WHO IS DR. TOMATO?
When he is not in “Veggie Surgery”, Dr. Tomato is better known as David O’Connor. David was born in New Hampshire, graduated from Dartmouth College, spent time in various parts of this country and in other countries and now lives in Barrington, New Hampshire. Even as a child, David was exposed to the joys and rewards of organic gardening in an urban, backyard garden. Hauling and turning under cow and chicken manure, mulching, weeding and picking off tomato horn worms were important elements in his early education. His subsequent training as a scientist and graduation from Dartmouth College set the stage for his current career as the noted “DR. TOMATO”.
In 2008, a respected regional agricultural supplies retailer approached David. They were looking for a local source for “environmentally responsible” vegetable and flower seedlings. Realizing that this was an opportunity to make a strong statement to both the agricultural and commercial growing communities, the decision was made to push the proverbial envelope. David set out to design and engineer a greenhouse that was passive solar, fuel free and capable of year round commercial growing here in the frozen Northeast. The result was the noted “Mother Ship” greenhouse operated by Healthy Home Harvest in Northwood, New Hampshire. After two full years of operation, the “Mother Ship” has proven both the functionality of its design and its operational capabilities. David now receives requests from scientific groups and commercial growers to speak on the design and engineering aspects of the “Mother Ship”. The science works and can translate to higher profit margins for commercial growers.
Along with his commitment to the use of science to improve the bottom line of a growing business, David is also deeply committed to bringing healthy, fresh, locally grown food to the community. Not just to those who are financially fortunate in this troubling economic climate. He is committed to helping bring that food to ALL the people in the community. After decades of experience in the areas of food production, education and operating successful businesses, David believes that the problem of supplying such food to “the people” must be approached from two different directions. First, through the use of Farmers Markets, farm based stores, co-ops and CSA’s to reach those who have the ability to get to the Markets and the money to purchase high quality local foods. Second, through the return of ubiquitous personal, shared backyard and urban gardens. New Hampshire farmers can’t grow enough food to supply all those who would like locally grown products. The logical solution – show people how to grow their own food.
DR. TOMATO is the persona through whom David works to help educate people and communities about how simple and effective it is to become their own “farm”. Whether they have a deck, porch, set of front stairs, sunny driveway, backyard or large lot individuals and families can produce most of their own food. When they unite with their neighbors, the possibilities are almost limitless! In addition to the production of food, a major benefit is an increase in the sense of community and self responsibility.
Through his biweekly newsletter, individuals can access gardening knowledge and ask questions that will help them reach their food production goals. Through lectures and seminars, groups can learn how to pool their resources and produce their own food. If you would like information on having DR. TOMATO speak to your group or organization you can easily contact him through the link below.
In July, New Hampshire Magazine did an article on Dr. Tomato. To read the article, click on the following link:
As the field of agriculture evolves – so does Dr. Tomato. As issues such as water shortages, climate change, carbon footprints and productivity became more pressing, David looked to new developments in science to explore alternative growing methods. Even though it has been around since the first NASA launches, hydroponics has become a rapidly expanding area of plant production. The benefits are numerous – dramatically higher per square foot production, faster grow times, year round cycles, less water usage, targeted fertilizer application etc. David, true to his scientific background, spent 4 years researching virtually everything published pertaining to the application of hydroponic techniques in both the commercial and home sectors. Today, he is noted as one of the leaders in the field and lectures throughout New England on the science of hydroponic and controlled environment agriculture. He is also a leading science figure in the legal, medical cannabis industry throughout New England.