Farm Life Vegetables and Berries

Tomato Tale

Following on last year’s epic fail, tomato-wise, I had promised some of you that 2016 would be ‘The Year of the Tomato’ at the farm. Indeed, after a disastrous season for Solanum Lycopersicum last summer, I resolved to take all necessary measures, and then some, to guarantee this year’s production, in terms of both quantity and quality. For those of you not with us last year, words fail to convey the overwhelming sadness felt by this farmer and his seasonal partners in late July when faced with row upon row of tomato plants decimated by a deathly combination of mildew, grey rot, bacterial canker, alternaria (black spot) disease — I spare you not — largely attributable to what was, without a doubt, the wettest of wet summers. I would not wish such a fate on any vegetable. So this year, ‘all necessary measures’ include ‘protective’ measures, as three quarters of our field tomatoes have been under cover in a summer greenhouse and high tunnels. Given the climatic vagaries of our increasingly crazy summers, we now have no choice but to cover our tomatoes to protect them from excess humidity. In this regard, this year’s hottest of hot summers has served us well, as even our uncovered tomatoes have fared exceptionally well. We produce many tomato varieties, but my personal favourites are our heirloom varieties, super-sized and surprising specimens from a wild and wonderful vegetable bestiary. Their misshapenness is redeemed by their exquisite taste and tender flesh, and the realization that the pleasure they provide is ephemeral…

Histoire de tomate - Tomato Tale

Meanwhile, in your baskets this week, a foretaste of fall: the leek. My kingdom for a leek.  I searched the internet to see if anyone noteworthy had ever uttered such a thought, but it seems not.

Poireaux 2016 Leeks