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Late Season Tomatoes

Posted by chrisbmo Mo (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 25, 10 at 10:10

Hi,

Im in Central Missouri. Whats the scoop on late season tomatoes? I was reading that they typically have large row spacings and are for a Sept market date. Would they typically be set out in mid June, for a 75 day variety? Are there particular late season varieties to look into? Any pros and cons?

Thanks


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

Here are my two cents, selling tomatoes in September and October isn't as profitable as other crops. Most people are "tomatoed out". People will still buy a few but I never seem to sell as many. I am planning on doing a second (small) planting in early June to fill my harvest low at the end of August/early September. Once these are producing, I will tear out the other vines and plant a cool season/winter crop in its place.


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

Yes, I agree. I was thinking more along the lines of wholesale for late tomatoes.


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

I sell tomatoes until frost and after IF I have good ones that haven't been frosted. I'm lucky that there are some years we don't get a frost until the last of my farmers market (Oct 31). I get better prices in early spring (before everyone's come on) and late (after everyone's determinates have gave out).

For yellows, I plant Lemon Boy for the earlier yellow tomato, with Golden Jubilee as the later variety. The last 2 years, I have planted these and as soon as the Lemon Boys start to end their season, the Jubilee's are just getting started. The 2 varieties have over 2-3 weeks difference in their ripening schedule.

With red full-size tomatoes, I start with Big Beef and also try to have some Delicious varieties in the garden. Also 2-3 weeks difference in maturity.

I need to plant 2 plantings of the paste and cherry tomato varieties.


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

Marla you have northern weather :0)LOL
josh


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

After what came in yesterday, I believe you're right. My frost dates are the same as Indy. So only about 1-2 weeks difference beginning and ending than yours. I just don't have alot of sandy ground, more loam.


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

Marla,

Where are you located??????????????

Eric


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

Eric Marla and I are Hoosiers :0)
Shes a couple hours north of me, north of Indianapolis, the state capitol, in Hoosier speak its Indy
josh


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

We plant fall tomatoes on 7/15 and, if the summer is mild, we may get a few in Oct. I don't bother with it anymore. Like someone said, everyone is 'tomatoed out".

I make three plantings of determinates on 3/15, 4/1 and 4/15. Last year it was over 100 for days on end and all the 4/15 planting went belly-up with sun scald - literally cooked 'em on the vine! Commercial determinates don't have much foliage to protect the fruit from the sun. But we have to plant that kind because TSWV-resistance (Tomato spotted Wilt Virus) isn't available in vining cultivars. Also, the support system for those big plants gets real complicated and labor-intensive on a large scale.

Last year was a bad tomato year but we still harvested and distributed about 5000 lbs of grade 1 slicing tomatoes over a three week period in June. If the 4/5 plants had survived we would have extended that another couple weeks until about the 4th of July.

But it was the best okra crop we've ever had - because of the intense heat. And we only had five 100' rows of Emerald Velvet. The other plot was totally destroyed by RKN nematodes, which also thrive in the heat. The good crop was on new land - just converted from pasture last spring.

Jack


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

Jack, do you try rotating your plots, or at least plant cover crops. That could at least lessen some of your pest problems. Here in my neck of the woods, we can have wire worm infestations after years of being in sod, so I rotate hay fields into crops, and tobbaco horn worm, which affects all tobbacco related crops, nightshade crops, potatos, tomatoes, etc, are interupted by planting to hay. Just a thought. I try in winter to plant a smother crop to discourage most overwintering pest such as slugs, and if by chance any nematodes, which I so far have had no problem with either, maybe thats why, Im always fiddlin with the enviroment.
josh


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

I used to rotate religiously Josh - not quite so much anymore since I now have chemicals that take car of a lot of those kinds of problems. But rotation won't help much with nematodes - they eat every crop except onions. Trap crops, like elbon rye, are more trouble than they're worth. There are nematicides on the market but very, in fact dangerously, toxic - and almost impossible to come-by unless your really big. And only big farmers have soil fumigating equipment, which is what works best. I think they are banning methyl bromide fumigant though. Cotton farmers are talking bankruptcy!

Right now I'm depending on resistant varieties in those plots. Solarizing with plastic helps reduce their numbers a little, but eventually, I'll have to leave them bare of any vegetation for 2-3 yrs until the nems starve-out. No weeds or nuthin' because they eat all those roots too!

Jack


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

Marla:

What kind of support system do you use with those indeterminates? Stake/prune(too much labor), Cages(weed city), Weave(nightmare with vining cultivars).

