Today was our "tomato day on the road" - we got to visit (thanks to the warm hospitality and generosity of some of my friends and tomato seedling customers) a selection of local gardens, as well as the Raleigh State Farmers Market and the garden at West Point on the Eno, for pictures and a few of the "missing" tomatoes. We put about 200 miles on the car making the rounds, and it was fun and productive (and HOT!).
I am not sure if seeing how other gardeners are struggling makes me feel better...or equally distraught. The season began with so much promise, but it was washed away in seemingly endless rain and clouds. It is hard to tell exactly how many and which diseases are hitting my plants - I think I've got early blight, septoria, fusarium, bacterial wilt, perhaps even late blight - it is depressing, and fairly unprecedented. To me, figuring out what exactly is causing the problems is secondary to thinking about what to do next year to avoid a similar situation as best we all can.
And so, hang in there, friends and fellow tomato growers and tomato lovers. As I always say, one of the truly great things about gardening is that seasons eventually come to an end and we get to do it all again next year.
By the way - I will be returning to Southern Season on October 16 (Wednesday, 6 PM) to do something new - participation in a cooking class focused on different Chiles. More info will follow - I will be there along with Alex Hitt and the lead instructor, Charis West. It should be quite fun (and something completely new for me!).
Final words - once again, thanks to the many of you who are coming to my tomato rescue this week!