Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Blight 2009

When I returned home this morning, I went straight to the garden to check on my tomato plants. All my heirlooms are dead from the blight, the only ones living are the two GM tomato plants that were given to me. Not only does it kill the plant, but it works its way into the fruit and causes the fruit to rot vine on. I call my local extension office about canning the green fruit, they said not to because it will spoil anyway.

I have 12 huge organic raised plants, they are loaded more this year than I have ever grown tomatoes ever. I am going say they are 4-5 feet tall and 3 feet around. Nice big fruits, maybe 150 pounds give or take 20 pounds.

I made a call to my Uncle at work today, he said his are dead too. I called a local farmers market to find out who locally has tomatoes for sale in bulk. I called Tom down at the mill who gave me a local guys number who sprayed his plants prior and during this blight spreading. So I called him, his wife said they have bushels of ripe tomatoes that are still on the plant. When I asked how organic they were, she said the are treated with a organic anti-fungi spray, but no pesticides have been used on them. When I asked cost per bushel, she said as many as I could put in a bushel, heaping, but I'd have to pick my own, $20 a bushel.

So I looked up the spray they used, than I went in at checked the one I had on hand that was organic. Its the same product, I treated my plants with this when I first heard about this blight. Perhaps they were already infected, because my efforts seemed to be in vein. I treated them with the chemical stuff last week, hoping to have saved the remainder of my crop. But their dead now....

As you might understand how sad this makes me feel inside, I take great pride in providing food for my family as organic as I can. Living as SS as I can, theres another side of this.

If I were living in the 1800-1900's this blight came along, I would have no winter tomato food stores. We would be SOL back then. Giving that tomatoes make up I would guess over 40% of our canned food, sauces, ketchup, stewed, salsa, and a few other items. There would be less food for winter.

I will have to use some of my funds from my SS fund to pay for the purchase of tomatoes. Which now just pushes my fence project even further into the pipeline dream of getting it done.

Before everyone starts to understand the impact of this blight, I am going to get moving forward on getting those bushels ASAP..

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