february locavores

i recently stumbled upon a small, but ever-growing, community of people who appreciate the farmers’ market mentality.  the brazos locavores advocate for the growth of mindful eating practices while supporting locally produced food (within 100 miles) and its associated network of farmers.  heather, the locavores’ fearless leader, has dedicated herself and her family to eating only locally produced and accessible foods.  she’s established a monthly field trip series to introduce others to the local food resources available to them.  yesterday’s field trip was to millican produce, producers of organic, greenhouse-grown tomatoes.

millican produce

millican produce

tanya and steve, the enthusiastic proprietors of millican produce, provide organic tomatoes for the bryan farmers’ market, the farm patch, and kroger.  they gave an extensive tour of their facility and production process.  the greenhouse was impeccable!  the rows of tomatoes formed curtains of bright green foliage.  hundreds of individual plants, scouted daily for signs of pests, disease, pruning and pollination needs, hung from separate polyproplene threads.  these threads were suspended from overhead spools.  the beauty of this system is that the threads, with fruited vines still attached, can be lowered toward the ground in order to access increased light levels and air circulation.

tomato curtains

tomato curtains

tomato superstructure

versatile tomato superstructure

i was surprised to learn that tomatoes can be grafted onto root stocks to improve the cold tolerance of the overall plant. who would think that tomatoes would be cold sensitive, in texas of all places?  on the other hand, they stop producing fruit when it gets too hot.  yep, come july 1, millican produce closes up greenhouse to persue other horticultural endeavors because the tomatoes have decided it’s time for a vacation…

grafted rootstock with baby basil seedlings, and tomato color progression

grafted rootstock with baby basil seedlings, and tomato color progression

thanks tanya, steve, and heather for a great day.  here’s to a successful harvest and to the future of locavores…

grow young tomatoes, grow!

grow young tomatoes, grow!

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One thought on “february locavores

  1. I had no idea. Thanks for an informative post. Wonder if I can do that tomato grafting here since, for me at least, the season never seems to be long enough.

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