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Pick your own... tomatoes in winter!

Our greenhouse went through a complete and total transformation. Honestly, this huge structure,

with climate control, moving tables, and automatic watering was way too big for me to fully utilize. That's why we decided to rent part of it to Nick, a Seton Hall college graduate, who had a business plan to supply upscale NJ restaurants with fresh NJ tomatoes. My amaryllises, herbs, salad, and some tropical plants had to move a bit, and provide room for 80+ pots to hold future tomato plantations. Gone were moving tables, in came the structures to support indeterminate cherry tomatoes. Organic growing medium bags piled up, new irrigation was installed, and finally in moved the precious seedlings.

For 2 weeks in the middle of December they had to be acclimated in the greenhouse until they were carefully moved into their permanent spots. Each has its own support structure. For the first time in many years since we moved to the farm I really enjoyed the winter. My greenhouse duties were at a minimum, as Nick was there every day, taking meticulous care of his plants. Classical music rang throughout the greenhouse (to support healthy tomatoes’ development, as per latest agricultural recommendations). The temperature was kept at a steady 80F. Tropical plants wholeheartedly approved it and were blooming in the middle of winter. Even the night jasmine flowered and its strong perfume was all over the greenhouse in the evenings.

As time passed by, the tomato plants developed strong trusses, then came flowers, then fruits and now the red dots are appearing all over. While the production is not at its fullest, Nick sells to customers from the greenhouse directly.

There is an opportunity to pick up local NJ tomatoes $4 a quart and while it is not really “pick your own” I guess it is the closest thing to it in February!

Please call Nick at 732-685-6807 or me at 917-913-2425 to schedule your visit.

Enjoy the early PYO season!

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