is by small rototillers and hand hoes.  The suckering and twining of the plants is a timely process as the plants continue to grow, thrive and throw suckers.  The flavour is amazing because they are grown in the best soil! The varieties are all about TASTE, and it's just a great thing that folks have decided that these tomatoes are no longer 'ugly' but consider them as I do --absolutely gorgeous!  I had to include some photos of me with a 'striped chocolate' and 'green zebras'. It's totally worth all the hard work to showcase these beauties.  It's always such a pleasure at market to see the reaction to these tasty awesome looking tomatoes! 
We've had some crop failures such as broccoli and the cucumbers are not so hot this year.  It started off with fighting 'damp off' this year with the seedlings followed by some disease out in the fields now....We have planted another late crop and fingers crossed may have some August cucumbers.  We drove through the 'hail' and massive rain storm last Saturday coming home through Brantford, so we were lucky as our farm did not receive this onslaught - but it is soo close! It could always be worse.  We will not have summer carrots or beets.  These crops will hit hard come September and stored for winter - yes, tons of 'golden beets' too! For August our farm will be bringing on a bevy of field tomatoes, sweet corn and all sorts of peppers! Right now is green bean city!  I have been taking any and every spare minute to 'freeze' as many green beans as I can for winter sales.  In fact, I was written about in the July 1st issue of Macleans Magazine talking about the freezing process!  Besides spelling our name wrong and getting our acreage wrong, it's a sweet article! I'll link to it shortly.   Our field tomatoes look great so far!  In fact the roma and cherry tomatoes are just starting now!  So for those (like me!) that have missed salsa, fresh tomato juice, bruschetta, etc,etc, - THIS is the year to catch up!  I've included other pics of me in my 'tomato jungle' and one of Ben and I in our tomato field!