Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bad News About Tomatoes

Our tomato patch is succumbing to the Tomato / Potato Blight that is sweeping the Northeast and moving into the Midwest. The cause is cool, damp weather combined with spores of Phytophthora infestans. This has been blamed on plants sold at 'big box' stores for home gardeners, but we grew all our plants from seed - all 600+ of them. It's the weather that is to blame - too cool and too wet too early in the season. I saw the first affected plants on Saturday and now it's evident through most of the patch. Some spores tend to stay in the soil, but are usually dormant till September when most of the fruit has ripened. We will have to destroy all diseased plants and not grow tomatoes in our driveway garden for years to come.

Commercial growers are losing 25-50% of their crop and organic farmers are being wiped out because the controls of the fungus can't be used. We have sprayed with copper, kelp and fish emulsion hoping for plant vigor in the remaining plants so they can resist the disease.

Please rest assured we will not spray poisons on your veggies. We will pass on any decent edible tomatoes to CSA members. Cherry tomatoes are most resistant, so that may be the bulk of what you get.

I laid awake a couple of hours last night lamenting the loss of this wondrous vital crop. We depend on our tomatoes for nourishment and income, and you depended on us to grow them for you. We are so sorry.


  1. We're sorry, too for all. We appreciate all your hard work and the yummy veggies, eggs and
    meat. It's been a fun adventure.

  2. Terrible news...not so much for us, but for you. No need to lay awake: the Earth giveth, and the Earth taketh away...this is sort of a good lesson for those who DONT understand eating with the seasons and being grateful for what you can get. In the future, it will only make people more grateful for their tomatoes! Thanks so much for the delicious veggies so far - we intend to savor the large tomato we got this week later tonight...slowly...:-)