Dead Ripe – “It actually means something”

‘Tis the season of abundance and acute ripeness, as summer crops put all their remaining energy into their final fruits and seeds in one last attempt to be sown back into the earth. The farms themselves seem at their most beautiful, and the harvest months have a certain celebratory cheer about them, the true pleasure in a job well done…

Tomato Tasting

For the kitchen, the first step in planning the menu for Tomato Dinners is knowing what they have to work with. Yesterday, Chef Canales and his sous chefs sat down for three hours and tasted fifty-five different tomatoes from seven different farms. Each tomato was assessed using the following criteria: color, acid, sugar, gel, other flavors, texture,…

Tomato Watch Week 20 – Shippers, Breakers, Pickers, Packers

It has been a great year for tomatoes weather-wise and also timing-wise; many farmers took the risk of planting early and the risk paid off. Another part of the equation is knowing when to pick tomatoes and who to pick them for. Back in April, Tim Mueller of Riverdog Farm in Yolo County took the time to explain to us the stages of a ripening tomato….

Tomato Watch Week 18 (Part 2): In which we also consider the eggplant

Chef Paul Canales hit up the Derby Street Farmers’ Market yesterday with daughter Eva in tow. The duo got a look at some of the recently ripe tomatoes at Riverdog Farm, Catalan Farms, Lucero Organic Farm, and Full Belly Farm. Tomato season should hit its peak in the next few weeks, giving the chefs time to evaluate…

Tomato Watch Week 18 – Riverdog Farm

In the film below, we visit with Trini Campbell and Tim Mueller of Riverdog Farm back in April after their tomato plants went in the ground. Tim tells us what the next few months will require to insure healthy, beautiful tomatoes by August: lots of attention, diligence, and a variety of essential oils that help to combat against an even wider variety of pests…

Tomato Watch Week 16 – First Tomatoes

We received the following e-mail yesterday from Welling Tom of Brookside Farm in Brentwood: Yesterday (Sunday, July 12) we sold our first tomatoes of the year at the Montclair farmers’ market. It was only a couple weeks ago when we were still watering them, so these tomatoes (Early Girls) were still larger and more water-plumped than ideal, but they were not bad, and people at the farmers’ market have been…

Dry-Farming with Joe

When we visited Joe Schirmer of Dirty Girl Produce back in April, he had many things to tell up in regards to climate, planting times, soil quality, and procuring information on patented seeds. But what really piqued our interest, was Joe’s knowledge of the practice of dry-farming, as well as its history…

Tomato Watch Week 11 – Brookside Farm

Anne Tom and Welling Tom of Brookside Farm in Brentwood stopped by this morning with a tomato update and some pictures of their San Marzano and Early Girl plants. Due to the recent cool weather, Welling estimates the tomatoes will be ready to go to market by mid-July…

Tomato Watch Week 10 – First Wave of Early Girls

Another thrilling episode from the sunny studios of Dirty Girl Productions!

Last time we heard from Joe Schirmer of Dirty Girl Produce, he had just finished planting his first wave of dry-farmed Early Girl tomatoes. It is now June…

Tomato Watch Week 5 – Joe Goes Behind the Camera

Joe Schirmer of Dirty Girl Produce has taken Tomato Watch into his own hands! We had intended to cover the details of dry farming this week, but on Tuesday we received an email from Joe and shortly after that a video he shot himself of his tomatoes being planted. How cool is it to see the process of farming truly through a farmer’s eyes?…