Tomato Harvest

by Ric McDermott
(Pepin, WI)






Every thing here is trial and error. Last year I planted 100 heirloom tomatoes and did not get one tomato.

I learned the chickens loved my tomato plot and not only ate the red and green tomatoes but the blossoms too. Thinking I would outsmart the chickens this year and wanting to keep them free roaming, I fenced in the tomatoes and upped the ante by planting 130 plants. It worked; I had chicken-free tomatoes and no market.

Every meal was tomato based. The canner was constantly going on the stove. I over-planted based on my poor results of last year. I was overwhelmed by the quantity that this farm can produce.

Now that we have had our hard frost, I chuckle at how much I still don't know even after the second year here at the farm.

Over-planting is not the answer, but a strong plan on what to do with even a unpredictable harvest is.

I look forward to next year's growing season and getting into a farmers market armed with the knowledge that I am successful at what I do and this will work.

As a side note, this past growing season would have been the year to visit the farm as every one was able to leave with as many tomatoes as they wanted.

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If Only I Had Known!
by: Sue Merriam

Ric,

If only I'd known! We got barely enough tomatoes to enjoy at dinner this year and not nearly enough to can. :-(

Oh well. There's always next spring. ;-)

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