Category:KY ST M

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Blue Ribbon Tomatoes Farm - Entrance.
Blue Ribbon Tomatoes Farm - basil and sweet potatoes.

Maria Stenger - Blue Ribbon Tomatoes

Business: Blue Ribbon Tomatoes

Blog: Maria's Blog

Berea, Kentucky, United States

Blue Ribbon Tomatoes Farm

Blue Ribbon Tomatoes specializes in Kentucky heirloom tomato seeds. We're located in a rural county in central Kentucky (zone 6), and actively search out newly discovered local heirlooms. Tomato varieties that have evolved here are the thoroughbreds of the tomato world. They tend to be large and sweet family jewels, grown for the simple reason that they taste good sliced on a plate.

Our growing season here is at least 160 days, with a limestone clay loam. In our county, tomatoes go into the ground on Derby Day, the first Saturday in May. Late summer can get really hot and dry, but with a little care, the plants come right through it, and some produce until October's first frost.

I use no chemicals in the garden. Permanent raised beds are kept covered with leaves, hay, and paper, with supplemental horse manure, and organic foliar sprays as needed: seaweed tea, colliodal silver, and molasses. The photos show two corners of the 1000 sqft vegetable garden, last July.

Herbs, annuals, berries, and other vegetables are included in a naturalistic style. The tomatoes are given proper spacing, and the rest is filled in by intuition. Earthworms, birds, snakes, toads, and butterflies are welcome residents.

Our farm is a 24 acre wildlife habitat on a windy hill. Walking paths wind around blackberries and raspberries, and the expanding orchard is an ongoing process.

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