Tomato Tips

Veggie Tips: Tomatoes

Tomatoes were hard-hit in the Northeast in 2009, with cold, wet conditions creating the perfect storm for the spread of late-blight, a fungus that caused leaf wilt and black, oily spots on the tomatoes…if there were any tomatoes at all.

Tomatoes are in the nightshade family, along with peppers and eggplants.  The plants can grow up to 10’ tall, and produce anywhere from 12-100 tomatoes per plant (depending on the variety).  Heirloom tomatoes, famous for their wild and crumpled shape, can be thought of as the opposite of ‘commercially-developed tomatoes’ – that is, they were bred over hundreds of years by many gardeners in many different locations.  Taste, shape and color were all desirable traits…portability was not.  Commercial tomoatoes, on the other hand, can travel thousands of miles without noticeable effect…it’s just that often their taste isn’t very noticeable either.  When you bit into your heirloom tomato from your CSA, be glad that your farmer is close enough to share this delicious summer treat with you!

Celebrate this season’s abundance with

-  a Tuscan bread salad (1” pieces of tomato, French bread, cucumbers, and a basil balsamic vinaigrette)

-  Roasted Tomato Soup (cut tomatoes in half, roast open face on a cookie sheet until blistered.  Put in big pot and purree, add salt & pepper to taste.)