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Ask the Farmer

Ask the Farmer

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Q. When do potatoes grow?

A. Because of the mild climate of southern and central California, we can grow potatoes almost 9 months out of the year.

Q. Where do you grow the potatoes?

A. We are currently growing potatoes in California in the Bakersfield, Cuyama, Tehachapi, Coachella and El Centro areas.

Q. How many varieties of potatoes do you grow?

A. We grow about 10 different varieties that are all classified as Red, White, Gold and Russet potatoes.

Q. What is a potato seed?

A. A potato seed is simply a regular potato or a piece of a potato containing an eye that has been replanted back into the ground that will sprout and begin to grow again.

Q. How many potatoes grow on one potato plant?

A. Depending on the variety and type (red, white, gold, russet) one potato plant can produce 8 to 30 potatoes.

Q. How long does it take to grow a potato?

A. It takes about 100 – 120 days to grow a potato to full maturity.

Q. How many potato plants are there in one acre?

A. Depending on the variety, there are between 17,000 to 22,000 potato plants in one acre.

Q. Where is the greenhouse located?

A. Our greenhouse is located in the Cummings Valley just west of town of Tehachapi California at an elevation of approximately 3800’.

Q. What kind of products do you grow in the greenhouse?

A. Currently we grow TOV (tomatoes on the vine) thought-out the entire greenhouse.

Q. How long is the growing season in the greenhouse?

Because we are climate controlled, we grow and harvest year-round.

Q. How many plants are in the greenhouse?

A. There are approximately 120,000 plants in our greenhouse.

Q. How do you heat the greenhouse during the winter?

A. Our greenhouse uses a form of radiant heating whereas hot water is pumped into pipe rails throughout the greenhouse floor for heat.

Q. How hot is it inside a greenhouse?

A. Normal temperatures in the greenhouse range from 60 degrees at night to 80 degrees during the day.

Q. What is a greenhouse made of?

A. Our greenhouse has a metal frame with glass panels that make up the roof and walls. Basically it is a glass house.

Q. How big does a tomato plant grow?

A. A normal tomato plant can grow to a length of 40’ within their 10 month life.

Q. How many tomatoes does one plant produce?

A. Our tomato plants will normally produce about 5 tomatoes per week during the grow cycle.

Q. How long does a tomato plant live?

A. Our greenhouse tomato plants usually grow for a period of 8 to 10 months.

Q. What are greenhouse tomato plants grown in?

A. Our greenhouse tomato plants are grown in a media of coconut core and compost.

Q. How are greenhouse tomatoes pollinated?

A. Our greenhouse tomatoes are pollinated by bumblebees that we release inside the greenhouse on a monthly basis.

Q. What are the benefits of growing tomatoes in a greenhouse?

A. The benefits of growing greenhouse tomatoes are many! Temperature control helps prevent many of the diseases that affect tomatoes. The plants are protected from wind, rain, cold temperatures and too much sun. We also enjoy a longer growing season.

Q. Do organic farmers ever use pesticides?

A. Organic does not automatically mean pesticide or chemical free. It does mean that any product used must be derived from naturals sources, not synthetically manufactured. The use of any approved product is considered carefully and reviewed carefully prior to application.

Q. How do you store organic potatoes?

A. Organic potatoes should be refrigerated for longest shelf life as no sprout inhibitors are used. The key to using potatoes that have been refrigerated is to take them out of the refrigerator at least 24 hours prior to use. When a potato is refrigerated, the starches turn into sugars; which affects the taste of the potato. By allowing the potatoes to sit at room temperature for at least 24 hours prior to use allows those sugars to convert back into starches.

Q. What is the life cycle for growing Organic Kale?

A. From seed to harvest is 65 – 120 days. The outer leaves can be harvested and the inner leaves will continue to grow allowing for additional harvests from the same plant. Younger leaves will have a lighter flavor and mature leaves will be more pungent and bolder in flavor.

Q. What are the standards that define “Certified Organic”?

A. Certified Organic means that the product has been certified to meet specific standards and regulations set by the National Organic Program and is allowed to display the USDA Organic Seal.

Q. What is the difference between “organic” and “natural”?

A. “Organic” foods are grown and processed using organic means and must meet or exceed the standards for organic as defined by the USDA or other certifying bodies. “Natural” food generally refers to food items that are not altered chemically or synthesized in any form, but the guidelines for “natural” are not well defined.

Q. Can I freeze the carrots?

A. Not Recommended. If you do, blanch them first, otherwise, they’ll turn mushy when they’re thawed.

Q. What does “Organic” mean?

Organic means that the food is produced without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, sewage sludge, GMOs or ionizing radiation.

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