This week we welcome back delicious cherry tomatoes from the Brandsema farm in Turners Beach, on the north coast of Tasmania. The Brandsema family have a long history of involvement in agriculture in Tasmania – Marcus and Anthony’s grandfather started a market garden in Launceston 60 years ago before moving to the current site. Their tomatoes are grown hydroponically, which extends the season by quite a few months – plants are supplied with nutrients and water through a reticulated system, and are kept warm by a boiler fed with waste from local sawmills. Marcus is committed to reducing chemical inputs on the farm; he experimented with introducing predatory insects to combat the primary pest in hothouses – the white-fly – but when this resulted in plant damage after the insects ran out of white-flies to eat, he made the shift to using a certified organic non-toxic soap-based spray, which kills the fly by covering the surfaces of the body that it uses to breath, suffocating it. The Brandsemas also grow eggplant and capsicum, which we’re hoping to include in boxes as we move into spring.