The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

More on the tomato blight

Yellow watermelonFor one week, we ate tomatoes --- a handful of Blondkopfchen tommy-toes, a Cherokee, and a Green Zebra.  Then, much faster than their ripening, the blight consumed the plants.  Walking out our door, all I could see was curling, brown tomato leaves.  Green fruits were dropping to the ground while red fruits were rotting on the vine.

We did nearly everything right.  We started our heirlooms from seed, rather than risking the infected plants in the big box stores.  We fed them well and gave them trellises.  But the endless July rain took its toll, and blight spores found their way to our tomatoes.

Monday morning, we made the hard decision to pull them all out rather than building up our farm's blight spore bank further.  I couldn't bear to be involved, so I begged Mark to do the deed.  Still, I was nearly in tears.  Goodbye, dreams of tomatoes.

Hello, dreams of the best fall crop ever!  We're going to fill the holes with even more fall veggies so that we can, hopefully, eke out our harvest much later in the year.  Although tomatoes are my favorite vegetable crop, I suspect that extra months of fresh peas, greens, and root crops may heal the wound in my heart.  Meanwhile, take a look at this yellow watermelon we had for lunch yesterday!  (I can't bear to include a photo of the blight.)

Shame-faced plug: Our new Avian Aqua Miser website gives Mark's invention space to spread its wings.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Not too late to start some more tomatoes, especially if you can get some suckers from Joeys or someone's unblighted ones.
Comment by Errol Tue Aug 11 08:23:29 2009
We haven't quite given up hope yet. I might start a few tommy-toe plants from seed this week, but I've also found a few volunteers in random corners of the garden which should give us at least a few fresh tomatoes.
Comment by anna Wed Aug 12 21:01:50 2009

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