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New Orleans restauranteur Dickie Brennan confers with LSU AgCenter horticulturists Kiki Fontenot, center, and Anna Timmerman following a trip to a tomato field and a taste testing at Brennan’s Commissary on June 25. (Photo by Rick Bogren/LSU AgCenter)

Search for best-tasting tomato leads Brennan to LSU AgCenter

When New Orleans restauranteur Dickie Brennan was ready to find tomato varieties for his restaurants, he called on the LSU AgCenter.
“I want to serve, sell and promote local, vine-ripe tomatoes picked here — tomatoes that stay longer on the vine are sweeter and juicier,” he said.
Brennan recently opened a commercial kitchen called The Commissary to supply basics like soups and desserts to his company’s five restaurants. The facility also will include a market where customers can purchase packaged foods and fresh produce.

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Improper watering and calcium deficiency can be the cause of blossom end rot in tomatoes. (Photo by Heather Kirk-Ballard/LSU AgCenter)

It’s time to talk tomatoes

I’ve been getting a great deal of questions about tomatoes lately. ‘Tis the season. Most folks who planted vegetable gardens in this spring are now reaping the fruits of their work.
And with this season of harvest comes the challenges of the weather of the season, which is favorable for many of the diseases that affect tomatoes. But not every problem is caused by disease. Some can be because of fertility issues, lack of pollination, inadvertent herbicide damage and pests.
Let’s look at some of these issues and how to deal with them.

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