Monday, August 17, 2009

Ripe Tomatoes: Late Blight - Stay Away

Harvest Season: Buy Local

I ate the first ripe tomatoes yesterday. In the excitement, I forgot to take a photograph So my friend Mike on the guitar was chosen for this post. (Besides, forty years ago today was the last day of the Woodstock Festival). There are some things to sing about, some songs could be –well, the blues. Late blight, a disease which kills tomatoes and potatoes, is rearing it's ugly head.

It is a late harvest because of the rain and cool conditions over much of the summer; many garden crops are stunted or have failed. However, the roadside stands appear to have plenty of produce available. Corn, tomatoes cucumbers, melons and peppers, even late strawberries are just now starting to be picked.

Support your local growers and shop at the farmers markets and roadside stands. They are local family, friends, and neighbors. Buy local. It is better for the environment, better for the local community and the produce is better for you.

So far so good with the late blight in my garden, although some things didn't do so well, like the spring peas. The pole beans are late but I am going to get a harvest. However, while the tomatoes look okay, that could change overnight, no sense singing too much just yet..

The first ripe tomatoes I picked were a variety called Speckled Roman. I was introduced to this variety by a grower several years ago and have been saving my own seeds ever since. They are an orange-red color with yellow streaks and look like a giant Roma tomato about five inches long.

They are indeterminate, a variety which will keep on producing until the first frost. A paste tomato, they make a great sauce and are great for fresh eating or for drying. Speckled Roman is a tomato which was developed by crossing an Antique Roman with a variety called Banana Legs by a plant breeder, Jim Swenson. If the blight stays away, I'll have hundreds of them; the plants are loaded with green tomatoes. Otherwise, I'll be singing the blues.

The Late Blight:Buy Local Seedlings

While weather conditions were perfect for a severe outbreak of this deadly disease, diseased plants, according to an editorial in the New York Times, from Bonnie Plants in Alabama shipped infected plants to many northeast and mid west retail garden centers. The infected plants were not discovered and recalled until June 26th. The damage was done and many unsuspecting home gardeners purchased the infected plants.

Consumer Note: It is better to start your own plants or purchase them from a reputable grower. Plants grown and shipped from 2,000 miles away have problems just like the food shipped from 2,000 miles away. It is better to buy local once again. Your chances of purchasing diseased plants are much less. Both heirlooms and hybrids can fall to the late blight. The late blight spores don't care.

Employment Fresh from the Vines is looking to hire someone at their bakery located on the farm; 20 to 40 hours, experieince helpful but commitment is more important. Contact

A New Introduction:

The link posted below is for books being sold at local, independent book stores in your area. Once again, purchasing from local bookstores is better for the environment and keep profits and money in the local community. I checked this site out and it is user friendly. Just enter your zip code in the menu box and you'll get a list of book stores in your area.

I found Vincent di Fondi's book, Blessed Abduction, listed as well as local northwestern Pennsylvania author, Sam Hossler, from the Canadohta Lake area. Sam's three novels, A Bloodstained Land, The Summer of 1763, and The Great Land Grab, are all based on actual historical records about events that happened in western Pennsylvania. To learn more about Sam,
Buy from your local book store through this site. It is easy and convenient.

Yes, I do get a small commission from books purchased through Koyote Hill. It is a tough recession and not a perfect world. Purchase a book and get ready for Christmas a little early.
Click the Indie Ad below:

Shop Indie Bookstores

For the Heck of It:

As of today, there are 36 days left until the first day of autumn.
Lettuce can be planted just before the really cold weather sets in this fall for an early spring crop. Plant the seeds and cover with a good layer of much. Once the weather warms in the spring remove the mulch and enjoy an early crop.
No, the buckwheat planted Friday has not germinated just yet and I am catching birds eating the seeds.
Just singin in the rain....thanks


Vincent di Fondi- Vincent just published his first novel, Blessed Abduction, available through the link above under Introduction. Or check his blog to learn more about the novel and his new home in Costa Rica.

On Your Way to the Top – Kathleen always has good insights

New York's Southern Tier – A travel destination in nearby New York by Richardson

Urban Veggie Blog – Dan is located in nearby Ontario and is a good gardener.

Other articles I have written for Helium can be found by clicking the title; others can be found below in the box at HubPages.

Bookmark and Share