BREAKING NEWS: TOMATOES!!!!
Need I say more?
Except that this is the sooner-than-anticipated kickoff of tomato season. For the next month+ you’ll be getting an assortment of tomatoes, including red slicers, heirlooms, and red, yellow and orange cherry tomatoes. All of them are vine-ripened in my mom’s greenhouses, with the exception of the cherry tomatoes, which we grow outdoors.
Tomatoes tie with onions for crops that we nurture the longest. We seeded them in our propagation greenhouse way back in the cold, wet days of March. The young plants spent a couple months in the greenhouse growing tall and bushy, then were transplanted into the field and the greenhouses in May and June. Since then, we’ve been watering, weeding, pruning, and tying them up every week (we use a system of sisal twine and metal stakes to support their unruly growth).
Now the heavy work of harvest begins for my mom, Bets, who manages the greenhouses. She’ll be picking hundreds of pounds of tomatoes each week to fill Harvest Baskets, restaurant and store orders, and to stock the farmstand. By the time tomato harvest is over in the Fall - once our pantries are lined with jars of sauce and our freezers are full of sun-dried tomatoes – we will breathe a familial sigh of relief to see the harvest end. Backs sore and hands cracked from the acidic harvest, there comes a natural turning point on the farm when we don’t care to see another tomato for awhile.
But for now, as we slice into the first ripe tomatoes of the season, we are relishing every bite of red, round, juicy heft. We hope you do, too.
A tip: when you get your tomatoes this week, DON’T PUT THEM IN THE FRIDGE! That’s one of the keys to maintaining that unbeatable flavor and texture of homegrown tomatoes. Store them on your counter at room temperature.
In your share this week:
- Purplette Onions
- Head Lettuce
- Green Cabbage
- Yellow & Green Zucchini
- Rainbow Chard
This means that some pickup locations will receive it this week, others next week – or in a future week.
The Valley Flora Crystal Ball: What MIGHT be in your Share NEXT week
A number of Harvest Basket members have implored me to start posting a list of what vegetables MIGHT be in your share next week so that they could shop and menu-plan accordingly. I emphasize the “MIGHT” because we never know for sure what will be going in the totes until the beginning of each week, and I hate to set expectations and then have plans change. Nevertheless, this list of possible produce will give you a general idea of what might be coming your way the week of August 20th. Remember, no promises!
- Walla Walla Sweet Onions
- Hot Peppers
Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.
For recipes and ideas, check out these links:
Our own collection of recipes that you can contribute to
Our website’s recipe “search engine,” where you can hunt down recipes by ingredient
A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients
A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient
A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes