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August 18th, 2012

Late Blight on Field Tomatoes

The good news is we have a big crop of high-tunnel heirloom tomatoes that are relatively safe from Late Blight and are not infected; also we haven’t seen any late blight on our potato crop.  The bad news is: our field planted tomatoes are infected.

Late Blight Lesion on our Field Tomatoes.

Late Blight is a once every five or ten year airborne disease that is deadly to Tomatoes and Potatoes.  This same disease caused the Irish Potato Famine.  There are no effective organic measures to control Late Blight.   Usually the disease progresses quickly and can take down a beautiful stand of tomatoes in as fast as a week.  Our field tomatoes are just ready to start picking; we got a few boxes this week.  We’ll keep checking and will try and pick as much as we can – we may get several weeks, or they may be toast by Monday – we’ll keep you posted.

Tomato Field on Aug 16th - looks healthy from a distance - no late blight fruit damage at this point.

Bottom line – what does this mean for the CSA? It means tomato varieties like Amish Paste, San Marzano, Speckled Roman, and Striped German – will be in short supply, or not available this year. We should be able to keep supplying the CSA from our field houses – but production is peaking and we may have to limit tomatoes at some point.

We’ll keep posting updates here.

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Posted in: Harvest, News by Anton Burkett

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