Tuesday, September 1, 2009

where have all the tomatoes gone?

Me stealing Amy Goldman's thunder at the Terrain Heirloom Tomato Fest, Just kidding we had a great day and it was wonderful meeting Amy and talking to her about her books. I lectured about seed saving.
Chef Dave Berg of the Styer's Cafe @ Terrain is an amazing chef, he used 30 #'s of black krims and Tim's Black Ruffles (gay name and all) to make tomato water to poach this fish in. BOOM.

Above all things I am a tomato farmer.

That is a big statement; I am a lot of things (some good, some bad) we just don’t grow tomatoes we live tomatoes. This year we started with 174 varieties of love apples from seed. Seeds that we saved from the year before, seed that we sell and also turn into tomato plants, 20,000 of them this year, and we sold almost everyone of them. We also planted somewhere north of 1000 plants. So with some quick math, I figure I am responsible for close to 100,000 plants hitting the ground this year. Most years that makes me feel great, but this year, OUCH!

Have you ever heard of the Irish Potato Famine? The Irish feel in love with the easy to grow tuber, but the problem was that they only grow one type of potato, The Lumper, I still grow this one today, and it is a great potato. But an entire country growing on type of anything is a bad thing. (Think Kansas, 99% of all corn in this country comes from 3 kernels of corn) Biodiversity anyone.

Maybe it is my own fault, when I had my planting party we put 660 plants in my one field. I told my bubby Jacob, I think I am going back out and plant 6 more, you know just to keep farming evil.

Bad karma.

So maybe it was a large grower how sold sick plants to a national chain on a year with a wet and cold spring, that’s sounds pretty evil, right?

We started cut plants out of the fields in mid July, when I should of started to harvest the first cherry tomatoes, to date we have lost about 100 plants of the 1200+ we have put in, the others, well they look like shit. Some of the varieties don’t even look like them selves this year, shape and colors are off, it kills me.

So what happens now, well you pay more for tomatoes. You eat fewer tomatoes. We could be in a 5 years cycle of this weather. (I will move)

So please go the your local farmers market or road side stand and hug your farmer, they could use it.