17 May 2012

Tomato planting...and a tomato rant!

If you have never had a juicy, vine-ripened, locally grown tomato you have seriously been missing out.  The tomatoes we buy in the supermarket don’t even compare.  Supermarket tomatoes don’t have the right color, the amazing smell, or even one iota of the taste that a “real” tomato offers.  Even when supermarkets say that tomatoes are “vine-ripened” they don’t really mean it.  They mean that a vine of tomatoes was snipped off a plant, stuffed into a box, and allowed to ripen “on the vine” but off the plant for several weeks before finding its way to your store.  The taste is just not even comparable.  In fact, I bet there are thousands of people out there that think they don’t like the taste of tomatoes only because they have never had a fresh and locally grown one.

As you can tell, I am passionate about tomatoes.  All of the Moshers are!  We don’t even bother eating tomatoes when they are out of season anymore.  At Brittany Hollow, we grow more than 7 delicious varieties of tomatoes.  We pick them ripe, on Friday or Saturday and sell them to you at the Rhinebeck Farmer’s Market on Sunday.  They will be the most delicious tomatoes you have ever consumed! 

But I digress.  The tomatoes themselves won’t be around to eat for another 2 months or more…but the planting and growing process is already underway.  If you recall, we started our tomatoes in the greenhouse way back on March 17th (see blog post First 2012 Seeds Sown at Brittany Hollow ).  This past weekend we had Andrew, a Culinary Institute of America student, come down to help us move our tomatoes from the greenhouse to the ground.  We planted several heirloom varieties that are well-known for their incredible taste. 

Brandywine tomatoes, an heirloom variety.  All covered up and ready to grow.

This is how we plant tomatoes:

Dig a hole (or in my case, have Andrew dig a hole!)
Put goat manure in the hole
Put a tomato plant in the hole
Put water in the hole
Cover the plant with soil
Repeat…hundreds of times.
Andrew digging holes and Brittany  adding water.

A tomato about to be buried with some manure and water.  This is one happy plant!

Dropping tomatoes into holes.

Debby showing off some goat manure.  Don't worry kids, at this point it is more similar to dirt than it is poo!

The goat manure adds a boost of nutrients to the soil to help the plant grow.  We used to have dairy goats on the farm and still have a surplus of manure (AKA agricultural gold!) to dig up and use in farming.  

We also planted more lettuce...which will be ready to bring to our first Rhinebeck Farmer's Market appearance on June 3rd!  If you missed our last post about catching a wild bee swarm, you can find it here.
A cheerful lettuce-planter.

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