Bradenton farm concludes its tomato sale Saturday

newsintern@bradenton.comJune 6, 2013 

BRADENTON ­-- Five bucks and a little sweat will get you 25 pounds of tomatoes, enough for bruschetta and marinara for months to come.

But you only have until Saturday to get this bargain.

Hunsader Farms, located in 5500 C.R. 675, Bradenton, will end its $5 for 25 pounds of tomatoes sale on Saturday, when owner David Hunsader will close his farm until mid-September.

The 250 rows of tomatoes have been available for the past two weeks to people who are willing pick their own tomatoes. Last year, Hunsader offered 25 pounds of tomatoes for $1 when he couldn't find enough workers to clear his fields. He wasn't able to make a profit last year, so he raised the price.

Still at 20 cents a pound for tomatoes, Hunsader is offering a bargain and so far, he's been successful with his sale.

"There are still a little bit of tomatoes left for Saturday," Hunsader said.

Those folks willing to pick their own tomatoes are eager to take advantage of this sale.

Hunsader encourages more people to go to the farm and purchase the remaining tomatoes. He likes to see people at the farm getting a bargain.

Hunsader Farms was practically built on tomatoes. They were the first crop planted by the Hunsader brothers in the fall of 1967, when 80 acres of tomatoes were planted. Those acres and the crops were passed down to the next generation of the Hunsader family.

Tomatoes continue to remain abundant -- and profitable -- on the farm.

"My grandfather actually started the farm with tomatoes," said Rachel Hunsader, daughter of David Hunsader. "We have more tomatoes because they are used more in foods compared to other crops so we make more money out of them."

While Hunsader is focused on the crops and his fields, he said he hopes to open a fresh produce market between September-October to replace the market he opened in Ellenton at a former Just Brakes location.

"It's not the first thing on my dad's mind right now so if we see one, we will get one," Rachel Hunsader said.

The fresh produce market in Ellenton was only open for a few weeks and wasn't successful. Hunsader hopes he will have better luck with a new location.

Hunsader rented the building, which will reopen as another maintenance shop. For now, Hunsader is eager to sell the remaining tomatoes.

"Five dollars for a bucket should help the clean out," Hunsader said.

Hunsader plans on planting in July. Between mid-June and July Hunsader finds people to help take care of the property.

The tomatoes are open to pickers in November and December and again in May and June.

Hunsader Farms is open from 8 a.m to 4 p.m Monday through Saturday. Buyers should bring their own buckets to take advantage of the $5 deal.

For information call the U-pick hotline at 941-331-1212 or the market hotline at 941-322-2168.

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