While we’re talking about tomatoes…

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Don’t farm if you’re looking to make some money.  Do it to fulfill some sort of civic duty like Paul and I…I jest.  Sometimes I feel like we’re getting jerked off over prices of veggies.  We’re not though, we are just competing with the super awesome, sunshine all year, factory farming paradise known as California.  So businesses don’t want to pay more than a dollar a pound for tomatoes.  To each his own.  Apparently, I’ve heard this enough, tomatoes are the most widely grown crop, with the highest rate of failure or problems.  Believe it!  Now, I don’t recall if I had mentioned this previously, but the proprietor of the mexican food establishment in which we frequent used to farm as a kid in Mexico and he told us to pick our tomatoes early, to avoid blight, birds and whatever other “thing” could ruin the fruit.  They’ll ripen in the house.  And you know what, his trick totally works.  Put that one in your pocket, it’s a freebie from Chuy of El Camino Real in Fayetteville Arkansas, South School street!  We have all of these tomato plants and we’re growing some nice tomatoes, but it’s really not worth selling them we’re learning.  So we’ve canned some, sold some and probably going to can the rest.  That’s where the economy comes into play and makes growing tomatoes worth it.  That’s why farmers grow fields and fields of tomatoes, because they need three million tons of them to make a thousand bucks.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist.  That’s what is so great about this first year for us!  Lessons learned.  Tomatoes for preserving not for profit!

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2 responses »

  1. Great Post…

    I live in California. We have always generated nice Cash Flow from growing veggies for our “local” market.

    This year our daily harvest of Tomatoes, 10-20 pounds from 24 plants, is typically sold for $1.25 to $1.50 a pound. Mostly to peopel in town and the few restaurants we have.

    When the children were growing up we truck gardened 20 acres and never had a problem reciving “parity” prices.

    Our ROI was very Good since we picked up all the profit points.

    You will enjoy our video series Growing Tomatoes for Health and Wealth

    Continue to enjoy the “fruits” of you labor

  2. I agree, and look forward to watching your videos.
    Our local farmers at the farmers market are charging anywhere from 1.00 to 3.00 a lb. and they are selling them left and right.

    We put in 31 plants this yr. our first in this new home. All raised beds. By time I got the results back on the soil it was so late that I had to move ahead and get them in the ground.

    Then we struggled with a very very wet cool May (odd for AR), had a lot of spotted/yellow leaves, so I stripped them and put news paper down and as soon as it warmed up the plants took off. They all got 4′ or taller, with very few flowers!

    now I’m getting 6-10# every 3 days or so, many of the plants were cherry tomatoes and just for nibbling. ALso, I planted them way to close together.

    If I had 100 plants, and could get 50# a day, that would be great. As long as the dirt, bugs, grasshoppers, chipmonks and the deer would cooperate…..just can’t wait till next yr.

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