Peregrine Farm News Vol. 17 #21, 6/10/20 The Tomato Issue

What’s been going on! 

If you want tomatoes there is a lot of info below, read carefully. 

The tomatoes are coming!  The tomatoes are coming!  Normally this heralds one of our favorite times of year but this year I have had many sleepless nights trying to figure out how we are going to safely and effectively sell this wonderful crop.  For decades we have relied on our customers to pick out the fruits they want, bag them and hand them to us to weigh.  We can’t do that with Covid-19, we cannot let a bunch people handle the tomatoes.

Everyone has their idea of what the best tomato is- size, firmness, ripeness, etc.  This year you are going to have to rely on us to be the experts (because we are) and make that decision for you.  We will not pre-bag tomatoes either, that is a waste of time, energy, resources, is not good for the fruit in the long run, and you don’t really get what you want.  We want the stars of the summer season to shine as much as they can.

Here is how it will work:

Online– we will only put part of the harvest in the online store to make sure we have some available for those who want to see them and buy them at market.  We pick Monday and Thursday mornings and will update the online store again Thursday afternoon once we know how many more we have in stock.  If they are sold out on Wednesday, check back on Thursday.

We will put limits on how many can be ordered online.  You will order by variety and by the pound.  Most of the varieties are about 2 fruits to a pound but can be 1 to 3.  We will do our best to get the weight close to the amount you order.  If you order larger amounts, expect some part ripe fruit in the mix to ripen later in the week on your counter at home.

Email Pre-orders– tell us what you want and we will have it ready at market for you.  Same pay instructions as below.

At Market– The tomatoes will be displayed on our front table, you will indicate what size and how many you want, we will pick them out and weigh them.  If you are paying with cash the total will be rounded to the nearest dollar, usually up.  We are taking no coins at market.  If paying by credit card then we can charge the scale price.

The line will form around the side of our stall, out into the grass.  You will be able to see what is available as you move along, please have an idea of what you want before you get to the front.  Know that many varieties will sell out early.  Imagine that you are at a market in Europe where you are not allowed to touch the produce.

Suffice it to say that our tomatoes are better than any you have had since last summer and probably since you ate one of ours.  We have a very limited supply this week but it will increase quickly over the next two weeks.  Patience my friends, patience.

To update our fundraising to contribute to Campaign Zero to help end police violence in America, we had another impressive week helped with more large donations from Ellie and Jim, Johanna and others.  The total for the month is now at $455.  Thank you all!

Picture of the week

P1050585A tunnel full of cukes and basil

What’s going to be at Market?

To facilitate less contact and faster exchanges we are encouraging people to pre-order so that it is ready to go when you get to market this page has all of the details on how to do thatWe need your orders by noon on Friday for us to be able to put them together on Friday afternoon.  The online store opens Wednesday about 9:00 a.m.

Tomatoes!  Limited supply on all varieties.  Cherokee Purples and Greens, maybe the best slicers great flavor and juice.  Beautiful red Big Beefs and Orange Blossoms, medium acid, firm flesh.  Italian Oxhearts for the best sauce but also good for salsas and general eating, the lowest acid of the group.  Sungolds, the essence of tomato flavor.

Beautiful cucumbers both the long Asian Tasty Jade and the short slicers.  Basil is back.

A small amount of Red Little Gem lettuce and good supply of Red Summer Crisp Lettuce (a combination of Romaine and Red leaf) and of the Magenta Summer Crisp.

Callaloo is back!  Our favorite hot weather cooking green that we call Jamaican Spinach because once sautéed and steamed it is very much like spinach.

Nearing the end of the season for the bitter greens department probably the last week for Escarole for soups, salads or sautéing.  Lacinato Kale (aka Dinosaur Kale or Cavalo Nero), you all know what to do with it.

Tons of crunchy Red Radishes.

The flower department is down to beautiful Sunflowers.

Stay safe and well and we hope to see you all at the market!

Alex and Betsy

If you know folks who you think would be interested in news of the farm then please feel free to forward this to them and encourage them to sign up at the website.

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