You may not know this, but last year we brought on a secret weapon to the Tangleroot Farm team. Her name is Amy Ivy (pictured above), and she is our resident tomato plant expert and caretaker. Through this specialized roll, Amy insures that each one of these aggressive producers lives up to its full fruit bearing potential. So rest easy with the knowledge that your future tomato crop is under the best of care.
Amy meticulously prunes each plant, so that it grows as a single leader. Every week she scrutinizes the new growth, removing any “suckers,” which is excess foliage that if left to its own devices will draw the plants energy away from fruit production. Amy also keeps a sharp eye on irrigation, pest control, and the levels of organic matter in our soil as tomato plants are voracious! As temperatures in the Monster begin to heat up, and the plants start growing at a faster and faster pace, she will have to trellis the plants, which will support the impressive heights they will reach over the next few months.
Amy is no stranger to this type of work. Before joining Tangleroot Farm, she worked for the Clinton County Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE). After 10 years in the esteemed role of Executive Director and Horticulture Educator, Amy pursued her passion for growing, and joined the Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program. She spent the rest of her tenure at CCE focused on work with vegetable and berry growers in our area. Amy retired at the end of 2018 after devoting 31 years in service of this important agricultural work.
We hate to say it, but Cornell’s loss is our gain. Amy is an avid gardener and a virtual encyclopedia of botanical knowledge. We tease her for so often being the bearer of bad news as she is usually the first to identify when pests and disease show up on the farm. We appreciate her bringing these unwelcome visitors to our attention, even if we dread the news. Regardless, Amy makes up for the doom and gloom with her bright smile, sunny disposition, and first rate tomato care.
We grow 20 varieties of tomatoes at Tangleroot Farm, including plum, cherry, heirloom and red. We currently have about 600 plants setting their roots into the soil of the Monster, so Amy has her hands full. The literal fruits of Amy’s labor will be filling your CSA boxes around mid-July.