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Jun 29 2011

On The Farm: The Tomatoes are Here!

By at 2:01 pm

Tomatoes from our farm.

We try to eat at least somewhat seasonally in our house, switching from fresh vegetables to frozen in the winter and following the fruit that is coming from Florida rather than further afield. Most of the year I skip over my fresh produce section in the store because there is minimal organic and we either have fresh vegetables from the farm or are working through our frozen stash.

Of course, I make exceptions but it always feels particularly strange and a little like a betrayal to buy tomatoes from someone else’s farm, especially from an anonymous supermarket source. Plus, if I do break down and buy a tomato in the winter they are usually pretty awful (like they have been in cold storage). So for the most part, we do not eat fresh tomatoes except during tomato season.

So, when the first tomatoes start to come in from our farm it is cause for a mini-celebration. This is our first tomato week, a little later than usual but they are full size (cherry tomatoes usually come first but they were planted later this year.) This year, we celebrated with fancy Capri salads with fresh mozzarella which seems increasingly available. The children are eating them sliced on plates with a little sea salt and enjoying the messy fingers. And my husband and I are eating them whole like apples.

If all goes well (tss, tss) and we avoid pitfalls like early blight, late blight, blossom end rot and those horrible new invasive stink bugs, we could be picking tomatoes past Labor Day and even at a trickle until the first frost. We have had some tough tomato diseases blow through in the past few years, so we need luck, prayers, crossed fingers, precautions, enough (but not too much) rain and whatever else works. So while the tomatoes are coming in, we will try to be sure to enjoy them a little more knowing that we will miss them in the winter.

Tanya Tolchin is a manager at Israeli Harvest, a farmer at Jug Bay Market Garden, a writer, an environmentalist, and most importantly a mom. She has a new blog: On the Lettuce Edge.


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