Jack


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

I'm lazy so far. Plant FAR apart and hope to be able to tip-toe thru the plants on the ground. Crawl over weeds to get to plants. Not professional, is it? I'm sure glad I have the ground that I have.


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

tsk tsk Marla :0)

Jack, I use 5 foot stakes 1- 2 inches square, and sisal baler twine, thousands of feet and cheap. I stake and tie every plant. Then when they get bigger then the stakes I let em flop over :0)

Jack I praise the good Lord I dont have nematodes
nasty sounding creatures, are they from Mars LOL
josh


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

Josh, just can't get ahead of things with working off the farm also. I haven't bought all the Tposts that I need to weave. I always have hopes to weave them, just don't get them done.

I was told when I started this craziness, that I could either grow or sell, but not both. Just not enough time or energy to do both. I keep trying. Stubborn I guess.


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RE:- Late Season Tomatoes

Thats why I take less money selling wholesale, I know, its do one well or do both half. Its frustrating. The wife wants to start selling retail, but if she leaves her off farm job, Id better not cut my leg off LOL
She works for the Insurance (and shoes :0) ) So I dont see her doing a whole lot of retail. Been trying to talk my mom into doing it for commision, but she likes being retired to much, (she says shes realy tired LOL ) So I understand totaly, choices 6 of one half a dozen of the other
josh


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

Marla:

I can't believe you ground-sprawl that kind of tomatoes - you must lose at least 50% to slugs, pill bugs and rot - and step on the rest! I tried that once too, and once was enuff - when I walked through the knee-high weeds, my feet were going squish-squish with every step! LOL Not so bad with determinates, but even they're usually sprawled on plastic.

I wouldn't recommend weaving full-size indeterminates - I've tried it and they fall all over the place - huge mess. You would have to use a t-post EVERY OTHER plant and plant them closer than normal - 30" or less. And BE SURE to cut the spades off the t-post with a torch or you'll have to use your tractor hydraulics to pull all the posts at season end(maybe you'll hafta anyway in your heavier soil).

Your best bet is 5" concrete re-enforcing wire cages and a pre-emergent herbicide to keep the weeds out of the cages.

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Josh, you should definitely go retail. If your wife wants to, by all means let her take the sales end over completely. What I do is load the truck early on market days and my wife takes care of the rest - she meets the other growers wives downtown and they set-up their umbrellas and sell the produce. They're usually all done by noon - three days a week. We men stay in the gardens and the wives do the sales - that's the way it works best.
In fact, Josh, I would go so far as to say that's the ONLY way! It's a team effort. And it's only from nine to noon - your boys will be in school. For the broken leg - get a cell phone!

Mon, Wed and Fri mornings work best for us. But Saturday is a big day in suburban markets - you could go with her on that day. You'll need to be able to keep stuff cool overnight - we pick on Sat or Sun PM, Tues and Thus and keep it in the cold locker overnight - except toms, which we pick in the morning on market days.

Her location is the problem. Being a church project, we have access to private property all over town. I don't know what to tell ya on that end of it. A lot depends on whether you're going upscale/organic or just selling okra and peas to working folks.

In any case, it's a lotta work!! Id rather get a forman job on a Conagra soybean farm and ride around in a Power Stroke dually all day with my coffee thermos, hollering orders out the window in spanish. :-)

Jack


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

Jack, I don't remember seeing any slugs or pill bugs in the garden. We have alot of birds that help take care of them, I guess. I do have some rot, but I pick my maters alittle green, and rotten tomatoes are just right for tomato fights LOL only at the end of season. I learned that if you pick the tomatoes after they start to turn, but not totally ripe, you miss out on bird bites and alot of the rot. After I pick them, I sort the ripest versus the greener ones. I also sell green tomatoes once they get to size and start to blush. Once we start to see 'color' on the tomatoes we start picking that next week. We don't have alot of weeds in the tomato patch, we do have to get rid of weeds before the tomatoes get too big. We have used the 'pulling' method, along with gylphosate or even just a weed eater.

Jack, I don't need much to pull t-posts, alittle water and some wiggling will allow you to pull almost any post, unless concreted.

Josh, there are several farmers market in Indiana, some better than others. Actually Bloomington is supposed to be the best in the state. Yuppies and all.


