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Saturday, August 08, 2009

You Say Tomato, I Say Agricultural Disaster

Dan Barber, Chef/Owner Stone Barns/Blue Hill Restaurant, writes about the blight that took out the tomato crop in the northeast this year. In his words, "As we begin to grow more of our own food, we need to reacquaint ourselves with plant pathology and understand that what we grow, and how we grow it, affects everyone else." There was an X-factor added to the standard disease triangle (host, parasite, conditions) this summer: "Large retailers like Home Depot, Kmart, Lowe’s and Wal-Mart bought starter plants [already infected with blight] from industrial breeding operations in the South and distributed them throughout the Northeast. Once those infected starter plants arrived at the stores, they were purchased and planted, transferring their pathogens like tiny Trojan horses into backyard and community gardens." The blight, instead of being "late," covered the entire northeast in 3 days and showed more resistance than usual to sprays used by conventional farmers.
Read the full article here.

posted by CASFS 2006 @ 10:21 PM

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