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Benny ThompsonMemberMarch 1, 2023 at 11:20 am05267
Love, love, love this conversation. Thank you Julia. This is totally new for me.
Yes, I have a great market in San Diego. Selling mostly to hipster demographic and their restaurants…progressive folks/roll-your-eyes-urban-lumberjacks…slightly trite, mostly good intentioned…trying to do something better than corporate food, have disposable income. They will take variances, and in some cases even pay more for variation.
In the new context of this conversation, it’s actually striking me as completely stupid that I’ve been artificially creating variances by buying a lot of different seed types.
Will you work through a current strategy with me?
We get $6/pint for mixed medley cherry tomatoes. We don’t have a greenhouse(yet) so we put them in the ground March 21-April 1. I just started the seeds in 72 cell 1020 trays, 3″ deep. They will be about 1ft tall when they go in the ground. We grow single-leader, on a tomahook, to a 7ft overhead wire, 18″ separation, 18″ drippers on the plant, 9″ drippers 1ft away from the plant.
In a 72 cell 1020 tray, I’m doing all from Johnny’s. All on the larger size size of cherry, about golf ball size…less labor for picking and still creates a great mix of color.
24 Sakura (fills the basket, the most prolific of all the varieties, can get 40 tomatoes on a cluster)
12 Indigo Cherry Drop
12 Sunrise Bumblebee
12 Purple Bumblebee
12 Green Bumblebee
When we drop these in the ground, they naturally get mixed together. The idea is that we can pick right into the baskets and it’s automatically assorted.
<font color=”rgba(0, 0, 0, 0)” face=”inherit”>So here it is: Can I start saving seeds and they will continue to create variation without being pure-bred? Tomatoes don’t heavily cross pollinate, but that may be a good thing? It could be just enough to diversify the gene-pool over decades? Will some of the desirable qualities </font>disappear<font color=”rgba(0, 0, 0, 0)” face=”inherit”> from the gene-pool? Will some qualities become dominant and homogenize the flavor and aesthetic over time? If I see any dominant </font>homogeneities<font color=”rgba(0, 0, 0, 0)” face=”inherit”> start to form, do I have to keep introducing pure-breds into the mix every year?
The end-goal is to have high-yield, nutrient-dense, golf-ball size tomatoes, with a variety of color, pattern and flavor. Do you have a recommendation on how to do this?</font>
deep gratitude for any guidance on this