Morris Farm, now being run by the third generation of the family that bought the property on Warwick Avenue in 1915, is getting hundreds of visitors these days, except for some regulars … and that has John Morris happy.
“As long as we irrigate, this has been a very good growing season,” Morris reported yesterday as he gauged a basket of fresh picked tomatoes. The number one tomatoes, round, red and without a blemish, sell for $2.99 a pound. Number 2 tomatoes – those with cracks or misshapen are 99 cents a pound.
A couple of factors, other than plenty of sunshine and the occasional rain shower, have made it a bountiful harvest of everything from fresh cut flowers to the ever-in-demand varieties of corn.
First, says Morris, it hasn’t been a wet year and second, we haven’t had many southerly storms. Wet conditions make it difficult to control insects and southerly storms deliver insects from the south.
“There have been more northerly storms this year,” said Morris. Storms from the south bring in unwanted moths from crops in southerly states that are ahead of the growing season here.
With the exception of ticks, Morris concludes, “The pests are not as bad as they have been.”
And, with such good conditions, the harvest is in full swing.
The farm has about 40 acres of corn that Morris planted in 4-acre increments so that the stand will have fresh corn from now through October. But that’s just a fraction of the produce. In the next week, Morris will start selling tomatoes by the bushel, which is about 50 pounds, at $20 for plum tomatoes and $18 for the regulars. The farm also sells peppers, eggplant and pickle cukes by the bushel. Melons are also expected to be ready by next week. And naturally, there’s already lots of squash and green beans.
“Now is the time if you want to can,” said Morris.
Orders for the bushels are coming in and, as long as the bugs stay in the south, Morris is happy. This is a good summer … you can taste it.
(Warwick Beacon photos by John Howell)