2002 Tomatoes cropping now!

We have had two weeks of picking. At first there are generally only a few boxes and then the amount builds up. So to date we have picked half a tonne. This is encouraging although it is early days to see whether this amount will continue into the next critical two months while prices should remain better than in the summer months.

It has been a bit exhausting training the plants, for as you see from the second photograph the plants are pressing up to the roof glass panes. Growth is abnormally long and this probably reflects the very clear days of sunshine we have been having in the past two weeks. It has been cold outside - temperatures down to 4 degrees at times. But if there is sun the plants will take off. There is plenty of fruit there waiting to ripen although we have lost two trusses at the critical time of development of the seventh truss. All that is in the hazard of growing. However, if you have the right resources and are a larger producer than ourselves, there are techniques such as weather forecasting and the manipulation of data coming in from the glasshouse that enables some growers to maximise the environment for setting the flowers so that truss abortion is avoided. Fifty years ago such ideas belonged to science fiction! We have taken long strides into the future of growing in horticulture and find it really very satisfying. Despite the competition from abroad that brings our wholesale prices tumbling ........Ah, well, it was ever so! ..... Wish us Good Luck!

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