Agriculture

Winter Tomatoes

I wonder how much we need greenhouse tomatoes. Take a look at the tomatoes I picked from my garden on October 12, with a frost coming:

The Last Tomato Harvest of the Year

October 12, 2011

Here are the last of them, two and a half months later, after many sandwiches and tomato dishes:

Tomato Soup Waiting for Onions and a Pot

December 26, 2011, after 2 1/2 months in the basement. A little shrivelled and past their salad days, but soup and salsa, ah, that’s good too, right?

Greenhouse tomatoes are a minor agricultural crop in the Okanagan Valley and, as far as I know, not a crop at all in the Okanogan to the south. Maybe it will stay this way. They use a ridiculous amount of fossil fuels. According to the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture, the crop cycle for greenhouse tomatoes goes like this: Planting, November; Harvest, March through October. That gives, I suspect, 7 or 8 months of heating. If we did it right, however, we could have a solid late crop of tomatoes in mid-October (of better quality than mine above) and eat them through January. The costs for refrigeration or heating would be zero. Even if only half of the crop was grown in this fashion, we could reduce our heating costs by 50% — a huge savings on greenhouse gas emissions.

To heck with ethanol fuel processing plants. The future starts with tomatoes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.