Tomato Late Blight
Photo courtesy of AVRDC/The World Vegetable Center
Does the impact of tomato late blight depend on where you live?
I am starting to think so.
I hope the Tomato Gods do not read this and strike me down, but I have to say my tomatoes are doing OK.
They are two Brandywines in large pots on my deck. Brandwines are heirloom and therefore particularly vulnerable to disease and insects, but mine are doing fine!
And you have to understand, I am famous in my neighborhood for NOT growing tomatoes. Mine are always overcome with early blight. They shrivel and die before I get more than two or three piece of fruit.
I am usually the laughingstock of neighborhood, but not this year. And my neighbor Ron has perhaps a dozen plants, some of them heirloom, and they are healthy as can be, too.
Mark Bittman of the New York Times is complaining about the scarcity of good tomatoes in his blog. And Dan Barber, a chef in Tarrytown, N.Y., wrote Sunday in the Times suggesting that late blight had swept through the Northeast like Swine Flu through an elementary school. He called it an "agriculture disaster."
Even Martha Stewart's reports that the crop on her Connecticut farm has been infected.
The University of Maryland's Department of Agriculture dutifully issued a warning about the appearance of late blight, which happens periodically.
But you couldn't tell it by my farmer's market in Annapolis, where tomatoes - perhaps a little late because of the cool early summer - are in abundance.
What's the deal? Any theories? Any Maryland blight stories out there?