[Market-farming] Fall sales slump

Tradingpost tradingpost at lobo.net
Wed Sep 20 17:23:33 EDT 2006


They say even moisture for your tomatoes is the best insurance against
cracking. Mulch of course helps retain moisture and cuts irrigation costs.
But the basic factor for even moisture would be high levels of decomposing
organic matter. Finished compost or humus can hold 80% of its weight in
water an still drain well, according to the "experts". For wind and
temperature control about the only solution is greenhouse or hoophouse.
Where I am I wouldn't think of trying tomatoes again without wind
protection.  As for pulling up all the drip for tilling, there is the
no-till alternative. It just might be more productive and profitable to
grow intensively with no-till cover crops and less area. ATTRA has good
research on techniques. After all, profit is gross minus expenses including
labor. We've seen a lot of farmers go broke on thousands of acres, and a
lot of smart farmers making a living on surprisingly little land. There's a
lot of information and research on no-till. But then, I favor the easy way.


paul tradingpost at lobo.net
http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/livingontheland

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On 9/20/2006 at 3:43 PM cjmaness at juno.com wrote:

>Yes, we are using drip. Miles and miles of drip. That's what it feels
>like when I'm pulling all the old stuff out so we can till and replant.
>We don't mulch though. We've never been able to figure out a good way to
>do it. We don't like the idea of plastic mulch, and to try and do
>anything else seems impossible.
>We tried two different planting dates with our tomatoes this year. The
>fall crop is producing, but not very much, and we have a lot of culls due
>to cracking. We also planted several different indeterminates and a few
>heirlooms this year, trying to extend our season somewhat. This has not
>been a good year for experimenting though. Record breaking temps. the
>drought, and now we are dealing with the wind. It's not too hot, mid 80's
>here, but the wind is blowing 30 miles an hour.
>We've never grown Chard, and I don't think anyone ever asks for it. But
>then, we grow a lot of things that no one asked for until we started
>growing them. 
>It just seems like most people are coming to the market for tomatoes and
>no one has any. It's not just us. None of the other vendors have any
>either. I know it is a mostly weather type thing, but it's frustrating
>none the less. We should be able to have perfectly nice tomatoes right
>now!
>I guess this is what keeps market gardening interesting though. There is
>always next year, and something new to try.
>Carla
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