Notes from the Field: Week 13
Notes from the Tomato Field
CSA members and farm stand customers will notice our farm stand is jampacked with tomatoes these days! The high heat this week will keep our tomatoes ripening just about as fast as we can pick them. We’ll likely call on the Boston Area Gleaners for help this weekend! Our very first determinate tomato varieties (yellow Taxi and red Defiant) have mostly finished production and we’re on to picking large red slicers, large orange slicers and a rainbow of sweet, juicy heirlooms.
We have so many talented gardeners and curious eaters in our community, I’m giving you a virtual tour of our tomatoes this week.
If you like…
…a classic firm, red tomato-y tomato: we’re picking Charger (determinate, below left) and Big Beef (indeterminate) right now. Great for just about any use.
…a sweeter, less acidic, meaty orange tomato: try BHN 871 (above, right).
What it lacks in name, it makes up for in flavor and size.
…a San Marzano plum tomato: we’re picking Paisano. It’s prolific (gardeners: if you’re having trouble with the tips of your tomato turning black, that’s from a lack of Calcium often due to irregular watering, and Paisano seems to have adapted well to the problem–no black tips!)
…some color on your table: try an heirloom! This year we are loving yellow and red striped Pineapple (below right upper corner), introduced to us by board member Ping. It’s sweet and low-acid.
…a tomato with family lore: try Aunt Ruby’s German Green (above left, sliced). This green-when-ripe tomato is my personal favorite for flavor. Seeds were brought over from Germany by “Ruby Arnold’s great grandfather” so says the Fedco Seeds catalog, where we buy the seeds.
…a tomato from a true master: try Pink Berkeley Tie Dye (above, lower right). Dark pink and green striped, these were bred by Brad Gates in California. He is at the forefront of the blue tomato movement (did you know there was such a thing?), which resulted in several “Indigo” varieties.
… pinks and purples to complete your rainbow: we have the classic pink Brandywine (above, upper center), pink German Johnson, and Cherokee Purple (above, lower center).
Here’s to trying something new!
– Elena Colman