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From the Fields of Freedom Valley Farm 8.9.17

Posted 8/9/2017 7:36pm by Jim Baughman.

Hi Folks,
Hasn’t the weather been nice? We could use some rain on the farm but the temperatures couldn’t be better in the middle of summer. Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes. It’s that time of year when our tomato crop is all consuming. We actually cut back on the amount of tomatoes planted this year, primarily because we were planting so many the past two years only to see them devastated by blight. This year the smaller planting has been very successful and we have been busy just trying to keep up with all of them. We try to pick our tomatoes as ripe as possible. Unlike the home gardener who can leave them on the vine until completely red ripe, most farms of our size have to pick them somewhere between green with a little blush and red ripe in order to clean, sort and pack them for market and not let them rot. We choose to pick our tomatoes almost red ripe and let them ripen up by the time we get to market. We probably have more waste of rotted tomatoes this way but I feel the longer you can leave a tomato on the vine the better the flavor. Tomatoes have to harvested, sorted, cleaned and packed. Then we store them in a 65 degree walk in cooler. Before we go to market we again go through all of them to make sure they are all still in good shape. This process right now is taking us about 4 days out of the week as we harvest tomatoes every 2 to 3 days. I could see why a larger tomato farm would harvest them green and let them ripen up but I feel the end product is not quite as good. There’s nothing like a good ripe Indiana tomato. Even with all the hard work we are enjoying the fruits of our labor.

Planted this week: Not much - we are going to have to get on the ball. I managed to plant a few beds of succession greens and lettuce to keep us going until fall but believe it or not the window is closing on the days we can germinate and bring a crop to maturity before chance of frost.

In your Shares: Guess what? Tomatoes. Red Slicers and Heirloom Tomatoes. Beets (the tops have been removed). Lettuce Mix. Zucchini is back but not a lot everyone will receive at least one. We have the last of a cucumber crop so again everyone should receive at least one. Also Basil, Green Onions, and Jalapeno Peppers.
Thanks much,
Jim

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