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

The Bloomington farmers market is a big deal. They have built a trail that connects everything to the market, the yuppies get those fancy strollers with the bike wheels, hooked behind thier bicycles to pull kids and shopping, and ride everywhere on the trails. The market is a good one, busy and crwded. In 2009 they had close to $2,000,000.00 in sales. The yuppies patronise the organic stands and the working class the regular farmers. The market accepts food stamps, and WIC. Lin goes there everyonce in a while. Shes arrangin to have Saturdays off work this year, and she and my mom are going to man a weekly stand. They have this idea to start a CSA. They want me to supply turkeys for the holiday sesons, which I could, I have all the equipment, tub pluckers, scalding tanks, etc. I fill our freezer with chicken, duck, and turkey every year. They also want to sell shares of pastured beef, I have only been selling fattened steers, but I told them if they pre-sell any Id finish them, I got the corn. And she wants to sell more eggs. Shes been reading alot, Im not sure but I think she believes I could spend my slow times in winter more profitably hmmmm
josh


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

Josh, check to see if you have to have a USDA butcher shop butcher those critters to be able to sell retail. Lafayette requires it, some others don't.

I'll keep in mind that you have all that equipment. It's always good to know someone with equipment, even if we are 144 miles away, going thru Indy instead of straight down 231.


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

If you sell the beef on the hoof you can use a custom processor, or I can sell the meat by having Fenders processing which is state inspected process it, which is Bloomingtons minimum requirement. Though we prefer to sell on the hoof, cause were lazy, less hassel.

If you ever want to have a mess of birds butchered just holler.
josh


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

ok, but we don't any of our own yet


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

Josh, Do you get a lot of sagging with sisal? I used it one year and the stuff started to fall apart before the end of the season. Now I use polypropelene. You can stretch it tight. I do have to make sure to get it out of the garden every year, likes to cut seals out of tiller bearings.

Also: I am not a hippie, but we have two of those bike trailers. One day I had the crazy idea to hook them together and take all three girls on a bike ride in town. My wife was at work. She usually pulls one and I pull one. Mounted a bracket on the back of the hard plastic one. Hooked them up and away we went. It was a lot of fun. I did get some funny looks, but who cares. My kids were laughing and kept saying Go Faster, Go Faster.


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

Ya dont have to be a yuppie to have one of those strollers, but ya have to be a yuppie to pay 6 dollars a dzn for eggs :0)

I use the sisal twine to tie the plants directly to the stake, it wont work for weaving. As it was designed as a binder twine for holding hay together, so it works real well for holding plants to stakes. We stake as many as 5000 plants.
josh


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

Organic chicken eggs here are $6.00 dozen and my duck eggs are $7.00

I've seen duck eggs on the internet sell for $24.00 a dozen.

Eric


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

Marla, I pick 'em when they first start to turn color and we sell them that way. We get complaints - people want them riper, but we don't have the right kind of
containers (stacking,single layer) for transport and they get squashed in our laundry baskets if they are fully ripe. I've tried everything, except theft from behind WalMart at night lol), to get some of those tomato crates. You hafta buy a truckload from the mfgrs -same with bread trays, which work good for toms too.

You could never get away with sprawling those toms like that here - our critters would wipe you out 100%. Wish I could! I couldn't use those varieties either - we need a stronger disease package than currently available on indeterminates.

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Josh,

Surely you don't prune 5000 plants! Are you talking about those Roma processing tomatoes? What kind of stakes?

I use 3/8" rebar cut at 48" for standard 3 ft high determinates. I space at 24" (thinking about 18" this year). I drive a stake 12" deep between every other plant and weave three runs at one, two and three feet. I used some small diameter poly baling machine twine last year. I prefer larger dia poly but that was all the feed store had when I ran out of the larger stuff right in the middle of weaving and now I'm stuck with it. However, I didn't notice any cutting or harmful stem damage where I used it last year.

I found that when you weave you don't have to criss-cross like all the instructions say. Just go down one side at a time, with a double wrap on each stake, keeping it tight. Most of the instructions don't call for wrapping the stakes, but it works a lot better for me. If they're laid-out in plots with shorter rows, the weaving is a lot easier and you don't need t-posts at the ends, especially if you wrap every stake.

This year I'm gonna try putting a stake every third plant and spacing them at 18". One of the varieties I grow - Amelia(Harris Moran) is larger and needs 5' cages. This year I'm using Nico, also from Harris Moran, which has the same disease package as Amelia on a more compact plant.

For determinates, I cut all my 5' cages in half. 2-1/2 ft is all you need for those - except Amelia and a few other varieties.

**************************

Jay, I've got a tiller bearing leaking like crazy right now from that twine.

Josh was talking about "yuppies" (Young Urban Professionals) - not those pot-smoking, long-haired, Bhuda-worshipping, wife-swapping, tree-hugging, sandal-wearing, communal-living, West Coast freaks they call "hippies". When a VW van-full of 'em camped here in the sixties and messed with our local kids, our sheriff arrested 'em all, worked them over, shaved all their heads and told them if they came back they'd be shot on sight - and he meant it!

