So, right now I want to grow some tomatoes, but I only have a tiny East-facing balcony which gets maybe 3-4 hours of sun per day. I have been able to grow tomatoes here, but they certainly don't grow well.
I'm trying to avoid buying tomatoes from the supermarket because I've been spoiled by the taste of home-grown tomatoes. As such, I've been buying canned & dried tomatoes, but not fresh.
I was wondering, would buying tomatoes from a farmer's market be almost as good as home-grown? Or do they use some of the same tactics as what the distributors use (i.e., picking them while they're green, and false-ripening them)?
I'm guessing that all markets are different and you can only give me a general answer at best, but I'll take any info I can. =)
yep! gotta ask the farmer. it's my impression that most open-air farmers markets are going to be small/local farms which is good of course. to me it's always better buying direct from farmers vs supermarkets. try to get organic/heirloom whenever possible. good/better/best.
I pick at ripe. I have blems. Four grades: store perfect (hahaha), a few minor bits like catfacing, a few blems and minor bugbites, and the Is It Homemade Salsa/Sauce or is it compost?
Nothing can compare with the home grown, as you can market heirlooms that are tasty but don't take to shipping... I admit the only thing I use on my tomatoes is Blossom End Rot spray as soil in this area is notorious for low calcium. I add gypsum but still can have problems. Else they eat compost and rain water and city water only if there isn't enough rain water (they basically pull out of the aquifer and occasionally give the tower a shot of chlorine)
So often market garden will also be very organic and natural. Usually too at end of day, there's "I don't want to drag it home" prices. Plus sometimes there will be sale on 'it's not perfect, it's edible today and NOT at all tomorrow' blems. Person I got a roast tomato recipe (drizzled with olive oil and herbs and slow roasted chunks) from that had a stall near her that would sell a whole brown grocery bag of blems and seconds for cheap. If she took them home and processed immediately it was great quantities cheap.
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