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May 20, 2011

"Up through the ground . . .

. . . come a bubblin' crude, oil, that is, black gold, Texas tea"  That is all that was running thru my head originally when I was trying to come up with a clever title for this post - but once I sing this for some reason it always turns into an Easter hymn we sing at church "Up From The Grave He Arose" - "with a mighty triumph over his foes" (sorry had to finish) and then after about a verse and a half of belting this at the top of my lungs I swear I saw a "SQUIRREL" run by . . .

Anyway back to the original reason for this post:  gold - Red Gold!  You see this year My Dad and Mom, Brother (Chris- yes the same name as my hubs) and SIL (Lisa - yes my hubs sister and my brothers wife)  - do you see why I am so easily confused and distracted? are raising tomato's for Red Gold!  Pretty cool!  So I went over there the other day to watch them plant and thought I would share!

Authors (that's me) disclaimer:  This is based on my uninformed guessing limited knowledge - if I have mislead anyone I apologize, please keep my stupidity quiet and if I have taught you something please shout it from the rooftops for everyone to hear!

So here is a tomato setter:

You run it at a whooping 1 mph!

The tank on the front holds mostly water with some fertilizer in it, when the plants are dropped in the ground some of the water/fertilizer is put on.

This setter takes 7 guys working in it - 6 sit in the seats and drop the plugs in the feeder that puts them in the ground and the guy standing puts full flats of plants in front of the setters when theirs is empty.  There is also a guy who walks behind the setter checking to make sure all the plants are in the ground properly to grow!

This is the back and the racks that hold the tomato plants waiting to be set!

The tomato flats come in this beverage trailer - this is full of flats of tomato plants!

This is the closest I have ever been to tomato planting - there is one other family farm in Shelby County that has been raising tomato's for Red Gold for years.  I am excited to watch the plants grow, they have to be sprayed alot over the summer and I am excited to watch them harvest them.

Now I am in the mood for salsa - wonder if I could talk my brother into planting some jalapenos and onions too!


  1. I'm so happy to see you in the field!!! I can't wait for this rain to stop so we can start too!!!

    Thanks for sharing

  2. To see a one-wheeled version of this same idea check out http://www.everydayruralty.com/2011/05/water-wheel-planter.html

    You did a great job explaining! I remember driving through "Red Gold" country along US 28 on my four year trek across the state from Romney to Muncie.

    Hope you are in the fields soon! Hugs and prayers to you!

  3. Our neighbors plant tomatoes for Red Gold also. I am amazed at how slow they have to drive. Are you able to get into the fields yet? We are getting back on the saddle tomorrow...hopefully!


  4. Love to see this had no idea how this was done Thanks for sharing.

  5. i saw patrice's post this morning, then saw this operation on your blog. nice to see planting going on!

  6. Fascinating! I've never seen anything like this done before. That is a lot of tomatoes!

  7. And last week Chris (your brother, not your husband) was proudly explaining to me that he was the only Red Gold producer to have started planting. At least when you feel behind this year, everyone else does, too!
    As for me, we planted our 8 tomato plants in the garden yesterday ;-)

  8. Thank you Jent for posting this! I am always very interested in how other crops are planted and harvested. I'm kind of stuck up here in the mountains and do not get to see a lot of other plantings. Very interesting!!