Above: David holding farm record setting 'Persimmon' and 'Cherokee Purple' tomatoes
Tomatoes are a big crop for us and very popular with most eaters. The difference in a vine-ripened heirloom tomato and a store bought hybrid is vast. We still grow the red, hybrid tomatoes because their production and storage qualities cannot be beat, but the heirlooms have the flavor.
Here are some of the heirloom varieties we grow:
'Cherokee Purple' - rich, smokey flavor
The large, pink tomatoes are 'German Johnson'. This variety wins our farm taste test every year.
'Green Zebra' - a citrussy flavor and color that can't be beat
'Kellog's Breakfast' - a sweet, low-acid tomato
'Black Plum' - a small, rich-flavored tomato; perfect for sauces
David likes to make a sauce with this and hot peppers to go with smoked ribs!
'Aunt Ruby's German Green' - one of our personal favorites; a slight citrus flavor, very meaty
Samples of several kinds for our annual staff tomato tasting.
The dish we make most often with tomatoes is a tomato salad. Just add onions or leeks, cucumbers, basil, and Parmagaino Reggiano plus a light vinegrette. Other fine ingredients are croutons (that soak up the delicious juices) and, of course, bacon!
After the farmer's market we regularly make a quick lunch of tomatoes, basil, goat cheese, and slice of fresh baguette. A cool glass of Rose completes the meal.
You can find these tomatoes at all of the 3 farmer's markets we vend at:
Thursday 3 to 6 pm, Homegrown Alabama market on the grounds of Canterbury Chapel
Saturday 7am to noon, Tuscaloosa River Market across from the public library on Jack Warner Parkway
Saturday 7am to noon, Pepper Place Farmer's Market
NEWS FROM THE BEND
From planting time to the growing and harvesting seasons,