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Farming

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Whether you are producing tomatoes commercially or have a few pots in your backyard, your plants can and will fall victim to pests. Why? Because you are creating a perfect environment and food source for many invertebrates such as insects. The following information pertains to general pest management practices and prevention. At the bottom of […]

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Breeding and Genetics

Towards Promiscuous Wild Tomatoes

I am Joseph Lofthouse, a subsistence farmer from a cold mountain valley in the Rockies. I am known for my advocacy of landrace gardening: that is growing genetically diverse, cross-pollinating crops for enough generations in the same location, that they become locally-adapted to the ecosystem and to the community’s habits. One of the strengths of […]

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Farming

Dry-Farmed Tomatoes Take Center Stage

Adding no water produces more flavorful tomatoes Though engineers outnumber farmers in today’s Silicon Valley, this bustling central California region was once a patchwork of fruit orchards and vegetable plots nicknamed the “Valley of Heart’s Delight.” Martial Cottle Park keeps that agricultural heritage alive across 287 acres of trails, exhibits, and fields set in urban […]

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Farming

Elizabeth Candelario On Biodynamic Farming

Understand the difference between organic and biodynamic farming Elizabeth Candelario is the managing director of Demeter Association Inc., the nonprofit certifier of Biodynamic® farms and products in the United States, as well as the board president for Demeter’s accredited organic certifier, Stellar Certification Services. Before that, during her time as marketing director at Quivira Vineyards, […]

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Farming

The Chemical and Genetic Basis for Flavor in Tomatoes

There is no universal agreement on what a “perfect” tomato tastes like.  There can be significant differences in flavor ranking based on personal preferences – level of sweetness or acid content, for example. Fruit texture and skin thickness can also influence “likeability”. However, recent research, including the use of replicated tasting panels, has helped highlight, […]

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Breeding and Genetics

Tasting Party

Chefs and plant breeders met recently to taste tomatoes from The Beautifully Promiscuous & Tasty Tomato Project. The goal of the project is to develop sweet, fruity, aromatic, and wonderful-tasting tomatoes that are 100 percent out-crossing. When tomatoes were domesticated long ago, 95 percent of the available genetics were left in the wild and are […]

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Farming

Tomato Varieties: What to Plant?

Choosing which tomato variety/varieties to plant is probably one of the most critical decisions commercial producers make each year. This article discusses the various factors that can affect this decision, starting with a simple discussion about the two basic types of tomato varieties available in the marketplace, and a brief discussion about grafted plants. Open-Pollinated […]

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Farming

Where will our food come from?

The U.S. largest farms are getting bigger, and are primarily producing commodity crops (e.g. corn, soybeans and cotton) or animal products (e.g. beef/dairy, pork and poultry).  Their growth has come from a continuing consolidation of medium and small size farms.  The only other farming segment that is growing is the number of very small farms […]

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Farming

Introduction to Farming

Although about 50 percent of cultivated tomato acres are produced for fresh market and 50 percent for processing on a global basis, approximately only 10 percent of planted acres are harvested for fresh market in the US. Large producers in Florida and California account for about 75 percent of total US fresh market tomato production […]

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Farming

Open Field vs Protected Culture Production

Industry Trends For over a decade there has been a global trend toward protected culture of commercial fresh market tomatoes vs. open field production. This trend started in Europe with large scale producers and has since spread to North America1. The economics of such a transition has been compelling for large scale commercial producers. This […]

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Farming

Pest and Disease Control Strategies

There are a number of potential diseases, insect and nematode pests that can cause significant damage to tomatoes (see list at end of article). Pest damage can range from decreases in fruit yield or quality to plant death. This article outlines the three general strategies for managing these pests. In the reference section Cornell has […]

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