It's Tomato Time!
Ideas for Getting the Most Out of Our Summertime Harvest
Posted by Tent
While the peak of the season has arrived a bit later than usual, the wait is officially over. Time to break out your saucepans, canning supplies and tomato slicing knives, because our fields are producing some of the tastiest tomatoes you'll find all year. Whether you are looking for some unique heirloom varieties to can and enjoy all winter, San Marzanos to turn into a delicious sauce, or sweet, intense dry farmed Early Girls to savor on the spot, we have the tomato to meet your every culinary wish and desire.
Out in the fields, our tomato plants are currently heavy with delicious fruit ripening on every vine. Summer's heat has finally caught up with our plantings, and the combo of climate, soil and sunshine is producing some top-quality tomatoes. This most recent heat wave translates to even more flavorful tomatoes, and as our field crews keep up with our quickly producing plants, you can expect to find lower prices at our farmers' market stands. If you have been considering a few bulk purchases this year but haven't quite yet found the inspiration, trust that it won't get any better - and possibly any more affordable - than it is right now.
We currently have a high volume of San Marzano tomatoes being harvested, which are excellent for making an authentic Italian-style Pomodoro sauce. Along with these tomatoes, we usually have mixed saucing flats of our heirloom varieties available at most markets. These saucing flats contain between 10 - 12 lbs of softer tomatoes ideal for a wide range of uses. Most customers go for sauces and soups, but these soft, delicious beauties are also great for juicing, stews and roasted salsas. Our flats of perfectly ripe heirlooms - that you can personally hand-select - are also available at all of our markets, and are excellent for canning projects so you can enjoy heirloom flavor long after the cold rains wrap up our tomato growing season.
Another customer canning favorite are our dry-farmed Early Girl tomatoes. These sweet tomatoes contain less water, and therefore make a rich batch of preserved summertime flavors. Some customers like to mix these with heirlooms during the canning or saucing process for some additional sweetness. They also make vibrant, bright red tomato juice and ketchup that is to die for - and this is coming from a staunch condiment avoider.
Whatever you fancy - tomato-wise at least - we will have available at the stand in the coming weeks. The window is relatively short, unfortunately, and as the days grow shorter our tomato plants will produce less fruit and take longer to ripen. We hope to have tomatoes through october, but if you are looking to preserve, sauce or otherwise enjoy the season's highest quality, then try to pick up a flat or two today.
Market Hall Produce
A true gem in the heart of Rockridge in Oakland, Market Hall Produce has been a paragon of dedication to local farms for over 25 years. Find out more about this wonderful East Bay establishment, as well as other partners that we have the privelege to work with.