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Farmers market type questions (Tomatoes and Sweet corn)

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Reid1650
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:56 pm    Post subject: Farmers market type questions (Tomatoes and Sweet corn) Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Was wanting any and all info you guys can give me about growing tomatoes and sweet corn on loamy type soils (Central Ky). Looking at experimenting with tomatoes and sweet corn to sell wholesale to vendors who sell at farmers markets to diversify myself more. I have a JD 7000 that I plant my field corn with. Can I plant my sweet corn with it too? Also looking for any info on growing tomatoes in a production type setting. Nothing crazy big but I am curious about plant placement in the row and also width of rows. Thanks in advance.
 
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da.bees
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Farmers market type questions (Tomatoes and Sweet corn) Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I can only tell you a little that applies in North Texas.
Most market vendors are growers and barter thier surplus for someone elses surplus but both have to pretty much retail what what they grow and swap for. An exception is melons which can be sold by the semi loads in the field.
Being close to populous cities to avoid time and fuel spent reaching one sure helps bottom line. A few people have locations on busy roads that do ok. A neighboring grower has sold to a couple of super markets for years. They know he will deliver on time every time so they are always in stock with fresh peoduce. What they may not know is that he buys what they need if he's short but never stands them up. It's a heck of an idea to grow a lot and wholesale but you might compare that to a good herdsman maintaining a set of dairy cattle but leaving it to someone else to milk them and manage that end of the business. It can be done but takes a real well greased operation with trusting perticipants to be profitable and sustainable.
 
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Bob Huntress
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Farmers market type questions (Tomatoes and Sweet corn) Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If I grow lots of tomatoes, I put a stake every five or six plants and run the string across the stakes. Then I tie the tomatoes on alternating sides of the string. I fertilize exclusively with goat, horse and chicken manure. I also use compost, but, not chemical fertilizers, except as I transplant the seedlings. If you plan on using fertilizer the corn uses a lot of nitrogen (abundant in chicken and horse manure). I mix a wheelbarrow of dirt, compost and manure. The lighter the color of the garden dirt the more manure I add. I run my straight line string and every 12 inches across the line I dig an 18 inch deep hole with my posthole digger and fill it with my enriched mixture from the wheelbarrow. I take a tomatoe plant and transplant it into this spot. Every year I plan to move my holes a little bit to get a deeper richness into my garden. I start my tomatoes the first or second week of march, and transplant them in mid to late April. Some years I could get a second crop, but I don't have enough market as most of what I grow we consume. I usually use beef steak tomatoes. That's my tomatoe story. Perhaps you have a good Beet plan. The first year I grew beets, I got nothing. This year I got good beet greens, yet no good beet root. I tried this year in a grow box with potting soil and manure and regular dirt. The greens were great, yet I didn't get any usable beets.
 
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wilamayb
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Farmers market type questions (Tomatoes and Sweet corn) Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I cant offer much help with the tomatoes, but growing sweet corn is similar to growing field corn.

Sweet corn works fine on 30" rows but works best at very low populations to facilitate larger ears. We plant ours around 19,000. Unless you are into the organic farming I would suggest an in furrow insecticide and also planting a super sweet variety such as offered by Seminis (my personal favorite is called "passion"). Some Semis varities are resistant to ear worm which will make a substantial difference at the roadside stand. Seminis now even offers a RR variety which could help with weed control.

Also be aware that not all field corn herbicides are safe for sweet corn. Read your labels. You can still use Atrazine with acetechlor for your pre-emergent and you can follow up with Callisto if you still have weed issues.
 
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okierob
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Farmers market type questions (Tomatoes and Sweet corn) Reply to specific post Reply with quote

the problem with sweet corn is when it gets ready, you have to move it and fast. a few days and it's over ripe.

most folks just want a nice blemish free slicing tomato. unless there are lots of folks who put up tomatoes(canning). you will only sell what they will use for a couple of days.

