Tomatoes remain popular at Itz Garden

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Thirteen acres produce garden-fresh delights

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  • Melvin Itz picks some fresh squash and examines nearby green bean plants. Itz Garden, open since 1998, encompasses 13 acres and produces many fruits and vegetables, along with a local favorite — tomatoes. — Standard- Radio Post/Richard Zowie
    Melvin Itz picks some fresh squash and examines nearby green bean plants. Itz Garden, open since 1998, encompasses 13 acres and produces many fruits and vegetables, along with a local favorite — tomatoes. — Standard- Radio Post/Richard Zowie
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Melvin Itz grew up on a farm on the outskirts of Fredericksburg and, after retiring from the grocery business, decided to return to his roots.

“I liked farming,” he said, explaining his desire to return to working the land.

Although on Goehmann Lane and only a few minutes’ drive from Main Street, Itz’ farm looks as though it’s far out in the country, beyond city limits.

Itz’ passion for making fruits and vegetables grow has resulted in another career for him. Since 1998, he has operated Itz Garden.

He started small with watermelons and cantaloupes and added more produce every year.

Itz began with 10 acres but added three more, 10 years ago.

“I got to where I raised a lot of tomatoes,” he said. “I raise about 15,000 plants every year, but I plant them at different stages so I have them all year long.”

On his property, Itz rotates his crops to help keep the soil in good condition.

His produce includes tomatoes, jalapeños, habaneros, okra, squash, cucumbers, green beans, bell peppers and egg plants.

“Tomatoes are the most popular, by far,” Itz said, bringing to mind Guy Clark’s 1983 country song “Homegrown Tomatoes.”

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