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An indeterminate to do list

In the world of tomatoes if we want to get really simplified there are two types, determinate and indeterminate. Determinate grow to a specific point produce a flush and are done, while indeterminate keep growing and growing if cared for properly. Here at Star Light Gardens we grow indeterminate tomatoes and we can attest to their ability to grow and the care required to keep them healthy and producing. You may or may not be familiar with the term tomato jungle. A fairly accurate term describing the state of the tomato tunnels as summer rolls on, even as we have shifted to a slightly more aggressive trimming technique. With the farm crew in full force last Tuesday we zipped through Mizuna, our early tomato house (named after our cat, who is named after the salad green). As they say, many hands make light work, and tomato fingers were in full force. Keeping up on pruning is essential for a productive harvest, seeing as before pruning even simply walking up and down the rows is a challenge.

Trimming tomatoes is the spark that ignited this mornings thought. Assembling this week’s to do list, trimming tomatoes landed somewhere very near the top. However, many tasks jockey for the lead position each week. Simply walking the property in Durham on a Sunday evening we see the potatoes that need desperately to be hilled once more, there’s prep for this week’s lettuce transplanting and future direct seeding, harvesting and of course weeding, just about everything needs a little attention in that department. Walking past the nursery it becomes all the more apparent that a summer clean up of spring planting and plant sale will be more than necessary for a smooth work flow. And stroll through SLGNW (Middlefield) quickly reminds us of all the prep that will be needed for our late summer plantings, of course the tomato trimming, harvesting of squash cukes and flowers. There is also the 150 or so beautiful looking cucumber plants that have stopped asking and are now demanding to be transplanted in the ground. Of course we cannot forget all the seeding that must be done for future transplants, moving the germination chambers, the list just goes on and on, like an indeterminate tomato in the summer sun.

If you followed the weather last week you would have been of the opinion that sunshine would be hard to come by. Yet in it’s typical fashion the weather was unpredictable especially towards the end of the week on our market days. In Durham we had the opportunity to try out the inclimate weather policy by moving inside the gymnasium at the community center. Even though it didn’t rain it was great to see this option can be successful with now customers and vendor being able to take assurance in the fact that the market will be open no matter what the weather conditions are. Promises of rain continued to be broken much to the distress of plants and farmers. However, everyone prayers were answered Saturday morning, the timing of the rain was bit off though. Of course despite the weather the Good Food People were out in force reminding us all of why we do what we do. Harvesting for farmer’s markets can be a tricky thing when bad weather is in the forecast. Knowing that in spite of adverse conditions customers will still be out to supports the markets allows growers to harvest with confidence, it alleviates stress and simply makes our jobs a little easier, something that truly does mean so much too us.

As farmers must do, we’re off to start chipping away at our indeterminate to-do list. We hope you all have a great week!

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