It is always a special time when you see the first ripe tomato of the season hanging off the vine. I try and only eat tomatoes when they are in season. Once you taste the amazing flavor of local tomatoes it is hard to eat one that has been shipped from Florida and put in a ethylene chamber to ripen. Tomatoes are political. I will not go into too much detail, but mass produced tomatoes found in the supermarket and fast food chains have a story behind them that is not very appetizing. Local heirloom tomatoes are appetizing. So much work and care goes into growing these amazing fruits. There is planting trellising, mulching (try spreading straw on a 100 degree day), and pruning. Then when it rains for six weeks there is an outbreak of disease! It is all worth it because each tomato that makes it to your plate has a distinct taste and is grown with love. We are finally able to bring our tomatoes to market and soon on your plate at Agricola. Enjoy the bounty and know the origin of your tomato. Support local and sustainable farms because they will provide you with the best tasting food that is in season grown naturally.
Archives for July 2013
Garlic is planted in the fall. It is one of the last crops to go into the ground before winter clean up begins. We mulch the beds with a thick layer of straw and anticipate the first green shoots in the spring. As the garlic comes up in June we harvest a small amount to be used as spring garlic. The entire stalk of garlic can be used without any peeling. Chop the white stem to be used raw in a salad and toss the tougher green leaves into a soup to add flavor. Next comes the garlic’s flower, wich is called the scape. These are harvested once they curl around into a loop and help send the garlic’s energy down to the bulb. Garlic scapes are a true spring delicacy. There is only one scape per plant. They have the texture of asparagus and the flavor of mild garlic when cooked on the grill. After the first three leaves of the garlic turn yellow it is ready to be harvested. Handling garlic has to be done carefully because bruised garlic does not save well. Right after we fork our garlic out of the ground it immediately goes into our barn to cure. From here we will save the best cloves to plant again this fall and sell the rest. Nothing beats fresh grown local garlic.