RUSTBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) At Yoders’ Farm in Rustburg, growing tomatoes is a family thing.
“My dad started in 94 growing tomatoes and we're carrying that on here,” said Delvin Yoder, president of Yoders' Farms.
It's a tradition that spans beyond just growing those red slicers many of us love.
“We're hearing about these heirloom old varieties and we were curious whether they could be grown hydroponically, as well. Sure enough, they can - all the way from the cherry tomatoes up to the big zebras, German stripees, Cherokee purples -- all of those,” said Yoder.
In one of the greenhouses on the farm, there are about 400 plants.
“Basically hydroponic means having to do with water. In this case water production. We don't float our tomato plants, but they are fed by a water nutrients solution. The roots of these plants are actually down in a coconut fiber growing medium and then the top gets sprayed periodically depending on how bright the day is and we'll feed them up to 10 to 15 times a day if the sun's very bright,” Yoder said.
Although farm work is hard work, the Yoders wouldn't have it any other way.
“We enjoy what we do most days, but it is farming, so weather-dependent, sunlight dependent. We try to duplicate in here what the Lord does outside, with field tomatoes, so, that's what makes it work the best,” he said.
The Yoders' Farm YouTube Channel has a lot of great information about their farm and how they grow their crops. Click here to check it out.