But that was the "good ol' days" when the Federal Courts kept their noses out of the Republic of Texas! That same sheriff's training program for new deputies was simple - he handed them a Bible and said, "this is the law". Then he gave them a revolver, saying "and this is what you enforce it with." :-).

One night me and another guy got drunk and tried to run from him down an old logging road (remember Dukes of Hazard lol). He knew the road was dead-end but we didn't, so he patiently waited until we came back, and then he blew the radiator out of my buddy's p/u with the .12 ga shotgun, beat the crap out of both us, threw us in the back of the car and took us home, with the warning that next time he'll shoot at the windshield. There was no nextime!!! And he never mentioned it again.

I wonder what the Supreme Court would say about that! Those old f...s would have heart attacks and die on the spot if they'd known our old sheriff. But he's long dead and gone and our new sheriff is a college-educated "professional" - black, BTW. :-)

-Couldn't resist it - sorry. Back to weaving tomatoes :-)

Jack


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

Bro Jack, I dont prune them, I do all my maters the same, the romas are real nice that way, the Better Boys, well they over grow the stake and start flopping over, I let em, it works, but this yeaar Im thinking of taking some 3 inch post, cut from the woods and Ive seasond them for two years, Ill take the post sharpened to a point on one end , and push them in with the tractor front end loader. The post are 7 feet long, push them in 2 feet, Ill space them out along the rows before I plant the tomatoes, and then pull 12 gauge HT wire tight, and attatch a tension spring on the end, Ill put 4 of these up the post. Im only going to plant 4000 plants in the field this year, Ill plant another 4000 in the greenhouse, in the greenhouse I can support the plants from the rafters. The field post can be pulled with the tractor, the wire can be respooled with my tractor respooling thing a ma jig, that I use for my portable fencing. I think it might work real good.
josh


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

I use a Florida weave for my tomatoes. T post at both ends, one in the middle. Then a wood post between every two plants. Then I tie the string on one end walk down the row. When I get to the post, I pull it tight and wrap it around and move on to the next post. Then go down the other side and do the same thing. It is really easy, keeps the plant up and uses less posts than staking. I can put up a new string on all my tomatoes in 15-20 minutes. I don't understand why people think it is so time consuming!

Josh: I am one of those who pays $6.00 for eggs. Well that is the chickens have been on strike for several months despite lights, extra feed and new straw. With all the feed bills and no eggs, each egg is probably $6.00! Finally, they are starting to lay again. I hope production starts to pick back up by early spring. BTW, I only have 45 hens. In Kansas if you have under 50 hens, you don't have to follow the egg laws. So I stay under that. Although, I wondered. If I had 98 hens, could 49 of them be my mine and 49 of them be my kids' chickens?


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

Jack, I get boxes from the Amish, plus you can have the boxes sent to you from montepkg.com. They will ship to you. or call them at 1-800-653-2807. If you want 20# boxes, the numbers are CG235B or CG228, both of them are complete and you fold as you need them. If you want 25#, they will come box and lid, sold separately. The ones that I use, fold up no staples or glue needed. The numbers are box CG270 and lid is CG280. Hope this helps. CAll them and ask for a catalog since you can't download pictures.

I have also checked with some of the local restuarants and stores and offer to take the boxes away. It saves them room in the dumpsters. WM usually crushes most of the cardboard.


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

Jay - I thought weaving was too hard at first - because the directions I had called for criss-crossing the twine back and forth between the plant and not wrapping each time - it was real confusing and got loose easily(note the "ly", teacher - "easiLY" lol). I don't put t-posts at the row ends because when you wrap each stake there's no extra pressure on the end stake - all distributed the same (I use 50 foot rows instead of 100 for toms). I also had trouble figuring-out how to handle the ball of twine. I finally settled on putting it in a five gal bucket and moving that along with my free hand as I go. Do you have crow problems with the tomatoes - they KILL us!!!

**********************

Thanks, Marla - we can handle those quantities. I'm going to that site right now - montepkg.com.

Jack


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

Marla - cardboard coantainers - we want the plastic, reusable kind. Thanks, though.

***********************8

Jay - Gotta tell ya this one. Way back years ago, Judy [Doe] was our Miss Tyler County. She was very beautiful but her physiological attributes were greater than her intellectual gifts. The title carried a scholarship, however, so she went away to college and majored in elementary education. She managed to graduate and get her teaching cerificate. She came back here and got a job teaching primary grades in our one and only "grammar" school.

