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Brought to you by Ginger Rapport of Beaverton Farmers Market - FARMERS MARKET INSIDER -

(Image is Clickable Link) Beaverton Farmers Market

Summer swoon is the delicious taste of a vine-ripened tomato. Versatile, sweet and balanced, tomatoes are the star in the summer show of gardening.

Chris Hertel of Sun Gold Farms sells tomato starts each spring at the Beaverton Farmers Market as well as fresh tomatoes during the summer. He enjoys both customers and gardeners who are excited about the season's crop.

"The most common question we get this time of year from the growers is, 'Why is my tomato plant not ripening?'" Hertel said. "They see market tables full of the beautiful rainbow colors of tomatoes. I think their mouth waters a little when they see it too. I always tell them to have patience, also to stop watering them."

Hertel explains that most tomato plants by now should be a large beautiful plant with an equally larger root system. If they continue to be watered and cared for, they will continue to grow foliage because they are happy.

"They think they have all summer to produce. However, we live in Oregon with beautiful summers and wet soggy falls. If the plant isn't watered anymore it stresses them and makes them think the end is near and they better produce some tomatoes quickly before they die. This will also help with the flavor; an overwatered tomato plant produces bland watery tomatoes, much like wine grapes. Lack of water will also help with blossom end rot," he said.

Find Sun Gold Farms and other farmers at Beaverton Farmers Market. Open 9 a.m. Saturdays. See you there!

Beaverton Farmers Market

Southwest Hall Boulevard, between Third and Fifth Streets, Beaverton

503-643-5345

www.beavertonfarmersmarket.com

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