Produce of any type does not keep for long and you might end up with excess crops.

You need to do some research for your area and see what the market will bear.

I sell at the local market and have bought tomatoes for resale. most of the time i barely broke even when i did. Not something i plan to do again. just a few bad ones will dip into the profit margin.
 
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Bob Huntress
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Farmers market type questions (Tomatoes and Sweet corn) Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I place the rows apart enough to run a tiller between the rows with getting to close to the plants for tomatoes. Seriously, I often have the tiller up there and after the first row is done, I center the tiller about half a foot from the row, then eyeball the same space from the tiller and set the stake on both ends of the row. This way I can reasonably till between the rows.
 
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Bob Huntress
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Farmers market type questions (Tomatoes and Sweet corn) Reply to specific post Reply with quote

That's why we try so many tomates, OkieRob. I want to start canning again, this coming season. It's been awhile since I made tomatoe paste and sauce from scratch.
 
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ss55
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Farmers market type questions (Tomatoes and Sweet corn) Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Are there any canning factories near you? They often contract to have someone grow their crops for them. They do the harvesting. You may be able to learn a lot by growing for them before you strike out on your own. It's worth looking into it anyway.
 
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nh8260
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Farmers market type questions (Tomatoes and Sweet corn) Reply to specific post Reply with quote

if your planter is plateless yeah it"ll do sweet corn just fine, i"ve even planted okra and beets with a 7000. As far as a herbicide, a good one for field and sweet corn is Lexar, it is Atrizene, Dual, and Callisto all combined into one, very good weed and grass control, but its pre-emergent only.
 
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GeneMO
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Farmers market type questions (Tomatoes and Sweet corn) Reply to specific post Reply with quote

They have Roundup ready and BT varieties of sweet corn now.

Also some extra sweet varieties.

Gene
 
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SweetFeet
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:57 am    Post subject: Re: Farmers market type questions (Tomatoes and Sweet corn) Reply to specific post Reply with quote

reid1650,
In regard to growing for a canning company, one thing to keep it mind is that when it is time to plant or harvest - if it is wet they will "mud" the crop in or "mud" it out of the field. You can end up with huge ruts all over your land. We have driven past numerous farms where this has been done around here. I mean big tractor ruts two and half feet deep. It is a mess.
 
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Bruce from Can.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:46 am    Post subject: Re: Farmers market type questions (Tomatoes and Sweet corn) Reply to specific post Reply with quote

10 years back, I grew market garden for road side sales. We would plant 2000 tomatoes 1000 peppers , all bare root with a Holland transplanter. It would all so work well with spainish onions. I would plant corn every 5-7 days, depending on rain, and used my CaseIH air planter. Squash,pumpkins , cucumbers and corn stalk bundles, Indian corn and gourds , also sell well for fall decorations. Sounds kinda silly, but some folks will pay more for stuff to take home and rot down on thier front step,then they are willing to pay for food to eat.Oh yeah, we scuffled it all with a IH super A. Bruce
 
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cannonball
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:45 am    Post subject: Re: Farmers market type questions (Tomatoes and Sweet corn) Reply to specific post Reply with quote

you can keep your roundup ready corn all for yourself..
 
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Traditional Farmer
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:23 am    Post subject: Re: Farmers market type questions (Tomatoes and Sweet corn) Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Almost all the people that buy at farmers markets are there to avoid GMOs and chemically grown food once its known a seller has these they won't be able to sell their produce.
 
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:32 am    Post subject: Re: Farmers market type questions (Tomatoes and Sweet corn) Reply to specific post Reply with quote

It all depends on the market in your area,in my area there are literally thousands of people that want to buy fresh produce that is Non GMO and grown without chemicals and better yet no chemical fertilizers.I'm not certifid organic but list exactly what I put into growing my produce which is organic fertilizers, composted manure plus lime and basic minerals from things like Planters II and Greensand.Also old Heirloom type varieties sell well.
 
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