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Tomato heads beware!!!

Posted 7/9/2009 11:26am by Michael Scheidel.

The warm and dry weather has kept me from my communication duties but I wanted to take the time before market today to update you on farm news.

Late Blight!

Late blight is the same fungus that caused the great Irish Potato Famine and it has reared it's ugly head here in PA due to the historic wet and cool weather this spring.  It has never been detected so early in this part of the country and the source is apparently from Wal-Mart/Home Depot stores selling infected plants that they got shipped in from the south!  The tomatoes home gardeners planted have spread the pathogen spores all over the northeast region. 

An alert from Penn State went out to growers over a week ago and since then me and lots of other growers have been losing sleep trying to decide how to proceed.  The problem mostly exists for those of us who stay away from chemical sprays.  The most effective sprays are used in conventional growing and there are very few OMRI (certified for organic production) listed products that are effective in stopping blight.  Late blight is a virtual death sentence for tomatoes and potatoes. 

After LOTS of reflection I have decided to use a combination of some OMRI listed copper products with a conventional fungicide.  Since I don't have a licence to spray anything very strong, I will spray whatever the average Joe can buy at Agway and will limit my applications as much as possible.  The loss of all of my tomatoes and potatoes would mean a virtual collapse of our business and we have worked too hard to stop here.  I thought you all should know.



We've joined a new market (the Plaza Grower's Market) at the base of the PP & L building in Allentown on Wednesdays from 11:30-1:30.  It is a very new market and has thus far yielded weak results but I think the potential is there and I really enjoy meeting new people in the same business.  The Allentown Brew Works is purchasing our produce weekly to put on their weekly sepcials menu.  There is live music every week and organic coffee, awesome hot food, AWESOME LITTLE PEACE VEGGIES, and honey.  Stop out if anyone is in town on Wednesdays.


Anyway, I hope all are well.  Pray that we survive blight and check us out at our markets and on the website.

PS...we promise some current photos soon!