Do you remember the first time you tasted a Hale Farms tomato? 
For many people, experiencing that sweet, tantalizing goodness for the first time opened their eyes to what a tomato could be, and made it very difficult to be satisfied with an ordinary tomato again.  Well, that intense sweet flavor and perfect texture is the result of "pampering" our tomatoes from the time we select our seeds until the ripened tomato is ready to pick from the vine.   

The Pampered Tomato Story...

Only healthy seeds from the most reputable seed companies are started in our potting mix.  After seed germination, the tomato seedlings are placed under fluorescent lighting and the moisture and temperature closely monitored for optimum growing conditions.  During the next 4 to 6 weeks the top of the tomato seedling or transplant is lightly brushed or "petted" to simulate the wind, resulting in a stockier plant that quickly adapts to its new environment when it is transplanted to the field.
The field is prepared by laying drip irrigation lines on top of 8" ridges which are then covered with black plastic.  The drip irrigation ensures adequate moisture throughout the plant's development, while the black plastic helps heat up the soil in early spring, conserves water during the summer by reducing soil evaporation, and prevents weeds from growing in the rows and competing with the tomatoes for light, moisture and nutrients.
The tomato transplant is placed into the prepared ground and surrounded by a metal cage, which provides support for its heavy fruit as it matures on the vine.  The lower 12" of each cage is initially wrapped in clear plastic to reduce stress to the plant from spring winds and cooler temperatures.  After 3 to 4 weeks the plastic is removed from the cage to allow good air circulation around the plant, which protects it against the fungal diseases common in our humid Midwest climate.
Adding rich, organic compost to the soil prior to planting the tomatoes helps insure adequate nutrients are readily available to the plant throughout fruit development.  By protecting against excessive amounts of nitrogen in the soil that would cause the plant and fruit to grow too rapidly, each tomato has time to develop maximum sweetness and optimum flavor.

Hale Farm tomatoes are always left on the vine to ripen until their full flavor is produced, but it doesn't end there.  After harvesting, the tomatoes are carefully hand-washed and stored at temperatures between 60 F and 75 F.  This means all of that delicious flavor is retained until final delivery to our customers.

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