What’s been going on!
Trying to get the newsletter back on its regular Wednesday schedule and why not do it just in time for the first Wednesday afternoon Farmers’ Market. Yes today from 3:00 to 6:00, it all starts again. We will be there with the first lettuces of the season and Betsy’s beautiful flowers.
Cold this morning, 26 degrees, but all the tender crops are tucked under their protective blankets and look fine. We are definitely getting our March winds and temperature swings only a bit late. Looks like another serious shot on Saturday night too.
We are steadily working towards the main tomato planting under the Big Tops in two weeks. The cover crop has been turned under and a layer of compost has been spread on each bed. Next week we need to pull the plastic over the bows and get the final bed preparations done. The plants look good in the greenhouse but as usual there is experimentation in the air.
We are once again working with a graduate student from NC State on a grafted tomato trial. A decade ago, over several seasons, we grew some of the first grafted tomatoes in the US as NC State was beginning to work on the technique. Just like it sounds and just like more commonly grafted fruit trees, the desirable variety is grafted to the top of a rootstock with the required trait, usually disease resistance but in this year’s trial, drought resistance.
The rootstocks we are looking at this year are capable of taking up more water than other tomatoes, could be important in either very dry areas or as climate change throws more droughts our way too. All of the Cherokee Purples in the main planting will be in the experiment this year and you all will get to see and eat the results.
Pictures of the Week
Frost on the lettuce
Early tomatoes warm under their blankets
What’s going to be at the market?
The first Wednesday market today 3:00-6:00. Not everything listed below will be at Wednesday market.
The brilliant Anemones and Ranunculus keep coming, don’t mess around and miss them, once it warms up they will pack it in for the year! Dutch Iris too.
Lettuces starting out with Green Boston, Red Leaf and Little Gem. Lots of Red Radishes and Japanese Salad Turnips! More of the most tender Spinach. Green Onions, Cilantro and Yukina Savoy greens.
As a reminder if there is anything that you would like for us to hold for you at market just let us know by e-mail, by the evening before, and we will be glad to put it aside for you.
Hope to see you all at the market!
Alex, Betsy and Jennie
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Your photo “early tomatoes warm under their blankets” shows plants along what appears to be field fencing. Can you please describe how you support them as they grow, i.e., what you use to attach them to the fencing?
we grow them up 4″ field fence on 6′ T-posts. It is sort of a one sided tomato cage, in that they mostly weave themselves up through it. We then use a Max Tapener to tie the branches on that grow out into the paths. You could use other ties too, the Tapener is fast and we have 2000′ of row.
Thanks so much for the explanation. I had never heard of the Tapener but definitely will investigate.