Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Quintessential Tomato

I know that I said I would be doing a week of the tomato with all that free time, but Jordan has returned from her trip a few days early and I am again distracted.  Now the suspense has grown as to which tomato will be picked to start, and I've decided to go with a customer favorite.  

From what I have learned recently, Sudduth's Brandywine is much different in origin than Red Brandywine.  Though we will likely grow Red Brandywine out of curiosity this year, Sudduth's strain is the one we have grown to love.  According to Amy Goldman's new Heirloom tomato book it was a family heirloom for over 100 years, lending proof of it's superior, well-balanced taste and bringing smiles to our customers year after year.  Large and deep pink in color, it is great in Caprese salad, thickly sliced on sandwiches, or relished straight from the garden with nothing added as juices run through your fingers.  No persuasion needed to convince others of how wonderful this tomato is.    

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Great Week of Tomatoes

Since it's the cold of winter in a land where outside tomatoes are hard to come by, okay nearly impossible, I thought I would make everyone's taste buds water with a special week of the tomato.   The heirloom types Jordan and I grow vary in usual shapes, colors and tastes, but all have their positive personalities.  Way back in the day we tried over 30 types.  Today we have narrowed the list to about 10, though I can still convince Jordan to try a new bizarre one from time to time.  Same with squash, but that is for another time.  Some CSA members may still remember buying odd tomatoes from us when tomatoes were about the only thing we had.  We had quite the rough first go of it and I'll give the tomato the title of saving the farm so to speak.  They grew like weeds and the two of us couldn't keep up, frost came, they rotted, seeds left behind and somewhere in the dreamy mind of mine the ground we then leased is patch of new heirlooms, tolerant to Klamath frosts, and no water.  Not likely though.  For now we'll stick to these proven ones and each day I'll give a description and what they are best used for.  That way when you pick one over the summer you won't be worried about that green striped one.  

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Death Valley Trip

Our trip to Death Valley was wonderful.  Flat tire the first day, bliss and warmth the rest.  No quieter place than the desert.  It's great there because you can walk all day and never be winded.  The elevation is below sea level.  We hiked some great canyons, sand dunes and salt flats.  We tried to spy the elusive chuckwalla with no luck, but did catch some yotes.  Coyotes that is.  Swam in a spring fed pool, lacked showers for days at a time, and ate the always better tasting than it should camp food. 

This is the time for Jordan and I to grow some sad house plants, and escape to lands nearly empty of life and open to exploration.  Great food to make us desire for the days of juicy tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.  Good news though, Belweather will be growing again this year.  Hard to believe its been 4 years since we moved here to grow produce for others to enjoy, and so far it has been most rewarding.  
On another note,  Jordan is off for a couple of weeks to visit family.  This is bad new for me because I'll miss her, but now I'll have a lot of free time to share photos of the farm and our winter trips.  Enjoy.