US: Greenhouse proved to be the correct decision for Wyomatoes

Stewart Doty picked his first ripe tomato this year in April. A big, fresh, organic tomato from a Wyoming garden is unheard of that early. But Doty, who lives and farms in Big Piney, has been prevailing at having those red, ripe, juicy bundles of joy available before anyone else since 1989. He specializes in tomatoes with taste.

More than 20 years ago, Doty, a very spiritual man, said that God encouraged him to go into the tomato business. So he began Wyomatoes with very little money and a small, one-level greenhouse that he built behind his mobile home in Big Piney.

It proved to be the correct decision when, before long, an investor visited his greenhouse and offered him several thousand dollars to add on to his greenhouse and build an additional one.

Today, he has two huge greenhouses, each with three different levels, totaling more than 36,000 square feet of growing space.

The greenhouses are so expertly managed that you would never guess that there are more than 3,500 tomato plants all vining up string dropped almost 10 feet from the ceiling above.

The flavor comes from the microbes in the soil. The microbes, which he added to the soil about five years ago, break down the nutrients in the soil so they are available for the plants to absorb.

He starts planting the rows and rows upon level after level of Big Dena tomato plants in October. They usually start producing in April and continue through the end of the year.

A majority of his tomatoes go to Utah, about 200 miles away. He supplies more than 15 restaurants and supermarkets, including Whole Foods, in the Salt Lake area with tomatoes. At the Saturday farmers market, alone, he sells about 1,000 pounds at $5 per pound. Plus, this year he's added at least one other farmers market in the Salt Lake Valley.

Click here to read the complete interview with Doty on trib.com

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