Improving Quality & Competitiveness of Jersey Tomatoes

This month in the Sustaining Farming on the Urban Fringe Newsletter:

GrapeTomatoToday’s market for shipped market tomatoes doesn’t allow us to simply go back to growing the varieties of the 1930’s.

Our breeding program, variety evaluations, and conducting consumer tastings are the path to redesigning a Jersey Tomato to meet the needs of today’s markets and consumer expectations. The Jersey Jems trademark, prepared by Ag Agent Peter Nitzsche, offers farmers a Jersey marketing identity for better grape tomatoes. These projects, together with our work evaluating heirloom tomatoes, connecting with consumers at the Great Tomato Tasting, and identifying superior post-WWII hybrids, contribute to sustaining New Jersey’s signature tomato crop.

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Time to get in Cover Crop

To say it’s been a tough year for farmers, would be an understatement. The 2011 growing season has been marked by heavy rains, high winds, flooding, and extreme heat. Rob Shortell, former Rutgers grad student and now Assistant Professor at Cal Poly, got it right when he said,

farming is about the details… “it’s the weather, the timing, the attentiveness to details.”

And right now we’ve got a small window of opportunity to get in cover crops. There are only about 7 NJ fall seeding days for ideal establishment.

At RAREC, we had a perfect day on Thursday, September 22, and planted …
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High Tunnel Cover Crop Evaluation


Photo courtesy University of Delaware

Four cover crops will be evaluated in High Tunnels at RAREC this Fall.
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Growing Alternative Vegetables and Herb Crops from around the World

There are a number of profitable alternative world crops that can be grown in New Jersey to satisfy the demand for fresh produce by immigrant populations. These crops are suited to diversified small to mid size farms where high returns per acre is required.

Click the image to explore alternative crops by country or through the search crops feature.





WorldCrops, a collaborative project by Cooperative Extension of Rutgers, UMass, and Cornell, provides information on vegetables and herbs that can be grown in our region. Click the image to explore alternative crops by country or through the search crops feature. Contact Rick VanVranken for guidance.