Well, here's Joel again, this time getting ready to plant the first tomatoes. This first planting of 20 varieties will go into the hoophouse. Our hoophouse tomatoes are our insurance policy tomatoes. We are subject to late blight here if the plants get too damp for too long at the end of summer so the hoophouse keeps them nice and dry. Some years we also get an outdoor crop but other years they succumb before anything gets ripe.
Why do we grow so many varieties, 50+ lettuces, 20 tomatoes. Well there are a number of reasons. First, it's fun. We love what we are doing, we are interested and intrigued by plants especially vegetable plants and just have to try new varieties every year. There are so many out there and we always want to know what they taste like, look like, how they grow. We just don't get tired of trying new things. And that way we find new varieties that grow better for us than the ones we have been growing.
But biodiversity is also very, very practical. Not only do we grow a lot of varieties of a specific vegetable but we grow a lot of different sorts of vegetables. That way no matter what nature throws at us in the way of weather, bugs, diseases, etc., some of it will survive. Then not only will we continue to make at least some money, but we will have something to eat.
Our customers like a variety of kinds of their favorite vegetables. If we only grew one kind of lettuce we'd have a lot fewer lettuce sales. People will buy 2 or 3 or 4 heads if they are all different. Like me they like to make salads that look pretty as well as taste good. My favorite late summer salad is a Greek salad of tomatoes, peppers, onions, basil and feta. I use every color of tomato, pepper and onion to we have. A feast for the eyes as well as for the palate.