[Market-farming] heirloom tomatoes

Tradingpost tradingpost at gilanet.com
Fri Feb 11 11:45:36 EST 2005


I see the cost-price squeeze is a critical concern on this list and I take
it very seriously. I'm looking for value added selling points without
increasing cost. This year I'm experimenting with certain heirloom &
gourmet varieties that may be less fussy to grow and simply taste better to
customers. These varieties are new to me but I have invaluable help from my
partner who grew up gardening in an Italian immigrant home in CT. She picks
out familiar old country types in French and Italian (though my Texan
pronunciation is definitely suspect). I try to pick Amish, Appalachian, or
SW native American varieties that have stood the test of time and climate.
We'll see about cracks, splits and cat facing -- if we can keep the
rabbits, gophers, and elk fenced out. On the question of smaller fruit and
disease I'm optimistic. I suspect it's all a question of *which* varieties
under what growing conditions. Healthy soil should avoid serious disease. I
don't spend anything for sprays or NPK. Some heirlooms are actually larger
or more interesting. And that'll take experimenting where I am. Researching
it I'm amazed to find so many varieties claimed to be better suited to cold
weather, hot & humid areas, the northwest/northeast, southwest or
southeast, and so on. That seems to go with the latest trend to regionalism
in growing and marketing. We'd like to hear anyone else's experience along
this line too, onlist of offlist. We have a steep learning curve on this.
See esp http://largocreekfarms.com/tomatoes.htm &
http://largocreekfarms.com/beans.htm &
http://largocreekfarms.com/greens.htm .

paul tradingpost at gilanet.com
http://largocreekfarms.com
http://medicinehill.net

*********** REPLY SEPARATOR  ***********

On 2/11/2005 at 10:38 AM Tom at Limerock wrote:

>>From my experience, there might be a small increase in costs.  It seems
>to 
>me that the seeds are not quite as cheap as hybrids.  I usually do get
>more 
>cracks, splits and cat facing from heirlooms, but a good part of  that is 
>just me and no formal irrigation.   The knowledgeable folks do not
>hesitate 
>buying toms with 'minor' imperfections.  The others folks, I just tell
>them 
>to cut that part out.  The toms are not for a photo shoot, they are going
>to 
>get cut up anyway.   Any extra loss in marketable toms can sometimes be
>made 
>up in placing a premium price on the heirlooms (something I have trouble 
>doing but feel I must in the future).
>
>Tom
>Limerock Orchards
>
>
>I have heard heirlooms can be more expensive to grow because many
heirlooms
>(not all)  produce smaller fruit plus cracking/disease is more prevalent
in
>some heirlooms varieties.  I planned to grow more this year just in case
>this is true as I don't normally grow heirlooms.  Would anyone care to
>advise on this?  I would like to know if this is true.
>
>Pat listed an excellent site for information on heirlooms.  Try this
>catalog.  I have not ordered from them, but I will this month.
>http://www.tomatogrowers.com/
>
>
>
>
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