Since she was a celebrity, our little weekly paper ran a feature story on her that included a large photograph of a very professional-looking Judy, rimmed glasses, tailored suit and all, standing in front of her blackboard. Written in chalk on the board was the following sentence - "Joe goes slow."
:-) A few of us DID notice, including her principal!


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes


not those pot-smoking, long-haired, Bhuda-worshipping, wife-swapping, tree-hugging, sandal-wearing, communal-living, West Coast freaks they call "hippies".

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We love you too Jack!

West Coast Eric


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes etc

Maybe I had to much coffee this morning.

What about the long hair, freaky, wine drinking, funny clothing / sandal wearing, people loving, communal living, fella? What's his name? Uh Uh Jesus, That's it.

Jesus would probably drive a Hybrid.

Eric


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

Slick Id say Kansas is the yuppie, saying you can only have 48 hens or be subject to some law. Indiana is one of the top leading states for egg production in the country, and they dont realy care how many chickens you have unless you live in town, for obvious reasons. (oh is it a bad idea to have 1000 chickens in my quarter acre back yard) I hate political corporate interference. Ya know kansas policy makers and corporate ag are involved in that law, its obvious. That infuriates me, its your biz how many chickens you have.
You ought to try having 48 chickens for each person in your household. By the way, breed makes all the difference in the world. Hybrid breeds like the sex links, Production Rhode Islands, and if you dont mind white eggs the Pearl White Leghorns. They will lay like the postman rain sleet or snow
josh


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

Ok, I got a number for you, same company.

30# plastic Blueberry Lug, stackable (they do, I've got some), PL-000, $10.00, min order 10.

I got mine from a blueberry plantation. They do have vent holes so juicys will go thru. The holes are not large enough to worry about very small cherry tomatoes going thru.

Still order a catalog, they have got alot of items. Anyway from rubber rands, to row covers.

I re-use the cardboard ones. They last about 3-5 years before the duct tape comes out and then another 1-2 years. After that, burn pile or recycling bin if clean enough.


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

Marla, the blueberry crates are exactly what we've been hunting, at a price we can afford! Thanks sooo much!
I'm fixin' to order 20, but I have one question first --
when they stack (with weight in them), do they lock together some way, like a slot they fit into or something, so the upper one doesn't slide off into the lower one?

How do you keep the cardboard clean? Line it with newspaper or aluminum foil? We built some wooden ones, but they got nasty real quick from the tom juices etc, and were not washable. They looked very unsanitary and we had to go back to the plastic laundry baskets. Also, we get a lot of summer rain - nearly everyday in normal years, and that was hard on the wooden ones too.

***************************

Eric:

We are supposed to love them too, Bro Eric, but I fall short and disappoint Him many times every day. I do have to admit, albeit reluctantly lol, that you do have a valid list there. Don't forget "socially-rejected" too. It's painful to think about how I probably would've reacted if a homeless and jobless, disreputable-looking group of guys walked by my vineyard in those days, spouting off-the-wall liberal ideas - shamefully, I probably would've called the Roman soldiers to shave their heads and beat them up! Not sure about the hybrid - reminds me of the 16 year-old baptist boy who wanted a car. "Not until you get a haircut!," his father exclaimed. "But, dad," the boy objected, "Jesus had long hair!" "Yes He did, son, and he walked everywhere he went." :-)

Jack


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes

If you turn them one way, they fit into each other. And the other way, they stack. One end has a ledge in one spot, and the other end has a ledge in a different spot to make it work. The blueberry plantation that I learned about these at, have been using them for years.

My cardboard boxes don't really get dirty. I pick into older ones. Sometimes we do line the bottom of the boxes with paper towels to soak up any possible juice. But most time, we really don't have that issue. I do use my canopy almost everyday at market, and until we put the boxes out onto the tables, they are inside a full-size White van. The color helps to keep the heat down. Of course we do have 2 doors open, 1 on the side and the ones on the back. Sometimes the windows down also.

You do realize that you can 'wash' the wooden crates with a bleach mixture to help keep them clean and sanitatized. 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. We use that mixture to wash to pumpkins and winter squash also.


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RE: Late Season Tomatoes


reminds me of the 16 year-old baptist boy who wanted a car. "Not until you get a haircut!," his father exclaimed. "But, dad," the boy objected, "Jesus had long hair!" "Yes He did, son, and he walked everywhere he went." :-)

Text generator

Jack, That's a great story. LOL! We could all do a little more walking or bicycle riding.

Eric


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