Approximately three years ago, Perry Wellness Center founder and CEO Stuart Perry made the decision to adopt tomatoes as a year-round produce offering at Rudy’s Happy Patch Market. Between raising them on campus and obtaining them from local growers, the market has been able to ensure year-round availability of fresh, ripe tomatoes.
Stuart explains, “The tomato market has been so great that we buy boxes from several vendors in Southwest Georgia. We also plant our own and allow peers to raise them and take the harvest home with them or sell them to Happy Patch. It is great that more people are enjoying southern tomatoes!”
This spring, any open space in the market, grounds, or greenhouses is filled with growing plants and produce. Tomato stands occupy space around the market area and line the walk to the campus pavilion.
Stuart sums up his tomato strategy simply: “I do not plan to come close to giving out this season!”
In the photo above, freshly planted tomatoes are attended to by garden staff member Martha Augood.