I have spend a lot of time recently pruning tomatoes. We have two long rows that have tomatoes on each side of the row. I learned last week how to prune tomatoes and have had lots of opportunity to practice recently. While pruning tomatoes I have learned that it relates to other aspects of life.
The principle behind pruning tomatoes is to limit their growth so that the plant spends less energy producing fruit so that the fruit that it is producing ripens before the first frost. We live in Washington state. We are at the hottest time of the year and the temperatures will be in the mid 80s so we need to take more off the plants than places that have longer hotter summers.
Here in Washington, we keep the plant to one or two (occasionally three) main vines and cut off any other fruit producing vines so that we can get some ripe fruit. Then we tie up the main vines to maximize sun exposure and air circulation around the bottoms of the plants. We had some early blight that we are removing from the plants and we are hand watering to prevent soil splashing onto the plants.
Yesterday I went to market and helped sell the produce we have produced. While there I walked around and looked at what everyone else had produced and dreamed of having our own farm. I lied the farm that focused on garlic and products made from garlic. I liked the farm that did jams and preserves and I could see a lot of potential in selling both fresh and preserved produce to meet year-around sustainable produce demand. I liked the farm that focused on goat cheeses and sold primarily to restaurants and co-ops. I like the idea of doing CSAs with businesses. I like the idea of targeting a weight loss population and helping people eat differently to lose weight.
The tomato vine of ideas that I have is out of control. We would really like to start a farm at some point and make a living in a sustainable way. We have a lot of potential fruits, but our ideas need to be pruned down to find the fruits that will be successful. If we go into the farming business with too many fruits, we will be unable to give any of them enough attention for them to become ripe and worthy of market. I have some serious pruning of ideas to do. We intend to be here at Terralumina Gardens for at least another 9 months, if not a year or more to learn how to do the whole farm thing, but in the long run we want our own sustainable farm and we have to find the right ideas and the right location to make it the ultimate tomato to be proud of and sell.