Farm Notes – Week of 7/13/22

The produce list this week includes:beets (red and golden), blackberries, blueberries, carrots, cilantro, swiss chard, cucumbers (slicing and pickling), dill, fresh garlic, garlic scapes, new potatoes (red gold), parsley, onions (red torpedo), summer squash, tomatoes (slicing, heirloom and cherry), and zucchini.

It's prime time tomato season these days folks, and we've got plenty to suit all of your tomato needs. Did you know that the tomato is actually a fruit? The confusion came after the 1890s when the Supreme Court qualified them as vegetables for taxation purposes. Fruits are technically defined as the edible part of the plant that contain seeds, while vegetables are technically qualified as the stem, leaf or root of the plant. In total, there are over 10,000 varieties of tomatoes. Here at Unity, we grow approximately 15 different varieties for market and for your vegetable gardens.

Tomatoes come in many different sizes, shapes and colors, and different varieties are useful for different recipes. Take paste tomatoes for example, we grow San Marzanos. These tomatoes have an oblong, more cylindrical shape to them and have thicker flesh, less seeds and tend to be drier than your standard slicing or heirloom tomato. These qualities make these types of tomatoes the staples for tomato sauce and tomato paste recipes, hence the name. My personal favorite types of tomatoes are any heirloom variety. They tend to be larger, have meaty flesh and come in a whole range of colors, from green (when they're ripe!), to purple, to yellow, to pink. In my (ever humble) opinion, heirlooms make the best, and most beautiful, tomato sandwiches, BLTs, tomato pies and even the most colorful sauces. However, if you favor the more traditional red slicing tomatoes, we have those too and they certainly hold their own in the flavor world.

Finding yourself flush with tomatoes and not so sure what to do with them all? If you have the freezer space, I like to cut the center stem and thick part out of tomatoes and then put them on a sheet pan and freeze them whole, then transfer them to bags after they have already frozen. This method allows them to freeze evenly before storing. You can also do this with cherry tomatoes, which I then store in mason jars in the freezer and plop them into soups all winter long. You can also pre-roast your tomatoes and then freeze them. Making sauce and canning it is also another tried and true method for storing tomatoes, and starting with the freshest and best quality tomatoes you can makes a huge difference. Check out the recipes below for different ways to enjoy your tomatoes this season. The options are truly limitless.

Quick Fresh Tomato Sauce
How to Can Tomatoes
Southern Tomato Pie
Tomato Hand Pies
Gazpacho Recipe

Tomato Seconds Available at Chestertown Farmers Market
Looking to put up a bunch of tomatoes for the winter but your plants aren't quite producing as much as you'd like? We sell tomato seconds for 50% off of retail price. Either send Lizzie an email with a request or come to market and see what we have, first come first served.

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