Peregrine Farm News Vol. 8 #17, 7/13/11

What’s been going on?

The heat? So I see that we are one day ahead of last years record setting pace for days over 90 degrees, at 40, the record is 91 and I hope we don’t get there. These are the days we work hard to get out of the field and the sun by noon at the latest. Down into the deep shade to work at the packing shed, or seeding fall crops or something similar. It is just not practical to be out in the field moving like turtles, suffering to do something poorly or taking two or three times as long to get the job finished over what it would take to do in the cooler hours of the day. Some folks say I’m getting soft in my old age, I just think I am getting wiser.

Good class last night at A Southern Season cooking school. It has become an annual event where Craig LeHoullier and I carry on about tomatoes and Marilyn Markel (who is the manager of the cooking school) is calmly cooking up some great dishes with our tomatoes. If you haven’t ever taken a class there it is very well done, entertaining and you get a whole meal (with wine included) for a very reasonable price.

I have mentioned this before but Craig is the god father of heirloom tomatoes. Back in the early 90’s when nobody knew what an heirloom tomato was, I came across an old fashioned printed newsletter that he co-edited call Off the Vine. It was an amazing resource on all of these crazy varieties where he and others would share their successes and failures growing these unusual tomatoes. Craig now keeps almost 3000 varieties in his personal seed bank and shares his new finds with the world. Maybe most importantly he is responsible for introducing Cherokee Purple to the seed companies and for discovering the new Green Cherokee.

He lives in Cary and over the years we have communicated and run into each other. Finally a few years ago we began doing these cooking/gardening classes at A Southern Season and it has been great fun to learn more from him about where these varieties come from, the stories behind them and the new work he is doing on easy to grow varieties for the home gardener. Another amazing resource we have here in North Carolina.

Picture of the Week

Need some Celosia?

What’s going to be at the market? Continue reading