This season has been very busy with field work, and so we have not had much time to update the blog. Today, though, I thought it would be nice to share some of the progress on the tomato project. Headed by Kitt Healy, this year’s tomato project consists of one packed hoophouse and one adjacent field. All told, there are well over 600 tomato plants in dozens of varieties.
The project is an experimental evaluation of tomato varieties for yield, flavor, earliness, and more – just like last year.
So far, day to day work on the tomato project includes pruning and clipping the hoophouse tomatoes, but the beginning of the outdoor project called for more work. The outdoor bed had to be prepared with a layer of compost shoveled and raked on by hand. Planting and watering-in all the outdoor transplants was no small task, and a few days after planting, a team of 6 spent the better part of a day pounding in posts for the outdoor field trellising system. For both the indoor and outdoor plants, the team gathered cut rye from a nearby field to use as a mulch for weed suppression in the aisles between plants. Continued maintenance includes adding new levels of tomato twine to the outdoor plot trellis to ensure the plants stay upright and optimally productive, and of course, weeding as needed.