g and r hamster hamster at
Fri Sep 29 08:19:28 EDT 2000

your tale reminds me of david mas masumoto's book epitaph for a peach -- his
story of trying to save the family's suncrest peach farm.  you might read it
(in the off season of course) and see if it gives you any ideas -- or at
least some empathy.

taste tests at farmers markets could help and  your csa members would take
them gladly after the first bite.  and that's what i love about being a csa
member as well as a farmer's wife -- all the surprises that come with the
pick up.

best wishes
hamster manor -- 717 congress street - ogdensburg - new york - 13669
hamster at  -- 315-393-0978
bert & gwynn

>From: maroc at (Maroc)
>To: "market farming" <market-farming at>
>Subject: tomatoes
>Date: Thu, Sep 28, 2000, 2:34 AM

> This year, against the better judgement of a large greenhouse grower, I
> decided to try some open pollinated tomatoes named Brandywine.  When his
> other arguments didn't work he told me they were more prone to late blight,
> which we have suffered in both tomatoes and potatoes.  I did a small
> planting (in an unheated greenhouse).  The plants did not seem as vigorous
> as the hybrids, nor did they flower as early, but the fruit set well and I
> eagerly awaited the results.  The fruit developed ridged and generally
> misshapened.  As they ripened the tomatoes didn't have the robust red
> colour of the Fantastics, Early Girls, and Moneymakers, they were pale and
> more pink than red.  I knew I had a loser, I'd be lucky to give them away,
> never mind sell them.  I really didn't want anyone to see the things in the
> greenhouse near those beautifully round, deep red hybrids.  To avoid a
> total loss I thought they might be okay for processing, so I picked some
> ripe ones for canning.  As they fully ripened their colour deepened.  A lot
> of the fruit weighed two pounds and just over.  I started cutting them up
> for canning.  Wow, the flesh was solid and meaty and as deep red as the
> thin delicate skins, and the texture is smooth and velvety.  Of course I
> had to have a taste.  Nothing I was growing, none of the beautiful hybrids,
> could even come close.  This was a real tomato, this is what tomatoes are
> supposed to taste like.  Now I'm saving seeds from the best fruit, the
> one's most nearly smooth and spherical.  The problem is how to make these
> magnificient tomatoes marketable without losing the flavour and texture.  I
> think we don't want to change the tomato, we want to change the customers.
> Good luck, eh.
> Don Maroc
> Vancouver Island, Canada
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