Louisiana farmers fight to keep tomatoes in season - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Louisiana farmers fight to keep tomatoes in season

Eric Morrow mans his booth at the Saturday Red Stick Farmer's Market.  It's from 8 a.m. until noon on the corner of 5th and Main Streets. (Source: WAFB) Eric Morrow mans his booth at the Saturday Red Stick Farmer's Market. It's from 8 a.m. until noon on the corner of 5th and Main Streets. (Source: WAFB)
Morrow shows tomatoes ripening in the field.  He has 87 acres in Ponchatoula.  (Source: Eric Morrow) Morrow shows tomatoes ripening in the field. He has 87 acres in Ponchatoula. (Source: Eric Morrow)
White plastic surrounds tomato plants to reflect the summer heat away from the roots and protect the plant, a black underside prevents grass and weeds from growing. Morrow also layers white plastic pellets as mulch to prevent weeds. (Source: Eric Morrow) White plastic surrounds tomato plants to reflect the summer heat away from the roots and protect the plant, a black underside prevents grass and weeds from growing. Morrow also layers white plastic pellets as mulch to prevent weeds. (Source: Eric Morrow)
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

At the Red Stick Farmer's Market on Saturdays, you often see farmer Eric Morrow selling blueberries past when others may have them available. In the month of October, he has tomatoes that have that summertime acid taste you want. 

I asked him how it does it. 

"We tried to trick 'em (the blueberries), tried to extend the season, tried different varieties so we could have some early stuff and then some later stuff so we could have a longer season." 

Now for the tomatoes that look a different color of red, but taste just like your summer Louisiana creole tomatoes. 

"It's not really not late-season this fall," Morrow said. "This is our fall crop. We do a continuous planting of tomatoes. We planted these tomatoes the 16th of July, and we plant them on white plastic which is white on top black on bottom. The white reflects the sun and the heat of the summer, (they're growing in July, August and September) The black keeps the grass from growing."

Morrow, who has 87 acres in Ponchatoula, said the blister of this summer's heat was so intense that the season was shortened for some farmers who don't use the plastic reflector method. 

But for a shopper at any of the Red Stick Farmer's Market locations, you also have hydroponic tomatoes offered. They are delicious hot house varieties. 

It just goes to show that with South Louisiana's passion for tomatoes, the farmers at the Red Stick Farmer's Market will use all kinds of techniques with all the science they can muster to satisfy the Louisiana gourmand. 

"It's using science. It's growing plants, biology, chemistry. It's all of that!" said Morrow. 

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