Locally grown tomatoes have arrived already! Does it seem too good to be true? Well, here’s how it works: 

The Amish of Lancaster County grow early season field-grown tomatoes using a relatively new farming method called “Raised Bed, High Tunnel” farming.

  • High tunnels are simple, clear plastic frames over the tomato plants that allow the sun to heat them sooner and more effectively than it would otherwise.
  • High tunnels also protect them from the elements such as wind, rain, hail, etc. This keeps them looking beautiful! 
  • High tunnels are NOT greenhouses; the tomatoes are field-grown directly in the soil.
Many vegetable crops can be successfully grown in a high tunnel, but tomatoes are particularly well adapted for high tunnels since they can be trained to grow vertically by trellising or staking. Also, growing them in raised beds keeps the base of the plants up higher, away from harmful cold air and frost!
The reward of raised-bed, high tunnel farming is enjoying tomatoes starting in mid to late May that have the unmistakable “heart-of-the-season” taste of locally grown tomatoes!